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Saturday, June 28, 2008

SUNDAY: Doug Varone's "Orpheus and Euridice" in Chapel Hill

Posted By on Sat, Jun 28, 2008 at 1:14 PM

You heard about the Doug Varone performance -- this weekend, in Chapel Hill -- right? [Editor's note: This performance closed Sunday, June 29. Varone's company performs at the ADF next Monday-Wednesday, July 7-9, In Reynolds Theater. ] The Long Leaf Opera Festival is restaging his production of the 2005 Ricky Ian Gordon opera Orpheus and Euridice, with the original leads -- soprano Elizabeth Futral as Euridice, clarinetist Todd Palmer as Orpheus, and Varone's dancers -- as the final offering in their 2008 festival. The one remaining performance: Sunday, June 29, at 2 pm, in UNC's Memorial Hall. No, the...

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Martha Graham's "Steps in the Streets" Introduction by Janet Eilber

Posted By on Sat, Jun 28, 2008 at 12:53 PM

Excerpts in this video preview from Martha Graham Dance Company's performance of Steps in the Streets at the 2008 ADF. The opening introduction is by the company's artistic director, Janet Eilber....

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

So, how do you critically talk about a "masterpiece"?

Posted By on Thu, Jun 26, 2008 at 11:09 PM

It is an easy -- and a thoroughly useless -- thing to be intimidated into silence or critical complicity by a "masterpiece." New audiences and critics may be mindful of the meanings an artwork has been given in the past. But if they're encouraged, by anyone, to stop there -- if someone convinces them that they have nothing new of value to say to a masterpiece, or no right to say it (without the appropriate advanced academic degrees) -- they are swindled of their birthright, which is this: to determine, for themselves, what meanings an artwork has to them, now....

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Yeats’ prophecy made manifest

Posted By on Thu, Jun 26, 2008 at 2:14 PM

[Ed. note: Brian Howe, a widely ranging culture critic and reporter, writes frequently for the Independent Weekly and other publications. He joins us today as a guest blogger.] Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the center cannot hold… —W.B. Yeats ADF, June 25, Reynolds Auditorium. Featured Works: Rapture by Khadija Marcia Radin; aKabi by Aydin Teker; Umwelt by Compagnie Maguy Marin. These three dances could hardly be more different, yet taken together and in sequence, they seem to comprise a narrative of spiritual disintegration—Yeats’ prophecy made manifest. The center and...

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If you had to, could you do it?

Posted By on Thu, Jun 26, 2008 at 9:09 AM

Actually, we're not asking if you could walk a mile in Ayden Teker's shoes. Instead, today's challenge is (simply) this: If you had to put what Teker's aKabi was ultimately about into one sentence (and not a page), could you do it? Okay.  Now how about Maguy Marin's umwelt ? As always, we have to screen responses due to spam, but all legit replies will be posted. Send your best shots to comments, below....

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Calling all critical first responders: Marin, Teker, Radin

Posted By on Tue, Jun 24, 2008 at 11:31 PM

The woman spun. The dancers clomped. The winds blew. The audience bailed. (Well, some of them, at any rate.) Yep, looks like we're in for another one of those "Is that dance?" nights. Your thoughts, please, on Khadija Marcia Radin's Rapture, Aydin Teker's aKabi, and Maguy Marin's umwelt, in comments, below. (Due to spam, we have to moderate incoming responses, but all legitimate replies will be posted.)...

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Monday, June 23, 2008

The Independent Review: Pilobolus Darkness & Light world premiere Razor:Mirror, Symbiosis, Lanterna Magica, Nocturna

Posted By on Mon, Jun 23, 2008 at 9:12 PM

The raging debate on whether Pilobolus' new work, Darkness and Light, is actually a dance at all takes us back . . . all the way to Plato's cave. (Um, would someone alert Dr. Gerry Myers, ADF's perennial philosopher-in-residence? He's needed, just now.) Until the good doctor weighs in, critic Byron Woods asks the symposium these pointed questions: Are Pilobolus' recent Oscar and Oprah appearances really art? Is Darkness and Light? Or did its world premiere just present "the shadow of modern dance—but not the thing itself?" The answers may surprise you. Tomorrow's headlines today, just below; click to read...

