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ADF 2007

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Independent Review:ADF Mainstage Season 2007:A Year in Reverse?

Posted By on Wed, Aug 1, 2007 at 12:28 AM

Four world premieres. Pretty impressive. Until, that is, you look at it this way: The ADF sponsored almost twice as many world premieres last year. And the last time the festival put so small a number of new commissions on stage as they did this summer, a Democrat was in the White House. No, not Bill Clinton. Jimmy Carter. In what other ways did 2007 constitute "the year ADF glanced forward—and then kept looking back?" Read our controversial season wrap—and then comment, below....

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Independent Review:What does "How Long Brethren" represent now?

Posted By on Wed, Jul 25, 2007 at 6:56 PM

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....

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Mark Morris, music man

Posted By on Sat, Jul 21, 2007 at 6:46 PM

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.”...

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Any last words...?

Posted By on Sat, Jul 21, 2007 at 9:24 AM

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. (Those curious about our findings from last year -- and a possible clue or two about what we have to talk about this time -- should look here. And here.) But why wait 'til then? What moments thrilled you this...

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Eternal Tamiris

Posted By on Wed, Jul 18, 2007 at 11:55 PM

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...

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The Independent Review: Paul Taylor's "De Sueños (Of Dreams)":The sleep of reason...

Posted By on Wed, Jul 18, 2007 at 2:05 PM

"I’ve seen tattoos with more character development than much of Mr. Taylor’s choreography in his new work last Saturday night." Ouch. 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....

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

NC at ADF: Acts to Follow's Final Presentation

Posted By on Sun, Jul 15, 2007 at 7:14 PM

North Carolina showed off their best in the Acts to Follow series, which featured the original works of 30 local choreographers. Saturday night brought us the third and final program, which took place in Baldwin Auditorium on Duke’s East Campus. 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....

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Acts to Follow, part trois, tonight in Baldwin Auditorium

Posted By on Sat, Jul 14, 2007 at 11:18 AM

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....

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Friday, July 13, 2007

What could be shocking to Paul Taylor?

Posted By on Fri, Jul 13, 2007 at 4:38 PM

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....

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

In Step With: Anjuli Bhattacharyya

Posted By on Thu, Jul 12, 2007 at 1:56 PM

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......

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Argentine Identities

Posted By on Wed, Jul 11, 2007 at 1:29 PM

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...

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Independent Review: Argentine Mini-Festival, Part I:"Krapp's Gross Content: Argentines fixateon past stories, theories, amusements"

Posted By on Tue, Jul 10, 2007 at 7:07 AM

From this week’s Independent: “Usually, when foreign companies appear at ADF, they shed considerable light on the present. Their work discloses how contemporary and experimental dance have developed under different conditions in different cultures, and how they address those cultures’ present concerns.” “Though it was unintentional, to be sure, Thursday night’s performances—and particularly the post-show artist/audience talkbacks—repeatedly underscored the past instead.” Read the rest of our review, and respond in comments....

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Skaggs/Eno "Dances for Airports":Tonight at 8:45 p.m.

Posted By on Tue, Jul 10, 2007 at 6:28 AM

From the online weekly calendar this morning: Sarah Skaggs' Dances for Airports runs tonight in Schaefer Theater (one floor beneath Reynolds Theater), between the two Australian performances, at 8:45 p.m. For detailed background info on the project, click here. (And for our coverage of the artist's first three attempts to give her final M.F.A. performance, click here.)...

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Sunday, July 8, 2007

Skaggs' artistic flight encounters further delay

Posted By on Sun, Jul 8, 2007 at 6:10 PM

"May I have your attention? This is an announcement for all passengers still waiting to board Sarah Skaggs' Dances for Airports, originally scheduled for takeoff from Duke's Schaefer Theater, Saturday, July 7 at 6:45 p.m., initially rescheduled for that evening at 8:30 p.m., and then subsequently rescheduled for Monday, July 9 at 8:30 p.m." "A scheduling conflict with ADF mainstage programming -- specifically, an audience/artist talkback after a Gabriela Prado & Eugenia Estevez performance -- means that she (and you) just got bumped.  Again." This post will have rescheduling information, when it becomes available. Check back....

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In Step With: Yo Smith Kwon

Posted By on Sun, Jul 8, 2007 at 2:27 PM

Enigmatic dancer -- and salon habitué -- Yo Smith Kwon steps in front of video documentarian Jessye McDowell's lens this week....

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Saturday, July 7, 2007

RESCHEDULED: Skaggs/Eno "Dances for Airports"reset (again) for 8:30 p.m. Monday

Posted By on Sat, Jul 7, 2007 at 7:19 PM

There we were: two hundred or so of the dance cognoscenti, waiting eagerly outside Schaefer Theater, mere moments before the 6:45 p.m. showing of Sarah Skaggs' Dances for Airports. That's when the fire alarm went off. When the (stage) smoke had cleared, Skaggs' final performance had to be rescheduled -- at the fire marshal's insistance -- to Monday night, between that evening's two ADF mainstage shows, "around 8:30 p.m."...

