ADF | Arts | Indy Week
Arts
INDY Week's arts blog

Archives | RSS | Follow on

ADF

Monday, July 9, 2018

ADF Review: In an Era of Tested Faith, the Buoyancy of Rosie Herrera's Belief Might Just See Us Through

Posted By on Mon, Jul 9, 2018 at 1:51 PM

Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre: Make Believe ★★★★ Friday, Jul. 6 & Saturday, Jul. 7 Reynolds Industries Theater, Durham Choreographer Rosie Herrera still has the power to astonish us. If she retains her usual ability to effectively edit her own work, then Make Believe, which had its world premiere Friday night at the American Dance Festival, will become one of her most notable achievements. In a post-performance conversation, Herrera candidly admitted that the company had still been at work on the piece just before its premiere, and that significant edits remained in store before its second iteration Saturday night. That...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Monday, July 2, 2018

ADF Review: Anne Plamondon Portrays Her Childhood Experience of Her Father's Schizophrenia with Skill, Intelligence, and Genuine Vulnerability

Posted By on Mon, Jul 2, 2018 at 8:33 AM

Anne Plamondon ★★★★ Saturday, Jun. 30 & Sunday, Jul. 1 Von der Heyden Studio Theater, Durham “I was scared,” Anne Plamondon says during her solo show, The Same Eyes as Yours, about visiting her father in a mental hospital when she was a small child. And that’s all I could think about during the piece: how afraid and angry she must’ve been to have had a father with schizophrenia who never recovered. This is a testament to her skill as a choreographer and performer. Plamondon was able to create that world for the audience, displaying a sense of the...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

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

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...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Monday, June 25, 2018

ADF Review: Pilobolus's Crowd-Pleasing Dance Is Apolitical. Unfortunately, the World It Inhabits Is Not.

Posted By on Mon, Jun 25, 2018 at 12:32 PM

Pilobolus ★½ Thursday, Jun. 21 & Friday, Jun. 22 Durham Performing Arts Center, Durham Pilobolus exempts itself from politics. The dance company wants you to escape the real world and have a good time for a couple of hours. It wants to give you a handful of chuckles and elicit some oohs and aahs in return. It operates in two distinct modes: hamming it up—exaggeratedly acting like animals, pantomiming to sound effects—or smoothing it out, showing off physical strength and skill at counterbalancing human bodies in muscular poses, lifts, and spins. That’s enough to send most people home impressed...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Friday, June 22, 2018

ADF Review: Shen Wei, Samuel Beckett, and Morton Feldman Meet in the Bardo in Neither

Posted By on Fri, Jun 22, 2018 at 9:58 AM

Shen Wei Dance Arts: Neither★★★★½ Saturday, June 16 & Sunday, June 17 Durham Performing Arts Center, Durham In retrospect, it was obvious. If grim Samuel Beckett, indeterminate composer Morton Feldman, and choreographer Shen Wei were going to meet anywhere, it was going to be in the bardo, that liminal space between lives contemplated in the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Shen’s interpretation of Neither, the disquieting 1977 “opera” Feldman composed to Beckett’s skeletal eighty-seven-word libretto, seems to document transactions in that Buddhist analog of purgatory, a disorienting place of reckoning and transformation where souls work out their next incarnation....

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Friday, June 15, 2018

ADF Review: Dayton Contemporary Dance Company Offers a Muscular, Political, Restless Evening of Virtuosic Dance

Posted By on Fri, Jun 15, 2018 at 4:49 PM

Dayton Contemporary Dance Company ★★★★½ Through Saturday, June 16 Reynolds Industries Theater, Durham We are watching. We have been preparing. And we are ready for whatever you can throw at us. That’s the message that Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, which is devoted to the work and performance of artists of color, delivered with an inspiring program to open the 2018 American Dance Festival. Muscular, political, and restless, the evening (which repeats tonight and also has a children's matinee tomorrow) combines old and new work and features the world premiere of Indestructible, choreographed by Abby Zbikowski. The program opens with...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Friday, March 16, 2018

Celebrating its Eighty-Fifth Anniversary, American Dance Festival Presents More Than Fifty Performances this Season

Posted By on Fri, Mar 16, 2018 at 8:38 AM

The American Dance Festival recently unveiled the schedule for its eighty-fifth anniversary, which features fifty-three performances across seven Durham venues from June 14 through July 21. This year, women choreographers take center stage in two featured programs: Wondrous Women, with solo performances by Michelle Dorrance and Rhapsody James, and Footprints, a concert featuring work by Dafi Altabeb, Jillian Pena, and Abby Zbikowski. Another highlight of the festival: ADF and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University will cohost Places Please!, a show that takes the audience behind the scenes to experience the frenetic and turbulent moments before a performance....

