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 Post subject: DanceNow/NYC Fall 2003
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2003 7:08 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2002 11:01 pm
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Yahoo -

Dance Festival Opens in New York City
Mon Sep 8, 2:51 PM ET

By CLAUDIA LA ROCCO, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK - As veteran choreographer and dancer Myrna Packer of Bridgman/Packer Dance moved slowly across the Joyce SoHo stage, a video projected multiple images of her onto a large screen, forming a shifting kaleidoscope of dance.

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 Post subject: Re: DanceNow/NYC Fall 2003
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2003 7:52 am 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Quote:
In Close Quarters, a Smart Preview of the Fall Dance Season

Tobi Tobias
Village Voice

Dancenow/NYC—designed to get more people to see more dance—inaugurated its ninth annual fall festival with a cabaret in Joe's Pub, the dark, crowded watering hole of the Public Theater. <a href=http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0337/footnotes.php target=_blank>more</a>


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 Post subject: Re: DanceNow/NYC Fall 2003
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 1:34 pm 
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Dancenow/NYC Fall Festival
Base Camp Series at Joyce SoHo
September 9, 2003

New York’s Dancenow Festival consists of several showcase performances at various venues around the city. If Tuesday night’s concert at Joyce SoHo was any indication of the overall 10-day presentation, the Dancenow Festival could use some dance. Now.

Not that dance was nonexistent, but surprisingly, it played similar secondary or ineffective roles in most of the seven pieces on the bill. Whether suffocating in gimmicky bells and whistles, stuck in textbook technique class choreography, or relying on pantomime and facial expressions to expound on one simple idea or stereotypical character, these choreographers allowed certain creative tactics to get in the way of their true expression. Watching these solos, duets, and trios was like looking at those weird 3-D pictures; you know the hidden image is there, you can even get a sense of what it is, but unless you’re able to look through the external patterns, it will never pop out at you. The sad difference is that in the pictures, that which is flat appears to have dimension, while dance, which is fundamentally a three dimensional art form, becomes flat and stagnant when artists’ talent, originality, and authenticity are buried under commonplace patterns.

Choreographers Jo-Anne Lee and Eleanor Bauer are yet two more New York artists who seem to have fallen prey to the “kitsch is cool” mentality. The tongue-in-cheek humor and cartoon-ish character portrayals in their trios were like cheap knock-offs of Tere O’Connor’s popular work. The flight attendant characters in Bauer’s "From Byzantium to Brasilia, With Love" found some nice moments of interaction during an interesting segment of floor work, but the elements did not gel as a whole. Mimicking gestures made during a flight instruction speech or acting out lyrics to the accompanying Brazilian music called for more performance skills than these dancers had to offer. And why Brazilian music? Joao Gilberto’s been on every lounge CD released lately, so he must be hip, right?

Jessi Scopp probably has wonderful facility as a dancer. Unfortunately, the solo she performed, choreographed by Sharon Estacio, was upstaged by the props of her woeful waitress character. Chris Isaak sets the tone for her to stagger around with some dollar bills, kick and turn, stagger around again with some empty beer cans, kick and turn again, and collapse in a lawn chair. Would you like "Toast With That?"

"Suserrer" and "Crushed Velvet" looked like transplants from a college undergraduate concert. Maybe they were - the former was choreographed by Pippa Frame four years ago and reworked this year, according to the program. The latter did exhibit some movement patterns not directly extrapolated from technique class, but the voiceover of dramatic memoir text gave whatever happened a juvenile quality. It was performed by Daniela Hoff and Sarah Lewis and choreographed by Christina Briggs and Edward Winslow for Incidents Physical Theater.

The most comprehensive piece of the evening was "Subtext," a solo for a dancer in a white ballet costume and mask, suspended from a rope, and lit by a blacklight. Although choreographed by Elise Knudson, it could have been Tim Burton’s version of a ballerina inside a child’s jewelry box once the lid’s been closed. On another level, looking at the external set elements as providing subtext for the movement within (swinging and turning from the rope, tipping upside down, broken leg extensions), this could also be read from a metacritical perspective. One could take this as literal manifestation of the original idea of concert ballet: elevate women to make them seem mystical and fantastical. Indeed, the dancer’s costume made it look like she was on pointe, the rope implied that her elevated state was beyond her control, the mask hid her true expression, and the blacklight just made it eerie.

ZviDance was featured as the concert’s finale. Choreographer Zvi Gotheiner presented solo and duet excerpts of his "Interiors" danced by Brian McGinnis and Roger C. Jeffrey, Mucuy Bolles, and Ying-Ying Shiau and Todd Allen.

-Jenai Cutcher


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 Post subject: Re: DanceNow/NYC Fall 2003
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 11:08 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Wow. Thanks for this review, Jenai. It appears to be rather comprehensive given the number of works on the program.

Sadly, I have begun to notice some of the "kitsch is cool" mentality on the West Coast as well. I am sad because pure dance itself seems to have been forgoten. But then again I am a champion for things new -- so I guess I would like for choreographers to experiment but not of course when they forget about the dance and not when they copy ideas from each other.

