Cultivated Chaos

I had a wonderful evening at Cultivated Chaos, a full-length show created and produced by Julia Kane, to benefit the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Some of my favorite moments include…

Stunning open scene to “Garden” by Sadie McNamara and Christophe Desorbay

Seeing the full version of “Stand By” by Christophe, Mica Butnar, Alicia Kee, and Jacob Spallino

Old favorites such as “100 Years” alongside new favorites such as “Take Me Home” and “Hurts 2B Human”

Plus, the sight of Julia Kane as tall as Megan Kirsch

A big congrats to Julia Kane Dance Collective and bravos to all the wonderful dancers Anakeiry Cruz, Cathryn Cioper, Julie Hricko, Ingrid Chang, Jordan Cassetta, Mica Romulo, Rachel Waldman, and more.


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?!

JCE Jazz Dance Project

Bravos Sofia Bengoa, Samantha Paulik, Michaela Romulo and Sadie NcNamara, for a great performance at the JCE Jazz Dance Project!!! Congrats also to Cristal Del Mar López and Julia Kane for presenting your work.

I’ve seen both Cristal’s and Julia’s choreographies before. Watching them again and sitting in the first row brought out all kinds of wonderful details.

Love the intricate steps to the piano keys in “Soledad” choreographed by Cristal Del Mar López and danced by Sofia Bengoa. The movements in “100 Years” choreographed by Julia Kane and danced by Julia Kane Dance Collective are so much sharper, more energetic, and more powerful than I had remembered. Beautiful work, Julia!

Other favorites tonight…

“Safety Dance” choreographed by Skye Mattox and performed by Skye Mattox and Ryan VanDenBoom. Looove the movements, chemistry, and personalities in the duet.

“Reclaiming My Time” by Paul A Brown. An upbeat classic theatre jazz piece with an abundance of positive energy centered on sisterhood, to the music of “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves”.

“Eleanor” by Muenter Merete. Another classic theatre jazz piece with beautiful lines and flowing movements, danced to the Beatle music “Eleanor Rigby”.

I’m saddened by the loss of Kavin Grant whose work “Who Is She” was one of my favorites in past concerts. RIP, Kavin.

Finally, get some sleep #teamnosleep!!!

PMT Fall Dance Series

Beautiful performance by Julia Kane Dance Collective tonight at the PMT Fall Dance Series!!! Go dance with Julia Kane on Mondays if you like what you saw!

Great to see the amazing Sadie McNamara on stage again, the unexpected hip hop side of Micaela Butnar (That solo in the jam circle! 🤗), Janine Fittipaldi outside of ballet (🤩), and Julie Hricko being all sassy.

Also enjoyed the waacking+theatre choreo (Yes you read that right.) by Miki Tuesday.