Category: Post-show Impressions (44)
The Friday, April 5th performance of Danceworks 2013 was dedicated to Linda Roberts, who, after 42 years of teaching in the Department of Theatre and Dance, will retire this May and FINALLY get some sleep. Like many other alumni, I attended the performance to remember where the department has been. I am sure I am not alone when I say that the level of dancing and overall choreographic strength leaves me excited for where the department will go.
The show included an impressive range of choreography, by Martha Graham, May O’Donnell, Bill T. Jones, and Earl Mosley, to name a few. The theme, “Myth and Transformation,” was evident in each piece, which tenaciously led—or yanked—the audience along an aesthetic journey spanning decades of innovation in dance. Among iconic works, including the “Daughters of the Night” Chorus from Graham’s Night Journey, Rebecca Stenn’s Approaching Silence was premiered. Formerly of MOMIX and now director of her own company since 1996, Stenn was commissioned through the Department of Theatre and Dance New Works Initiative (NWI). With a text inspired by the work of Harold Pinter, Stenn’s dance-theater piece conveyed a deep-felt nostalgia for memories long gone or, perhaps, a wishful yearning for dreams not yet lived. Read more »
In Katlehong Cabaret, presented exclusively in the United States by Peak Performances, all the familiar elements of cabaret are incorporated: an opening number that builds slowly into a full-company anthem, an uplifting love duet, a melancholy torch song, a bejeweled diva, a virtuosic tap solo, physical comedy, audience participation, a self-deprecating emcee, a show-stopping ensemble dance number, even a rousing can-can routine (one that might have made the ladies of the Moulin Rouge high-kick in their graves, but nonetheless…). Although the format is familiar, this is unlike any cabaret come before it, in that the headliner at this nightclub is South Africa herself. Read more »
Benjamin Millepied, a French choreographer with a largely balletic background and lately popularized by his work on the psychological dance thriller Black Swan, has assembled a company of six boundlessly athletic and sexy young dancers capable of tackling the challenge before them: an evening of three works representing the spectrum, historically and stylistically, of contemporary dance. The choice of these three pieces—Millepied’s own Moving Parts (2012), Merce Cunningham’s Winterbranch (1964), and William Forsythe’s Quintett (1993)—and the way they collectively demonstrate what contemporary dance is capable of make for a highly successful evening, one that not only exhibits varied styles of movement within the canon but provides an interesting examination of how certain attendant technical elements of contemporary dance performance—music, lights, scenery—contribute to its overall spirit as an art form. Read more »
What is dance? This question is consistently on my mind during each dance performance presented by Montclair State’s Department of Theatre and Dance, and Danceworks 2012 was no exception. Seven pieces in a variety of styles were performed, each created by equally unique types of choreographers and artists. Read more »
The words “Gaga” and “fame” have become fused together in the pop culture lexicon ever since Lady Gaga’s debut album was released in 2008. Being a twenty-something pop music lover, my first thought when I heard about a “Gaga People” movement workshop at the Kasser Theater was whether I should wear my meat dress or my Kermit the Frog poncho. But Lady Gaga this was not. The “Gaga” in question refers to the movement language, developed by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin, in which performers reintroduce themselves to the sensations of their bodies, allowing them to find their own natural and fluid movement. Read more »