Balkan Dreams

Battery Dance Festival: Wednesday (Performance 7 of 7)

Tina Croll + Company presented folk and social dance from the Balkans — including fun patterns, playful leaps and turns, and men’s footwork. The music, traditional Bulgarian, Macedonian, and Rumanian, had such a strong rhythm to them, I could totally see myself dancing to the tunes — polkaing, galloping, or just following the dance on stage!

“Balkan Dreams” by Tina Croll + Company (excerpts 2002)
Choreography: Tina Croll + Company
Dancers: Erin DeLucia-Benson, Victoria Dombroski, Michelle Durante, Kendra Dushac, Michelle Gilligan, Alexandra Mount-Campbell, Michael Ginsburg, Noel Kropf, Bard Rosell
Photography: Jason Chuang

Bare to the Wall

Battery Dance Festival: Wednesday (Performance 6 of 7)

My other favorite group of the night! What a delight to see Buglisi Dance. I love confluence of modern and theatre, and the uplifting spirit of this piece. Right from the beginning, the dancers opened the performance by dashing across the floor one after another — stretching, lifting, and projecting themselves to the audience. The energy kept building up in this choreography. The dancers got a little more playful, their strides became bolder, until we were treated to an endless sequence of beautiful lifts and aerials towards the end. Bravos!

Also, check out their upcoming 9/11 Table of Silence Project. Info at Buglisi Dance Theatre.

“Bare to the Wall” by Buglisi Dance Theatre (1996)
Choreography: Jacqulin Buglisi and Donlin Foreman
Dancers: So Young An and Ari Mayzick, Blakeley White-McGuire and Abdiel Cedric Jacobsen, Anne O’Donnell and Malik Williams
Costumes: Willa Kim
Photography: Jason Chuang

… Still We Sit

Battery Dance Festival: Wednesday (Performance 5 of 7)

“It’s time to go, but still we sit, lingering in our summer”

Inspired by a poem by John Fuller, “… Still We Sit” is about the blossoming but intricate relationship between a couple. The choreography comprised mostly of simple movements. Among the synchronized steps, mirrored moves, the longing for each other, and the joy of spending time together, however, moments of dissonance would arise revealing ambivalent emotions in the couple. From initially walking past each other in opposite directions, the couple ended the performance sitting side-by-side, arm-in-arm, finding comfort in each other’s presence. What a lovely story.

“… Still We Sit” by Maxine Steinman & Dancers (2002)
Choreography: Maxine Steinman and Raymundo Costa
Dancers: Maxine Steinman, Columbine Macher
Photography: Jason Chuang

Re(Wind) by Ballet Inc.

Battery Dance Festival: Wednesday (Performance 4 of 7)

One of my two favorites of the night!! I love the beautiful, gorgeous, and sensual ballet aesthetics of Ballet Inc…. but that’s not all! More than the movements themselves, I love how Ballet Inc.‘s choreographies showcase the individual dancers regardless of race, ethnicity, and body type — building on their diversity and uniqueness to create the stunning visuals. It’s my third time seeing Ballet Inc., and every performance of theirs has blown me away. Bravos!!

“Re(Wind)” by Ballet Inc. (World Premier)
Choreography: Aaron Atkins
Dancers: Ballet Inc.
Photography: Jason Chuang

The Weight by Wilder Project

Battery Dance Festival: Wednesday (Performance 3 of 7)

I had to do some research after the show, to fully understand this choreography. There’s apparently a film version of this work, set in the “raw beauty of the northern Maine wilderness.” The pebble stones, movements that (I presume) resemble splashing into a tidal marsh, and even the title make so much more sense. Only if I had these accompanying visuals/description during the show!

“The Weight” by the Wilder Project (2015)
Choreography: Holly Wilder
Dancers: Victoria Daylor, Tanner Myles Huseman, Shelby Claire, Jesse Obremski, Chase Macauley Maxwell
Photography: Jason Chuang


Battery Dance Festival: Wednesday (Performance 2 of 7)

The CNDC from the Dominican Republic also presented a second work tonight, a duet titled “Dispar” that builds on their earlier theme of how we face issues in our daily lives.

“Dispar” by Compañia Nacional de Danza Contemporánea de Republica Dominicana (New York Premier)
Choreography: Michael Foley
Dancers: Patricia Ortega, Erick Roque
Costumes: Patricia Ortega, Erick Roque
Photography: Jason Chuang

Pez Esfinge by Cia Elías Aguirre

Battery Dance Festival: Wednesday (Performance 1 of 7)

Elías Aguirre Imbernón presented a second choreography tonight, exploring the concept of apparent immobility, such as a fish swimming against the current.

“Pez Esfinge” by Cia Elías Aguirre (U.S. Premier)
Choreography: Elías Aguirre
Dancers: Elías Aguirre Imbernon, Jose Jurado Giles
Photography: Jason Chuang

Everyone Dance Now

Day Two of the Battery Dance Festival (Finale)

Tonight’s program ended with everyone dancing to Latin and Dominican Republic music, led by dancers in the Compañia Nacional de Danza Contemporánea de Republica Dominicana.

The 36th annual Battery Dance Festival continues every evening this week, through Saturday at Battery Park.

I sadly cannot make tomorrow’s performance, but *YOU* should go see “One To(o) Many Colors” by Kalamandir Dance and the rest of the program featuring an evening of Indian and Indian-inspired dancing. Merde, Anjana, Maria, and Montana!

American Cinema

Day Two of the Battery Dance Festival (Performance 7 of 7)

My favorite performance tonight goes to “American Cinema” by the Nadine Bommer Dance Company.

The first thing that struck me about this choreography was the movement quality. The five dancers donned nude-colored costumes and moved like wooden puppets on stage. The amount of details that went into the movement quality was stunning. The dancers’ arms would bound slightly at the end of a movement. Their legs would buckle ever so slightly as they stood. No photography can do this piece justice. You have to see the movements to understand how “real” the puppets felt.

Second, I loved the narrative. The piece is titled “American Cinema” and performed mostly on a set of vintage red velvet “movie theater” chairs. Accompanied by rock music by the Ween Brothers, the choreography evoked memories from the golden era of the American cinema. We never found what what movies the dancers were watching, but each song brought out a different story about our five characters. A flirtatious teenage girl. Boys asking girls out on a date. Making out at the movies. Interlaced with traumatic adolescence events, a boy and a girl finally got together, and so did two other boys.

A wonderfully imaginative and playful piece of dance theatre. Bravos, Nadine Bommer Dance Company!

“American Cinema” by Nadine Bommer Dance Company (2008)
Choreography: Nadine Bommer
Dancers: Jamison Goodnight, Delphina Parenti, Sammy Roth, Gaya Bomer Yemini, Maor Shiry Zuriel
Photography: Jason Chuang

Shy Blue by Cia Elías Aguirre

Day Two of the Battery Dance Festival (Performance 6 of 7)

“Shy Blue” by Cia Elías Aguirre (U.S. Premier)
Choreography: Elías Aguirre
Dancers: Elías Aguirre Imbernon, Jose Jurado Giles, Lautaro Alejandro Reyes Saez
Photography: Jason Chuang

Elías Aguirre’s “Shy Blue” reminded me of one of my earliest exposure to experimental dance, when Katharine Hawthorne choreographed “Fell” to explore the sensation of bodies falling under gravity. Whereas Katharine had to repeatedly climb up ladders, to fight and succumb to gravity, Elías and company were on a rocking ship tonight — three dancers moving to the sounds of the ocean and waves, and reacting to the unforgiving forces of mother nature.