Garth Fagan Dance

“Find the good and praise it.”

What a treat tonight with Garth Fagan Dance at the Joyce Theater filled with positive energy, strength, and beauty.

I was impressed by Garth Fagan’s philosophy. From the curtain chat:

“In acting, music, painting, we revere the older artists. Why the reverse in dance?” The oldest member of his company, Steve Humphrey, is still performing at 65.

Equality. Men and women dance the same way in his company. Women jump as men do, and don’t wait for the prince to come.

Opening tonight’s performance, “Prelude” started out with dancers stretching, as if warming for a dance class. The movements gradually built up to form explosive leaps and kicks. The dynamic sequences were interlaced with stillness. Everything was performed with a smooth and relaxed style. Altogether, “Prelude” which Garth Fagan created to help introduce his new dancers, is a fascinating juxtapose of power and beauty.

“Estrogen/Genius” is a lovely work with five women dancing, playing, and enjoying each other’s company. In keeping with the themes of equality and positivity, the dance is accompanied by the voice of seven men singing about healing and saying positive things about their female counterpart.

“Wecoo Duende”, choreographed by Norwood Pennewell, is yet another dance filled with positivity about an alluring spiritual guide taking a people through a spirit quest.

“Life: Dark/Light”, capping the show, combined all the amazing elements of the night into one work. It’s fun, dynamic, and powerful. The dancers began the piece with a seemingly unremarkable walk, back and forth across the stage. Yet, surprises started to pop up. The energy and emotions continuously built up until the stage was filled with stunning movements.

Finally, the costumes for “Life: Dark/Light” — colorful patterns under a thin layer of white — perfectly reflected tonight’s dance: Subtle, humble, and yet unmistakably beautiful.

Bravos to all the dancers: Norwood Pennewell, Steve Humphrey, Natalie Rogers, Vitolio Jeune, Guy Thorne, Wynton Rice, Adriene B. Hodge, Andrew David O’Brian, Davente Gilreath, Sarah Herbert, Nina Price, Le’Tiger DeAnte’ Walker, Rishell Maxwell.