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

ADF Review: Dance Is an Expression of Its Era in the ADF-Commissioned Footprints

Posted By on Wed, Jul 26, 2017 at 4:19 PM

Footprints ★★★½ Tuesday, July 25 & Wednesday, July 26, 8 p.m. Reynolds Industries Theater, Durham In many ways, last night's Footprints program was classic ADF. Packed with an uber-stylish crowd consisting largely of young dancers, Reynolds Theater trilled with excitement when legendary choreographer Bill T. Jones stood up from his seat and gave an artsy wave to the crowd. And when Lucinda Childs, who received the Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award that night, mentioned that she’d once been a student at ADF, a hushed flurry ran through the hall. There was a feeling of community, of coming together in a timeless...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

ADF Review: Life in a Perpetual State of War in Yossi Berg and Oded Graf Dance Theatre’s Come Jump with Me

Posted By on Tue, Jul 11, 2017 at 1:10 PM

Yossi Berg and Oded Graf Dance Theatre: Come Jump with Me ★★★ Monday, July 10–Wednesday, July 12, 7 p.m. Nasher Museum of Art, Durham By the end of Yossi Berg and Oded Graf’s Come Jump with Me, the performance space at Duke’s Nasher Museum of Art is littered with spent props, giving it the air of a site where some kind of hard living—an acid trip, a raging party, or maybe a war—has recently taken place. And in a way, it has. Over the course of an hour, performers Berg and Olivia Court Mesa have moved through an incredible range...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Friday, July 7, 2017

ADF Review: Pilobolus's Enigmatic Echo in the Valley Portrays a Murder Mystery in Reverse in a Kentucky Cave—Maybe

Posted By on Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 12:42 PM

Pilobolus★★★ Friday, June 30 & Saturday, July 1 Durham Performing Arts Center, Durham Pilobolus Dance Theater has visited many worlds in forty-six years of producing some of the most accessible works in modern dance. In its latest collaborative work, Echo in the Valley, which premiered at the American Dance Festival last Friday, the veritable first family of the banjo, Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, guided choreographers Renée Jaworski and Matt Kent into the Appalachian dark. Choreographers have visited these hills before. Decades after Martha Graham’s improbably bucolic Appalachian Spring, Doug Varone choreographed The Bottomland to a suite of Patty Loveless...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Thursday, July 6, 2017

ADF Review: In Beth Gill's Brand New Sidewalk, Clothes Become Otherworldly Architecture

Posted By on Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 5:26 PM

Beth Gill: Brand New Sidewalk ★★★ Wednesday, June 28 Reynolds Industries Theater, Durham Beth Gill creates choreographic moments that slip away from easy categorization. She’s known for minimalist structures that foreground form; her dances resemble moving sculptures. She won a prestigious Bessie Award for her 2011 work, Electric Midwife, a piece performed by two trios of women who mirror one another’s movements, creating a symmetrical image. Gill's ADF-commissioned Brand New Sidewalk also plays with threes. The triptych begins with Danielle Goldman, alone onstage and seriously bundled. The dance proceeds as Goldman gradually removes layers of wintry clothing. (Frequent collaborator Baille...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

ADF Preview: An Oral History of the Early AIDS Crisis Becomes Dance in Sean Dorsey's The Missing Generation

Posted By on Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 11:54 AM

Sean Dorsey Dance: The Missing Generation Wednesday, July 5 & Thursday, July 6, 8 p.m., $10–$27 Reynolds Industries Theater, Durham What drives someone to devote well over a thousand hours of research, editing, and rehearsal to a single dance? For trans choreographer Sean Dorsey, who makes his American Dance Festival debut this week with The Missing Generation, part of it was the realization of how much even he, a longtime activist and a self-avowed “history nerd”, didn’t know about the time when the LGBTQ community faced its most existential threat. Dorsey had based an earlier dance, Lou, on the diaries...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Friday, June 30, 2017

ADF Review: Queering Objects and Decoding the Body in Cherdonna's Clock that Mug or Dusted

Posted By on Fri, Jun 30, 2017 at 4:41 PM

Cherdonna: Clock that Mug or Dusted ★★★ Monday, June 26 Living Arts Collective, Durham One statement recurred throughout Cherdonna Shinatra’s Clock that Mug or Dusted: “I’m not trying to be mean.” Early on, Cherdonna, the femme drag alias of Seattle-based performer Jody Kuehner, sweetly plied the audience with it. At the end, she was screaming it, having violently smashed a larger-than-life-size doll and bashed its face with the spike of a high heel. What happened in between? You could interpret the piece along a rough narrative arc. But Cherdonna’s world, presented within a bounded square in the Living Arts Collective, gets...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

