ADF Review: A Concert of Dance by Returning Alumni Reminds Us That Sometimes, You Can't Go Home Again | Arts
Arts
INDY Week's arts blog

Archives | RSS | Follow on

Monday, July 2, 2018

ADF Review: A Concert of Dance by Returning Alumni Reminds Us That Sometimes, You Can't Go Home Again

Posted by on Mon, Jul 2, 2018 at 8:14 AM

click to enlarge Raja Feather Kelly - PHOTO BY KATE ENMAN
  • photo by Kate Enman
  • Raja Feather Kelly
Coming Home: ADF Alumni Return
★★
Saturday, Jun. 23 & Sunday, Jun. 24
Reynolds Industries Theater, Durham


Homecomings can be bittersweet affairs, and ADF’s alumni showcase was a particularly dispiriting one.

It’s hard to imagine that more than a hundred other submitted dance works were less accomplished than the mostly unfortunate quintet selected by a blue-chip panel of professionals: ADF alumni themselves, including Elaine Bayless, Nicholas Leichter, and Larry Keigwin. Even harder to swallow: Apparently, no work by female alumnae met the problematic curatorial standards here.

Two of the five works we saw were largely exercises in form without substance, technique without context or content. A third, Raja Feather Kelly’s smirking but profoundly lazy satire TEDx On Love, never mustered enough imagination or courage to actually invalidate any of its low-hanging targets, including Carly Rae Jepsen, Philip Glass, emotional authenticity, and narrative dance.

Beginner choreographers frequently attempt to ennoble otherwise pedestrian movements with bombastic music. We witnessed the inverse in the first half of Burr Johnson’s solo, Untitled, when his precise, long-limbed movements lost much of their potential gravitas, handcuffed to the K-pop bubblegum of Girls’ Generation.

Alumnus Alex Springer and partner Xan Burley’s lengthy duet, You being Me being You and the Eye, is reportedly the result of extensive movement research in the field, but it seemed like a random splicing of observed gestures that communicated little besides effort.

Given the legato dynamics of spoken-word piece I Gotta, we questioned Julio Medina’s ability to execute its hip-hop moves. When Nicole Wolcott spoke with moving frankness about mid-career performance strategies for dancers in the other ADF program of the evening, Places Please!, this work came to mind.

Only Chafin Seymour’s concert closer, Gaze, eluded these pitfalls. It was an inventive work interrogating the gay version of the male gaze. Polymorphous moves reflected the polymorphous relationships among a trio of young men, set to a soundtrack of songs about toxic masculinity, unapologetic machismo, infantilism, and both self- and other-loathing after a meaningless hookup.

Correction: Due to an editing error, this post originally stated that the program included no work by women. In fact, a woman co-created one of the works, though she is not an ADF alumna.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Arts



Twitter Activity

Comments

Laura Jaramillo - I chose to read here to suss out what you do. The clean, spare style seems perfectly …

by growlybear on Movie Review: Sebastián Lelio's Hotly Anticipated Disobedience Is a Strangely Flat Look at Lesbian Love in a Hasidic Community (Arts)

Sounds like a great festival! I enjoyed hearing about it through your lens.

by Lisa Joy Tomey on “At the Festival, We’re All Family”: Reflections on the Ninth Annual African American Cultural Festival in Raleigh (Arts)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

Laura Jaramillo - I chose to read here to suss out what you do. The clean, spare style seems perfectly …

by growlybear on Movie Review: Sebastián Lelio's Hotly Anticipated Disobedience Is a Strangely Flat Look at Lesbian Love in a Hasidic Community (Arts)

Sounds like a great festival! I enjoyed hearing about it through your lens.

by Lisa Joy Tomey on “At the Festival, We’re All Family”: Reflections on the Ninth Annual African American Cultural Festival in Raleigh (Arts)

Here's a shout-out to the dancers and musicians of The Bipeds who are not mentioned by name in this article. …

by The Bipeds on Dance Review: The Many Moving Parts of The Bipeds' 54 Strange Words Don't Always Perfectly Mesh. But When They Do, It's Spectacular. (Arts)

You probably want to refrain from using ableist language.

by vidvis on ADF Review: Pilobolus's Crowd-Pleasing Dance Is Apolitical. Unfortunately, the World It Inhabits Is Not. (Arts)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation