Icons Night

“Icons Night” presented by Paul Taylor American Modern Dance featuring Trisha Brown and Isadora Duncan. What a wonderful evening!!!

“Esplanade” by the Paul Taylor Dance Company was absolutely stunning.

I’ve seen the piece before, but watching it from first row orchestra was a completely different experience. It was incredible to see the facial expressions on the dancers, and to be only feet away from the the amazing actions.

In the opening scene, with much energy and spirit, eight dancers ran in circles, skipped, rolled, flew across the stage, and weaved in and out of intricate patterns. I love not just the exuberance of the individual dancers but also the connection between them, as they created the most happy and uplifting experience on stage… a celebration… a festival… devoted to the joy of dance.

Michelle Fleet opened (and later closed) the choreography. Overflowing with positive energy, her body language said to the audience: Don’t you blink and miss a single moment!!! With a big smile and much warmth, Eran Bugge welcomed the audience, invited us to join the celebration, and experience the joy of dance together with the dancers. The mood on stage eventually changed, and Heather McGinley brought intense emotions into the piece.

Saving the best for the last, the final scene of Esplanade was a non-stop sequence of stunning movements, aerials, runs followed by slides across half of the stage, spectacular leaps and sensational mid-air catches.

The most incredible thing about the closing sequence (and why I looooove this company) is that all the movements were initiated from the center of the body. The dancers fell into the movements as if pulled by gravity. Unlike ballet, where dancers fight gravity in order to stay balanced, stand tall, and take off from the ground, here the Paul Taylor dancers “simply” let gravity take over. Their movements looked remarkably natural. Yet, as they were pulled off balanced, they gained so much momentum that they were able to zoom across the stage, propel themselves into the air, throw themselves onto the ground, into each other, and bounce right back… and not hurt themselves!

As I watched “Set and Reset” by Trisha Brown for a second time tonight, the choreography grew on me. I still loved the overall feel of the piece: fluid, dynamic, organic. Being able to see the dancers’ expressions, how they relate to one another, made me appreciate the piece so much more. The beauty of the piece, much of it in the subtle details of how the dancers interacted rather than the overall patterns, came pouring out tonight. Bravos to the Trisha Brown Dance Company for a lovely performance!!

Happy National Dance Day

Happy national dance day! Hope you are all having a great dance-filled day. The Isadora Duncan Dance Company is performing at Alice Austen House this evening, if you’re out by Staten Island or simply want to enjoy a lovely dance performance by the ocean before sunset!

Dancers: Lori Belilove and the Isadora Duncan Dance Company
Photography: Jason Chuang


The Art of Isadora

Congratulations to Isadora Duncan Dance Company for a wonderful performance and a sold-out house at the Joyce Theater tonight.

Two years ago, when I first arrived in New York City, I received my very first dance class from former Duncan Dance company member Morgana Mellett. I loved the naturalness of the Duncan movements, the connection to the body, and the music. Morgana encouraged me to sign up for their week-long summer workshop, which I did and then repeated again for a second week.

Looking back, I couldn’t have wished for a better start to my dance experience in New York City. Duncan merged so many of my favorite dance elements. Vintage steps such as the mazurka, the gallop, and the polka. The influence of ballet. The emphasis on natural movements and expressiveness, which I enjoy so much in contemporary lyrical.

Seeing Duncan Dance on stage tonight at the Joyce Theater, in a way, is completing the circle for me. To see where it all began. To understand how I fell in love. To re-live the wonderful experiences that inspired me then… and still captivate me now.

Emily D’Angelo: I’ve seen you beautifully dance Greeting, Lullabye, and Flames of the Heart before, but you were more loving and more fierce tonight than ever. Bravos!

Nikki Poulos: You’ve grown so much! Love the way you opened the Furies.

Faith Kimberling: Love your musicality!

Hayley Brasher: I’ve mostly heard about you from others, except for the brief moment seeing you outside the theater tonight. Love your energy and radiance. Great job!

Of course, guest star Sara Mearns of NYCB Ballet is absolutely beautiful, and Lori Belilove as always, is full of the true Duncan spirit. Thank you for the incredible show and a wonderful evening!

Isadora Duncan

José Limón considers Isadora Duncan as his “dance mother”. Here’s a throwback to the Isadora Duncan Dance Company dancing outdoors at Fort Tryon Park.

The Duncan Dance Company will be performing at the Joyce Theater on June 19th. More information at Isadora Duncan Dance Company. Experience the lively, beautiful, and natural movements of Isadora Duncan. Come see the show with me!!!

Dancers: Lori Belilove and the Isadora Duncan Dance Company
Photographer: Jason Chuang