ADF Review: Bill Young and Colleen Thomas & Co.'s Interleaving Is a Book We Want to Read Again and Again

Posted By on Tue, Jun 27, 2017 at 2:21 PM

Bill Young/Colleen Thomas & Co.: Interleaving | ★★★★ Natalie Marrone & The Dance Cure: Thresh | ★★ ½ Saturday, June 24 Reynolds Industries Theater, Durham A dance can look like a book, but it doesn’t have to. Dances proceed from their own artistic logics and create their own forms. To “read” a dance like a written text—to equate their material forms in a single interpretive approach—risks flattening embodied gestures to glyphs. But some of the most interesting movement-based work borrows from neighboring genres, incorporating other idioms in its technical foundation and playing with disciplinary categories. Bill Young’s Interleaving is one...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Friday, June 16, 2017

ADF Review: Hillel Kogan's We Love Arabs Lags Behind a Cultural Conversation Already Well Underway in Our Region's Performing Arts Scene

Posted By on Fri, Jun 16, 2017 at 4:48 PM

Hillel Kogan: We Love Arabs ★★★ ½ Through Saturday, June 17 Reynolds Industries Theater, Durham Perhaps it’s a matter of timing, but it’s hard not to consider Hillel Kogan’s dance-theater farce, We Love Arabs, as something of a step backward in the region’s performing-arts conversation about the presence of Arab people, their cultures, and their concerns. The American Dance Festival presented the work earlier this week at the Cary Theater before tonight and Saturday’s performances in Reynolds Industries Theater. It appears here at the conclusion of Carolina Performing Arts’ probing "Sacred/Secular," a yearlong exploration of Arab cultures around the world, which...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Dance Review: John Jasperse Somehow Stops Time While Moving It Forward in Remains

Posted By on Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 2:42 PM

John Jasperse Projects: Remains ★★★★ Wednesday, July 6, 2016 Reynolds Industries Theater, Durham When the curtain rises—only slightly—on John Jasperse Projects’ Remains, dancer Maggie Cloud is prostrate on the stage, her limbs arranged like a classical Greek statue. Later she will return to a similar position, albeit shifted downstage, in an embrace with dancer Claire Westby. This reprisal of the work’s opening image seems, suddenly, like an ending, but it's a tease—the picture would be too perfectly circular. Cloud exits the scene, leaving Westby with her legs suspended in the air. Westby gets up and the dance goes on....

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dance review: This American Life meets dance-theater in a worthy experiment at ADF

Posted By on Thu, Jul 23, 2015 at 11:57 AM

Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host Durham Performing Arts Center, Durham Saturday, July 18 As the lights dim at DPAC, the disembodied voices of radio host Ira Glass and choreographer Monica Bill Barnes ponder how to begin: with an idea or with movement? “Perhaps the idea is movement,” Glass suggests. The lights come back up on a miniature proscenium arch with a tiny red curtain and flashing lights. Barnes and dancer Anna Bass enter through the stage within a stage, beginning a jazzy dance routine to the sound of recorded applause. Though Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

ADF Journal: Searching for dance amid all the dance-theater

Posted By on Wed, Jul 22, 2015 at 9:07 AM

As the American Dance Festival nears its end, you feel as though you’ve been running a marathon. But when you stop to catch your breath, you realize this year’s festival has been a substantial look at the current dance scene, with few disappointments. One exception was Dynamic Duos (Reynolds Theater, July 1). Its four duets seemed too academic, and dance took a secondary role to theater—something that has been true of much of the festival. It makes you wonder whether dance in its purest form can survive. The funkiest offering so far was Awkward Magic (June 30, Motorco Music Hall),...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Dance review: The articulate passion of Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca's Antigona

Posted By on Thu, Jul 2, 2015 at 2:47 PM

Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca Durham Performing Arts Center Saturday, June 27 The Spanish colloquialism tener duende means to have a certain magic; to have soul. But these are just words doing their best to capture what the body can say in a single step or look. Soledad Barrio, star of Noche Flamenca’s Antigona, has duende—so much of it that it’s difficult to tear your eyes from her. In front of an American Dance Festival crowd at DPAC, Barrio’s steps escaped uncensored from her heart—from the eye of the storm.  Barrio plays the title role in this production, directed by...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

ADF Journal: Worlds collide in shows by Pilobolus, BODYTRAFFIC, Heidi Latsky Dance and N.C. choreographers

