You hate to say it of a dance legend. But if Helen Tamiris' How Long Brethren? represented the bleeding edge of modern dance in 1937, it looks very different 70 years later.
Critic Byron Woods ponders the changing face of representation in Tamiris, Mark Morris, and works by international choreographers Konstantin Grouss and Elena Saizafarova. Comments, below.
The Mark Morris Dance Group concludes this year’s American Dance Festival with a musical performance.
“I always start with music,” says the most recent recipient of the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award. “Nearly every culture dances to music or at least rhythm.”
As always, our ADF Season Wrap, with critical commentary and conclusions on the best -- and the worst -- from the 2007 main stage and side stage series and showings will run during the next two issues of the Independent, on July 25 and August 1. We will post them here as well -- maybe just a bit before publication.
But why wait 'til then? What moments thrilled you this summer? Which pieces made you want your money back?
And, most of all, looking back, when you put the whole season together, what do you see?
Leave word -- anonymously or not -- in Comments.
This week's Past/Forward performance featured a reconstruction of Laura Dean's Sky Light (done by Rodger Belman) and the world premiere of Rudy Perez's I Like a View But I Like to Sit With My Back to It. Sky Light was a ritualistic party set entirely to drumming, and Perez's piece was like watching a flock of talented animals on an Armagedon playground. While all three pieces in Past/Forward were enjoyable and well-done, the recreation of Helen Tamiris's piece resonated most with me.
Tamiris, the original choreographer of How Long Brethren? was one of the foremost innovators of the modern dance movement. Fueled by her strong social conscience, Tamiris produced dance works that ignited society's hidden kindling, bringing to the surface the issues that most needed to be discussed.
"I’ve seen tattoos with more character development than much of Mr. Taylor’s choreography in his new work last Saturday night."
Our critic tags Taylor with "characterization by costume" in a review that asks, "When the costume designer and musicians do most of the heavy lifting, what’s left for the choreographer?" Read the screed — and respond, in Comments.
The native dancers tapped into a resource that only few of the ADF performance companies have utilized this year: speech. Three pieces included spoken text within the work, most notably in Christina Tsoules Soriano’s Begin Again which played on the idea of what it means to begin a dance by responding vocally on stage to a pre-recorded track.
Click here to see Indy photographer Rex Miller's multimedia portraits of four regional dance artists who will present their work at tonight's Acts to Follow program.
Click here for a link to this week's Indy print feature on Acts to Follow, by Sarah Lupton, Madison Owen and Megan Stein.
For fifty years, Paul Taylor has been shocking audiences with his controversial material. Last night’s world premiere of De Sueños (literally, “Of dreams,” but probably more appropriate to the piece as “In dreams”) was no exception. Though the performance was lauded with a standing ovation, not everyone was pleased with the performance.
Dancer Anjuli Bhattacharyya is from Kentucky. So is video documentarian Jessye McDowell. The two went to Mark Haim's technique class last week, where the topic was momentum...
Though the Argentine Festival’s last three pieces, Llueve, Plano Difuso, and The Stab were seemingly unconnected, each subtly revealed the inner workings of the personas on stage, collectively creating a multi-faceted approach to the meaning of identity.
The first piece, Llueve, was a collage of intimacies, as if different impressions in the three dancers’ memories were being acted out for the audience through dance in a loosely related order of events. In the post-performance discussion, co-choreographer, Gabriela Prado discussed how the piece was inspired by impressions they had or had witnessed in their lives, including, in large part the effects of economic turmoil in Argentina.