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Pilobolus Poll 2: Strongest work of the night?

Posted By on Sat, Jun 21, 2008 at 7:53 AM

Maybe all the talk about Darkness and Light is actually beside the point. What do you think was the strongest work of the night? The opening freakshow, Razor: Mirror ? Symbiosis, the duet with Jenny Mendez and Manelich Minniefee? The mid-show fable with fireflies, Lanterna Magica ? Martha Clarke's Nocturne ? That world premiere with puppeteer Basil Twist, Darkness and Light ? Respond in comments, here. We have to moderate responses due to spam; all non-spam replies will be posted here within hours....

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Pilobolus Poll 1: Darkness and Light Yeah, but is it dance?

Posted By on Sat, Jun 21, 2008 at 7:39 AM

There were differences in opinion in the talkback after Thursday's world premiere of Pilobolus' Darkness and Light. Some gushed over the live shadow-and-color-play projected on the Page Auditorium screen. But then there were those thinly-veiled suggestions that it wasn't even dance, that the dancers did their best to counter. (Which, actually, is more than we can say for Pilobolean choreographers Robby Barnett and Jonathan Wolken, who were missing in action when collaborator and master puppeteer Basil Twist and their dancers were on stage, taking part in the lively post-performance discussion.) Where do you come down on this? Is Darkness and...

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Independent Review: John Jasperse Company's "Pure"

Posted By on Tue, Jun 17, 2008 at 10:57 PM

"If Pure kids us, it's to get us to stop kidding ourselves," says critic Byron Woods in his analysis of John Jasperse's world premiere. The central questions the new work poses? "What exactly is 'pure' movement, 'pure' dance? Is such a thing possible? And if so, is it actually desirable?" Read the reprint from this week's Independent Weekly, below....

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A different take on Stravinsky: ZviDance's "Les Noces"

Posted By on Tue, Jun 17, 2008 at 1:20 PM

Video produced by Noreen Fagan. This video preview gives us a taste of what choreographer Zvi Goethiner sees when he hears the stark Russian folk songs and jagged polyrhythms of the work Stravinsky originally composed for the Ballets Russes......

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World Premiere: John Jasperse Company's "Pure"

Posted By on Tue, Jun 17, 2008 at 5:43 AM

Video produced by Noreen Fagan. Exclusive footage of the world premiere, in this video preview of John Jasperse Company's Pure, this week at the American Dance Festival....

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Friday, June 13, 2008

"If you were ever tempted to drop acid an an ADF show..."

Posted By on Fri, Jun 13, 2008 at 3:35 PM

Video produced by Noreen Fagan. ... this performance by the Nikolais Dance Theater is either the one you should -- or the one you won't need to..." Why does Nikolais' work (under the artistic direction of Murray Louis and Alberto del Saz, performed by the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company) have dance critic Byron Woods thinking about drinking the electric kool-aid? Check this video preview and see....

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“Bodies as soft machines”: Ririe-Woodbury and Trisha Brown

Posted By on Fri, Jun 13, 2008 at 11:51 AM

[Ed. note: Brian Howe, a widely ranging culture critic and reporter, writes frequently for the Independent Weekly and other publications. He joins us today as a guest blogger, and responds to the current mainstage offerings of Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company and Trisha Brown Dance Company.] Thursday night’s eclectic showcase, which continues tonight and Saturday, June 14, peaked early for me, with Alwin Nikolais’ incredible Crucible, performed admirably by the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company of Salt Lake City. The dancers stood behind a waist-high, mirrored plane that slanted down toward the audience, so that every visible movement was paralleled by a quivering reflection....

