DL/NY Broadway Choreography Intensive

I had the most amazing time watching the Dance Lab New York Broadway Choreography Intensive showcase this afternoon.

As I’ve written previously, I love the mission of the Dance Lab and its focus — not just on dance or musical theatre but on the art form of choreography itself.

The 14 choreographers in this year’s summer intensive each presented a piece of work centered on one of five themes: storytelling, staging, relationships, opposition, or props. The showcase is as much about the process of choreography as it is about the final presentation. After each piece, the choreographers received feedback, and we — the audience — get to see how they refine, experiment with, and iterate on a piece of choreography.

Some of my favorite moments:

Sam Lobel‘s work in opposition. I love the initial scene, where Sam set up the characters, their motives, and the entire world around them within 10 seconds — with a few well-placed gestures and a simple pen drop. A couple was setting another couple up for a blind date. The choreo then went on to simultaneously explore the bond within each couple and the tension between the couples. #samlobelchoreography

p.s. I also enjoyed watching Sam and Josh Prince experiment with the choreography to shift the focus from one couple to the interplay between the couples.

Julia Kane‘s work in storytelling. She was given Hansel and Gretel as the story. I love how her choreography has a great range of tempo — that speeds up and slows down to emphasize key moments in the story, and to keep the audience engaged. I like how she experimented with an imaginary witch. More generally, I love her signature free-flowing expansive jazz-style movements.

p.s. Check out Julia’s presentation of Cultivated Chaos next weekend! More info at Julia Kane Dance Collective #JKDChaos #CultivatedChaos

Katherine McClintic‘s work in relationships. I love Katherine’s story of the oppressed workers vs. the free spirit. I love her movement style; her use of the six dancers as a group to create repetitions and draw sharp contrasts; the initial scene; the buildup of tension; and the grand finale where she left the audience with a sense of great loss — all of which took place in the span of just a single song. Wow!
p.s. I also enjoyed watching Katherine and Josh explore alternate endings. With simple arm movements, the tone shifted from sadness, to abandonment, to loss.
p.p.s. Bravos to Julia Kane for her lovely dancing as the free spirit!
p.p.p.s. This piece reminded me of one of my favorite choreographies of all time, “The Word” by Paul Taylor.
Rachel Goldman‘s work in relationships. I love the clarity of her storytelling. In a single song and without any words or props, Rachel told the entire life story of a woman who quietly falls in love with a man, except the man is in love with and about to marry the woman’s own sister. I love the layers of emotions, the depth of the characters, and most importantly how Rachel made the characters believable and relatable to the audience.
Finally, Lauren Cunningham’s work in staging. I especially like her portrayal of the three ex-girlfriends as robots, and her giving them distinct movement vocabulary to showcase their emotions, anger, and madness. Great job!
One more memorable moment: Josh asking the choreographers how they would respond if a “difficult” and presumably famous actress refuses follow the choreography?!

Freddie Falls in Love (again)

Had to go back and see this show again. Such beautiful dancing!

(Spoiler alert below)

I think Freddie is actually my favorite character! I love her upbeat personality, the constant smile on her face, and of course her dance moves.

Freddie Falls in Love

Freddie Falls in Love is amazing!!!

Go see this wonderful dance play, at the Joyce Theater through Sunday, August 4th.

I’ve seen abstract dance theatre before, but I love how this dance play tells a specific story. The storytelling, done without a spoken word, is brilliant. We feel every emotion on stage, including the major plot twist at the end. The narrative aside, the dancing by the entire cast is absolutely gorgeous too!

Gold by Nick Palmquist

“You better be you. Do what you can do.”

What an exhilarating experience dancing with Nick Palmquist. Thank you for teaching us how to fly… for encouraging us to be ourselves, to embrace our own differences, to feel vulnerable in our dancing… and that it’s OK being exactly ourselves because we all have a place in this world.

Choreography: Nick Palmquiest
Music: Gold from Once The Musical
Video: Jacob Hiss

Dance Lab Spring Gala

Dance Lab NY is an organization devoted to the development of the art form of choreography. It was amazing to learn about their workshops and mentoring programs, and see what the choreographers and dancers accomplished!


Had a blast seeing all the great work and talented dancers at DanceBreak yesterday.

Each of the six choreographers were tasked with creating two musical numbers, with no more than 10 dancers and in under 12 hours of rehearsal times. It’s incredible to see what they were able to accomplish.

Some of my favorites…

“I’ve just seen a face” by Paul McGill. Love the cloudy dreamy feel of the piece that’s filled with technical movements and lifts.

“You can call me Al” also by Paul McGill.

“Buenos Aires” by Avihai Haham is filled with energy.

“And so it begins” by Stacey Tookey about the auditioning. As Stacey describes it, you go through every audition three times: On the way there, at the audience, and on the way back.

“Run” by Marc Kimelman about belonging and connecting.


Absolutely love love love “Medusa” by Jasmin Vardimon Company tonight. Two more performances at Sadler’s Wells through Wednesday. Go see the show!!!

I was blown away by the company’s production of “Pinocchio” last year. I’ve been both excited yet nervous about tonight. Will the new work bring the same level of creativity, intensity, playfulness, and stunning technical execution as last year — especially when the new creation is an abstract concept?

Medusa surpassed Pinocchio at every level.

I interpreted the show as centering around men’s desire for power, control, and exploitation — over women, over the environment, and even over mythical creations — and the resulting damage. The piece is dark and emotional, speaks to current events, and challenges the audience to think twice about the complex, unspoken, or forgotten root cause of the societal issues today.

Thank you, Jasmin and the dancers Jasmine Orr, Olga Clavel, Patricia Hastewell Puig, André Rebelo, Lucija Božičević, Silke Muys, Kieran Shannon, Joshua Smith, for giving us an absolutely incredible experience tonight.

Memorable scenes.

“The Housewife” and how men assert psychological, emotional, physical control over women. The girl on stage is a pretty inanimate doll to be dressed up, to be accessorized for men, to be waltzed (and tossed) around by men, until she is eventually transformed into a housewife. Even in her adult form, her body is still owned by men — who extended their arms, reached inside of her vagina as they pleased, and ripped the fetus right out of her as they wished. In the background of the housewife scene are two young women out and about — trying to enjoy a day at the beach while wearing a gas mask to survive.

During the post-show chat, Jasmin explained that most people remember only the ending of the Greek mythology where Medusa is a terrifying monster. However, she was not born that way. Medusa was once a beautiful maiden, but was raped by the God of the Sea in Athena’s Temple. Her later form came from her anger and her rage, yet the early part of her story is often omitted or even forgotten.


MOMIX is playing at the Joyce Theater through August 11. Don’t this group of incredible visual artists!!!

Here are some of my favorites from last Wednesday.

Aqua Flora — A gorgeous solo where the dancer spins nonstop throughout the entire choreography, creating beautiful visual illusions with the thousands of beads hanging off her neck.

Tuu — A stunning duet that’s aesthetically beautiful but also requires the strength of steel to perform, or at least more core strength than I ever thought was possible.

Dream Catcher — A unique acrobatic choreography unlike anything I’ve seen. Two dancers move through 3D space with the help of a kinetic sculpture (that’s about two stories tall). According to founder and artistic director, Moses Pendleton, the piece was so difficult to create initially, that the original cast wore football helmets (with a full face mask) to prevent themselves from being accidentally crushed by the moving sculpture.

Man Fan — A solo with the most outrageous but impressive costume, where a single person fills the entire Joyce Theater, literally.

If You Need Some Body — A light-hearted and unexpected comedy piece to chose the show!