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Tonight: Sarah Skaggs meets Brian Eno in "Dances for Airports"

Posted By on Sat, Jul 7, 2007 at 11:33 AM

Sarah Skaggs was already at work on Dances for Airports when we interviewed her during a residency in Raleigh in March, 2003. The contemplated piece constituted a definite departure from previous hyperkinetic works like Prelude for Salome. At the time, she cited a recent re-recording of Brian Eno’s early exploration of ambient music, Music for Airports on live instruments by Bang on a Can as an inspiration: “When they touch the piano, there is such a breath to the actual way it's touched. I'm trying to match that in my movement. It's just like I'm trying to capture...

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Friday, July 6, 2007

The Argentine Way To Play

Posted By on Fri, Jul 6, 2007 at 9:48 PM

“I was relieved that I didn’t understand, because it forced me to remain constantly engaged in the piece.” The translator for last night’s post-performance discussion with the Argentine foursome, Compañía Contenido Bruto was not the only one watching the U.S. premiere of their piece, Kevental who did not understand. Bruto’s performance was saturated with complexities and intricacies, such as layered sound scores and several long periods of silence....

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Award-winning student dance video: Gina T'ai's "Lumiere D'Ampule"

Posted By on Fri, Jul 6, 2007 at 8:08 PM

Greetings from the Dancing for the Camera Film Festival, ADF's annual curated showings of experimental and documentary films on dance. (And vice versa.) I'm posting from White Lecture Hall (next to the East Duke building -- appropriately enough on Duke's East campus), where we're actually in an intermission on Friday night. It's just long enough to direct your attention to an award-winning student video, Lumiere D'Ampule, by choreographer Gina T'ai and videographer Joe Kirschling. The work won one of two awards for outstanding student work. (The other, Charlotte Griffin's Raven Study, will show Sunday afternoon.) About the work, T'ai...

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Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Independent Review: Slamming Eiko & Koma's "Grain," Applauding "Quartet"

Posted By on Wed, Jul 4, 2007 at 10:54 AM

Quoted, from today's Independent Weekly: "In a career of dystopic performances that have let audiences examine the suffering of humans and nature on an almost frame-by-frame basis, this one was a stand-out. Call it a strangely blighted rite of spring, an implacable fertility ritual which revealed the grotesquery of dehumanized sex; ultimately, a work which conceivably dared to ask if rape is actually the default sexual act in the animal kingdom. Wait—you’ll need the catalog number if you want to see it: ADF Video 1984.0013, at Duke University’s Lilly Library. Why? In the final analysis, the considerably kinder, gentler...

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Shen Wei's Hybrids

Posted By on Tue, Jul 3, 2007 at 12:43 PM

Reynolds Theater was packed last night as Shen Wei’s dancers floated across the stage with an almost inhuman stoicism in a two piece performance that included Rite of Spring and Folding. A painter, filmmaker, photographer, set and costume designer, and choreographer, Shen Wei’s total concern for all artistic elements moved the full-house audience to a resounding standing ovation. The lack of composure of the spectators stood in contrast to the complete, almost inhuman stoicism of the dancers, who remained in character throughout their intricate and practiced bow, betraying not even a flicker of a smile....

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Monday, July 2, 2007

Exclusive footage: Shen Wei's "Folding"

Posted By on Mon, Jul 2, 2007 at 6:16 PM

Live arts critic and correspondent Byron Woods previews Shen Wei Dance Arts' Folding. His company performs it and The Rite of Spring Monday and Tuesday night in Reynolds Theater at 8 p.m....

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The Independent Review: The ballroom of our common loss: Lisa Race and Pilobolus

Posted By on Mon, Jul 2, 2007 at 1:59 PM

From the June 27th Independent Weekly......

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Saturday, June 30, 2007

...and tonight, from North Carolina...

Posted By on Sat, Jun 30, 2007 at 12:10 PM

The second of ADF's Acts to Follow showcases devoted to North Carolina choreographers convenes in Baldwin Auditorium at 8 p.m. Highlights: former Trisha Brown dancer Niki Juralewicz's Elemental, described as a "tender, vicious, and playful" series of solos, trios, and duets, Ashlee Ramsey and Katheryn Ullom's No, I Agree, a study in mixed messages we enjoyed at Bickett Gallery earlier this year, former Alvin Ailey dancer Duane Cyrus' delicious Fruit Flows From Root, and an excerpt from former Laura Dean dancer Rodger Belman's theatrical Fate. Admission's free -- but after we roasted in the auditorium during the International Choreographers in...

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Tonight, from New York...

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2007 at 3:25 PM

Michael Helland and Daniel Linehan have been busy in the New York city (review, anyone?). Tonight, a solo apiece: Linehan is Not About Everything, before Helland dresses up Dress Up Piece. At 9. At the Ark. Free....

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