<small>[ 19 September 2003, 01:22 AM: Message edited by: Azlan ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: DanceNow/NYC Fall 2003
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 12:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Quote:
A Local Potluck Festival Served Up in Many Courses
Dancenow/NYC
Joyce SoHo


Jennifer Dunning
NY Times

Dancenow/NYC has become the dance equivalent of New York's International Fringe Festival, spreading out to performance spaces throughout Manhattan in its nine years and providing visibility to a widening array of styles and degrees of experience. <a href=http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/19/arts/dance/19MUSI.html target=_blank>more</a>


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 Post subject: Re: DanceNow/NYC Fall 2003
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2003 9:14 pm 
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Location: San Francisco, CA
A review from Holly Messitt:
Quote:
Dancenow/NYC
Program One: Feature: Johannes Wieland, also with Edmund Christopher Melville, Ariel Osterweis, Mayuna Shimizu/Blue Muse Dance, Laura Peterson, Marronprater dance and music co., Gabrielle Lansner & Company, Nicole Berger and Dancers.
Program Two: Feature: Wil Swanson/Danceworks, also with Imago Dance Theater, Daniel Clifton, Torque Dance, Lisa Gonzales, Elizabeth Haselwood, Angharad Davies, Anita Cheng.
by Holly Messitt
September 12, 2003, Joyce Soho, New York
Each year, Dancenow/NYC, now in its ninth season, presents an opportunity for emerging and mid-career artists to present their work in a large, sprawling festival. This year, in ten days, the festival presented over 160 works. It’s exciting it is to see so many good dancers and so many interesting ideas presented one after the other. In two separate, eclectic shows last Friday night at Joyce Soho Dancenow/NYC presented new and emerging faces that confirmed that dance is still alive and well in New York.
The two featured pieces of the evening, Johannes Wieland and Wil Swanson (each in a separate show – those who wanted to stay after the first show had to walk outside and reenter with a new ticket for the second show) represented two opposing temperaments. The eight dancers in Wieland’s “Vertical” were isolated from each other. Their touch was always efficient, never intimate. Even though they began the piece by piling and wrapping around each other to form two different human sculptures, they remained separated individually throughout the piece. When they danced, their movement was efficient and sharp. The dancers averted their eyes, never looking at each other or the audience. Over and over a pair appeared as if they would embrace, but the embrace always halted mid-air and hung there without the bodies ever touching.
Wil Swanson created a very different world in “Cubic Legroom.” These dancers in diverse gold-hued costumes glittered as if they were dressed for clubbing. They smiled and winked at each other as they passed on stage. While most dancers paired off in the middle of the stage, if one decided to become a wallflower, the others would pull the person back into the group. As opposed to Wieland’s efficient touch, these dancers rarely stopped touching each other. One move used a taught grip as pairs of dancers pulled on each other’s weight in a centrifugal spin.
The other pieces during evening captured a wide diversity in mood and concern. “Eyes so White” with choreography and musical composition from Elizabeth Haselwood was a haunting round robin sing-song featuring Claire Benton, Haselwood, and Eileen Stevens. The slow swinging pendulum movement of the women’s bodies captured the mournful quality of their voices.
In “Beyond the Rain” from Edmund Christopher Melville we witnessed two stylish women, Dale Flemming and Ami Iapo, prance on stage in high heels, business suits and accessories, who then immediately stripped down to their underwear. Their discarded purses and shoes split the stage in half while their blazers and skirts served to frame their dancing from the front. Each woman moved back and forth on her side of the stage, sometimes moving like a model on a runway, other times borrowing moves from pilates and kickboxing. They were women on view, competing with each other for attention and admiration.
Also exploring the gaze was Ariel Osterweis in “Optical.” As she moved back and forth in front of a small round standing mirror, she controlled her movement as she gazed into the mirror. Only when she let her eyes drop from the mirror did she release the control and let her body move freely.
Many of the other pieces that evening mixed storytelling and dance. One of the cleverest pieces in this vein was “Almost Blue” from Daniel Clifton, told in a Smokey Mountain twang. He first appeared on stage in a gray oxford shirt and gray corduroys and told a story about falling in love with his girlfriend Violet as they both sat on top of his El Camino. As he striped off his shirt and put his hair back into barrettes, he pulled up a Violet dress and switched into a story about his best friend Gray. Once he laid the gray outfit on one side of the stage and the violet dress on the other side of the stage, we realized that the real story was of a young man split between his feminine side, Violet, and his masculine side, Gray. He was almost blue.
An emotionally touching and quirky piece came from Bethany Prater and James Marron. He played an acoustic guitar while sitting on a revolving stool and using his feet to push himself and Prater, perched on top of his shoulders, around. Slowly she wound her way down his body. In the process, Marron never stopped playing but always accommodated her movement, at times using the guitar as a pillow for her head and other times turning the guitar upside down so as to keep it out of her path.
Other interesting pieces included “Tiger Lily Suite” excerpted from Frankie’s Wedding, from Gabrielle Lansner & Company that used movement and text to relate the pain felt by Frankie, an outcast in a small southern community and considered a freak because of her unusual tallness. Throughout most of the piece the stage was visually cut in two, with Frankie, her mother, and her brother cast off to the side of the stage while two town girls repeated the town gossip about Frankie. In “Guest,” a minimalist piece by Anita Cheng Dance, Meg Harper danced against an almost bare stage. The only backdrop for her was a series of quickly flashed black and white sketches of household items, including a chair, table, and coffee cup. These images emphasized the empty space surrounding both the images and the dancer.


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