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Trisha Brown Dance Company: Accumulations, Spanish Dance, and PRESENT TENSE

Posted By on Fri, Jun 13, 2008 at 6:42 AM

We look at exclusive footage from Accumulations, Spanish Dance, and PRESENT TENSE in this video preview of Trisha Brown Dance Company's ADF performance. The company appears, with the Nikolais Dance Theater, performed by Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, through Saturday night in Page Auditorium. Video produced by Noreen Fagan....

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

...so, did Kylian give you the creeps?

Posted By on Wed, Jun 11, 2008 at 4:25 AM

Okay, maybe it was drama's night out at the ADF when the Limon Company and DCDC took the Page stage Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. By evening's end we'd seen, among other things, homicidal suspicion, jealousy and murder in The Moor's Pavane and sexual angst, pathological parenting and suicide (with maybe just a touch of Joan Crawford in the mix?) in Las Desenamoradas. So why am I stuck feeling that Jiri Kylian's Evening Songs was actually the creepiest work of the night? I'm not going to have time to explore this until tonight at the earliest. But it's bugging me...

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Independent Review: Shen Wei's Connect Transfer (new version)

Posted By on Tue, Jun 10, 2008 at 9:56 AM

In the June 10 edition of the Independent Weekly, we ask, “Have second thoughts improved Shen Wei’s Connect Transfer? Read on for the answer…...

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Dayton Contemporary Dance Company: Las Desenamoradas

Posted By on Sun, Jun 8, 2008 at 6:06 PM

Our video preview of ADF's second "Split Scenes" concert for the 2008 season. Exclusive footage of Eleo Pomare's Las Desenamoradas by Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and discussion of the Limon Company's offerings, through Tuesday night at Page Auditorium. Video produced by Noreen Fagan....

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Friday, June 6, 2008

Your move...(part 1)

Posted By on Fri, Jun 6, 2008 at 5:28 PM

Critic Byron Woods will be weighing in shortly on Ailey II's Revelations, David Parson's Caught, and the new version of Shen Wei's Connect Transfer. But right now, it's your turn. It's one of the things that makes our blog just a little different from the other sites. We publish your views (and reviews) on ADF mainstage shows before -- and after -- the professional critics. After all, everyone sees something different when they're looking at a work of art. What did you see during the opening weekend performances? Have your say. Tell us all, in comments, below....

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Shen Wei Dance Arts: Connect Transfer

Posted By on Fri, Jun 6, 2008 at 11:30 AM

Video produced by Noreen Fagan....

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ailey II: Revelations

Posted By on Thu, Jun 5, 2008 at 2:52 PM

Video produced by Noreen Fagan. Dance critic and correspondent Byron Woods hosts this first video preview for the 2008 season, with exclusive footage from Ailey II's performance of Revelations, and discussion of Shen Wei's new version of Connect Transfer and David Parson's Caught....

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Independent Season Preview (Part I): Split Infinities . . .

Posted By on Wed, Jun 4, 2008 at 10:06 PM

Fresh from the pages of this week's Independent Weekly: our set of in-depth company profiles (including one for Ailey II, seen here), complete with celebrations (and a few caution flags as well) for the first half of the 2008 season. Click here to read more......

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Happy 75th, American Dance Festival (and a nice 2nd, Indy ADF Blog...)

Posted By on Wed, Jun 4, 2008 at 9:22 PM

---Hey, D, we finally got the studio door open! Man, this place has gotta air out. Geez, nobody must have cleaned in here since -- what'd you say? What do you mean we're on the air??? ...and welcome back! The Independent Weekly's ongoing coverage of the 2008 American Dance Festival's 75th Anniversary Season begins today, both here and in our free weekly print version, available throughout the Triangle region of central North Carolina. For your consideration, we're reposting from printed page our inimitable company profiles for the first part of the season. In them you'll find our usual assortment of...

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Hi Zack,

I'm reading this again after seeing it almost 5 months ago. Our new Quail Ridge Books is …

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