Posted By on Wed, Jul 1, 2015 at 11:18 AM

The American Dance Festival is in full swing, with performances across Durham, outdoor yoga on Duke’s East Campus, young students riding the psychedelic ADF bus and audience members showing the festival spirit. At the Pilobolus performance at DPAC on June 19, I spotted one man with a shaved head in a beautiful, flowing, flowered skirt and combat boots, and another dressed in a Hawaiian shirt with binoculars held to his eyes. You’d have thought it was a rock concert. This was appropriate, as an emerging theme of the festival is how other worlds, such as film, video and television—the virtual...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

ADF Journal: A look back at Shen Wei's "delicious" American Dance Festival opening

Posted By on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 10:05 AM

Shen Wei Dance Arts Thursday, June 11 Durham Performing Arts Center In this case, we're not talking about food or sex when we say “delicious.” We're describing the dance works of Chinese-born choreographer Shen Wei. He presented Untitled No. 12-2 and the reconstructed Map for the kick-off of the American Dance Festival on Thursday, June 11, at the Durham Performing Arts Center, and both works were not only highly pleasing to the senses but also delightful. This deliciousness is why the choreographer and painter has risen to such heights: Shen Wei Dance Arts has garnered enough awards to impress even the...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Thursday, March 19, 2015

American Dance Festival's 2015 season: Familiar faces and a few big surprises (Ira Glass?)

Posted By on Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 3:28 PM

Some new names, but mostly new combinations of familiar ones: That’s the quick take on the American Dance Festival’s 2015 season, which was announced Tuesday. The season is dedicated to African American Dance Ensemble founder Chuck Davis, an ADF institution, with a ceremony at the Durham Performing Arts Center June 11. At the same time, another ADF fixture goes missing this summer: For the first time since 2002, ADF will not confer its Samuel H. Scripps award for Lifetime Achievement in Choreography (or its $50,000 honorarium, one of if not the largest in modern dance) to anyone, for reasons not...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

American Dance Festival 2014: The Takeaway

Posted By on Wed, Jul 30, 2014 at 4:27 PM

AMERICAN DANCE FESTIVAL June 12-July 26 americandancefestival.org In a good year, the American Dance Festival changes at least some part of our thinking about modern and contemporary dance. That’s a tall—and standing—order, each season: to find and present artists whose works are exploring and redefining the boundaries of the art form, as well as the masters who have brought us to this point. The takeaway from 2014? Mission largely accomplished. After Emanuel Gat’s recent work seemed a sociological experiment in overcrowding set to specific protocols, the choreographer announced a potentially significant divorce following the perplexing world premiere of Ida? with...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dance reviews: Tere O’Connor at the American Dance Festival

Posted By on Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 10:34 AM

As the lights came up at the American Dance Festival on July 16, we encountered a slight woman in a green dress. She fluidly walked subtle floor patterns, her hips punctuating spatial shifts. This was the opening statement of Tere O’Connor’s BLEED. For those who’d attended ADF performances that week of the choreographer’s other three works, Sister, Secret Mary and poem, this woman’s presence was infused with a spark of recognition. Every cast member of BLEED had performed in at least one of the prior programs, so that with each new arrival on stage, there was a ping of familiarity. This sense of...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Exclusive video preview: Renay Aumiller’s Acquiring Dawn at the American Dance Festival

Posted By on Wed, Jun 18, 2014 at 4:59 PM

The American Dance Festival brings choreographers and dancers from all over the world to Durham (see our preview), but tonight at Reynolds Theater, it turns our attention to North Carolina natives in “Here and Now: NC Dances.”  A co-presentation with the NC Dance Festival, “Here and Now” features the work of four choreographers and companies: Renay Aumiller Dances, Gaspard & Dancers, Diego Carrasco Schoch and Leah Wilks’ Vector. Today, the INDY visited Aumiller’s tech rehearsal to create this exclusive video preview of Acquiring Dawn, which was inspired by Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road and finds beauty in a post-apocalyptic setting. “Here and Now: NC Dances” is at 7...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Calendar



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

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)

I love stories like this.

by JoeJoey on A Villain Burglarized All Three Ultimate Comics Stores Last Night (Arts)

Mr. Woods must have seen a very different production than the one I saw or perhaps he was having an …

by Amy Ginsburg on Theater Review: Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater's Songs Can't Quite Shine Through a Patchy Production of Spring Awakening (Arts)

Sure he could have said more. But his answers, while terse, were responsive to the questions. And I've done a …

by Donald Tepper on A somewhat less than intimate interview with David Copperfield (Arts)

Comments

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