Transported Through Dance

At Miki Orihara’s solo concert last Friday, part of the La MaMA Moves! Dance Festival, each short work was like a world of its own. In the intimate space of the Ellen Stewart Theatre, flanked by large staircases on either side, Ms. Orihara created an entire mood and atmosphere, giving us a brief glimpse into each of these rich environments before leaving us to imagine so many potential stories.

Continue reading

Small But Mighty

EPP_5051al EPP_5510al EPP_5628al

All photos by Eduardo Patino, courtesy Ballet NY

In their annual New York City season at the Ailey Citigroup Theater last week, Ballet NY, the company founded by Judith Fugate and Medhi Bahiri, presented three company premieres and revisited work from their current repertory. No small feat for the group of only eight dancers, several of whom performed in three of the program’s four works.

Continue reading

Paul Taylor Dance Company

Originally published on 3/18/14 on ExploreDance.com, in response to Paul Taylor Dance Company’s 3/14/14 performance 

Watching Paul Taylor’s work is often like being transported through American history, one decade, idea or dance trend at a time. Not that the movement is necessarily following a linear progression. But elements of American social dance, and of traditionally American character, are woven through Taylor’s diverse repertoire, making his work easily recognizable to those who have experienced it before. 

To read the full article, see http://exploredance.com/article.htm?id=3683&s=author&sid=10854 

An Old Friend, Back On Broadway

Les Misérables, needless to say, has been around a long time. But it is for good reason. The Imperial Theatre on a recent Saturday night is packed to the rafters, and the excitement in the audience is palpable. Perhaps because the show only opened a couple weeks ago, most of the audience members appear to be seasoned Les Mis fans who have eagerly anticipated the show’s return to Broadway and are ready to welcome it back. Though I am familiar with the musical, this is my first time seeing it live, and compared to them I am a rookie. Continue reading

What is a Recreational Dancer?

Originally published on 2/23/14 on ExploreDance.com

I don’t know how to answer the question “Are you a dancer?” “Yes” seems like a lie somehow. After all, I’m not a professional, nor am I “advanced” by anyone’s definition. I don’t attend class regularly, nor is there a style that I specialize in. Doesn’t “yes” imply that I should at least be able to touch my toes without bending my knees? To say “no,” though, also feels wrong. Because I do have a dance background, and, most importantly, I find that dance is a significant part of my life. So usually, I just mumble something about being a recreational dancer, and let the question pass. The question-asker nods in understanding. But in reality, I’m not sure either of us knows what a recreational dancer is.

To read the full article, see http://exploredance.com/article.htm?id=3627&s=author&sid=10854

Image

Signs of Spring

IMG_2466

Between winter and spring at Lincoln Center, March 23, 2014

A Fairytale For All Time

On a Wednesday afternoon, at a matinee for Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, the lobby of the Broadway Theatre is packed with children: little girls dress up in ball gowns and put glitter in their hair, summer campers file in together in a line, and families hold hands on the way to their seats. At intermission, the line for the restroom is so long that barely half the people in it are relieved before the 15 minutes is up. For a story as popular and widely known as Cinderella, it makes sense. Many people in the room have grown up knowing at least one version of the story (probably more), and some of them have seen at least one version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical (originally created for television in 1957).  Continue reading