5/6/16 O&A NYC DANCE EXTRA: A Conversation with George Faison- The Creative Process

By Walter Rutledge

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Tony and Emmy Award winning choreographer George Faison will present a new work entitled Kingdom Come at the McDonald’s Gospelfest – Live at Prudential Center (25 Lafayette Street, Newark, NJ) on Saturday May 7th. The ensemble work is an inspiring, and uplifting ballet set to a haunting score of ‎Jerome Olds. Throughout Faison’s career the humanistic quality of his work, and his ability to reach beyond the footlights and touch an audience has become his signature.    Continue reading

4/5/16 O&A NYC DANCE: Harlem Arts Alliance Honors Women In Dance

By Walter Rutledge

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The Harlem Arts Alliance presented a special monthly meeting celebrating the Harlem community’s contribution to dance. The forum, which took place on Monday April 4, acknowledged the contributions of women of color to the advancement of the art form. The evening began with an informal meet and greet in the lobby of Aaron Davis Hall, City College. Continue reading

3/14/16 O&A NYC DANCE: Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance New York Season Begins Tuesday March 15

By Walter Rutledge

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Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance (PTAMD) begins its annual New York City Season Tuesday, March 15 at the David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center. The three-week, twenty-one performance spring offering runs thru April 3 and will include two New York premieres by Taylor, Sullivaniana and Dilly Dilly- his 143rd and 144th works for the company. The performances will feature live music performed by the renowned Orchestra of St. Luke’s, conducted by long-time Taylor Music Director, Donald York. Continue reading

1/18/16 O&A NYC REVIEW: newsteps: a choreographer’s series

By Walter Rutledge

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newsteps: a choreographer’s series presented by the Chen Dance Center showcased the work of five emerging dance makers in three performance, Thursday January 14 through Saturday January 16. The showcased marked the 22nd consecutive year of bi-annual performances that support the creative process defined by Doris Humphrey as “The art of making dances”. The juried series provides rehearsal space, mentoring, technical support, and a small stipend that culminates with multiple public performances.

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What We’re In Now by Hannah Garner got the evening off on a strong note. Set to the music of Italian film composer and pianist Armando Trovajoli, the duet opened with a seated Garner and Will Noling. Right from the beginning the dancers established a persona that clearly communicated to the audience.

The ensuing movement conversation ranged from contemplative to humorous. The couple, clearly in a relationship, exuded a humanistic honesty that endeared them to the audience. The quirky partnering defied convention becoming integral to the choreographer’s vocabulary.

Ayaka Kamei presented a solo entitled Stay with Me with music by Oda Kazumasa and Zoe Keating. The the amber lighting, jewelry box music and dancer Seneca Lawrence’s pixie-like approach created an air of early morning lightness. Lawrence lulled the audience into a false sense of easiness until a siren and a stage washed in red light interrupted her somnambulism. The work culminates with Lawrence returning to her opening demeanor in repose.

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The Scar by Laura Henry featured a quintet clad in distressed khaki shorts and torn tops, which reminisced television’s Survivor, set in Scythia (the land of the Amazons). The angular arms adorned deep plies in second position, and counterbalanced a barrage of a la seconde battlements and athletic jumps. The worked ended with a solo dancer sequestered in a center stage downspot slowly descending in darkness.

Takeshi Ohashi’s textural duet The time presented a multi-faceted relationship performed by Maki Shinagawa and Vivake Khamsingavath. The work opened with Shinagawa slowly walking downstage left balancing an apple on the head of a crouching Khamsingavath. Eventually Khamsingavath sat downstage right and begins to peel the apple.

Throughout the duet Ohashi displayed strong choreographic form showering us with focused imagery that extended beyond elementary poses. One example, a movement passage void of physical contact; then the duet exploded in a flurry of lifts. The “partnering abstinence” made the proceeding section of lifts extremely powerful. The work ended with Khamsingavath now leading a couching Shinagawa upstage. The role reversal produced a clever new perspective to the movement and an unexpected plot twist.

The evening concluded with Quiet, a quartet featuring Elliott Keller, Sarina Taggart, Fola Walker and choreographer Gina Montalto. The work offered good spatial relationships with a strong reliance on symmetry. Montalto displayed good form with quick movement passages that retreated into stillness providing a fitting contrast to the music.

The skyrocketing cost of retail rentals space has forced many non-profit organizations to become homeless. This makes the efforts of organizations like Chen Dance Center not only commendable, but also necessary. newsteps: a choreographer’s series continues the time-honored tradition of nurturing the next generation of choreographers. The next series scheduled for May 19 through May 21 will begin accepting candidates for auditions on February 2. For more information about the newsteps: a choreographer’s series and Chen Dance Center’s other programs visit chendancecenter.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5/19/15 O&A Dance: In Black and White (Excerpt from Brothers) Commemorating the Birthday of Malcolm X

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In Black and White is an excerpt from Brothers a work about the relationships between men. This section deals with the civil right movement as seen through by Malcolm X. Performed by Hassan Blandford and Christopher Fishburn choreography by Walter Rutledge. Other sections explore the relationship between a Grandfather/Grandson and Jesus Christ and Simon of Cyrene. O&A NYC posts In Black and White to commemorate the Birthday of Malcolm X. 

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5/6/15 O&A Dance: Chen Dance Center Presents newsteps

By Walter Rutledge

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Chen Dance Center presents its spring emerging choreographers series newsteps, May 7 through 9, 7:30 pm at the Chen Dance Center, 70 Mulberry Sreet, 2nd floor (corner Mulberry & Bayard in Chinatown). Founded in 1994 the bi-annual showcase, (held in the spring and fall) provides young dance makers the opportunity to present original works at different stages of development. The five choreographers were selected for the spring concerts are: Jonathan Breton, Hannah Cohen,  Bree Nasby, Janice Rosario, and Ashley Carter & Vanessa Martinez de Banos. Continue reading

3/3/17 (REPOST) O&A Shall We Dance Friday: A Conversation With Dudley Williams Moderated By Jennifer Dunning (Part One)

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On Thursday October 23, Clack Center NYC hosted A Conversation with Dudley Williams at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Bruno Walter Auditorium, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza at 6pm. Dance critic and author Jennifer Dunning talked with Williams about his career that spans almost six decades. Williams was frank, funny and informative, discussing a wide range of his experiences with some of the world’s most renowned choreographers.  Continue reading

11/25/14 O&A Dance: Complexion Contemporary Ballet …In The Beginning (Part 3) An Interview With Christina Johnson

By Walter Rutledge

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As Complexions Contemporary Ballet begins the second week of their two-week season tonight at the Joyce Theater we continue our conversation with Christina Johnson. The season commemorates the 20th anniversary of the company, Out and About NYC Magazine looks back through the eyes of artists who there at the beginning. Continue reading

11/21/14 O&A Its Saturday Anything Goes: Vivienne Westwood’s New Fashion Video On Climate Change- featuring Eric Underwood Choreographer/Model

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Fashion’s Godmother of Punk Vivienne Westwood, director Casey Brooks and choreographer/model Eric Underwood combine fashion, film and dance to bring attention climate change. Continue reading

11/20/14 O&A Dance: Complexions Contemporary Ballet Celebrates 20 Years (Part Two)- Christina Johnson Interview On Restaging Ave Maria

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O&A NYC video interview with Original Complexions Contemporary Ballet member Christina Johnson on restaging Dwight Rhoden’s duet Ave Maria. The duet was originally choreographed on Johnson and Donald Williams in 1995. American Ballet Theatre soloist Misty Copeland and Complexions Contemporary Ballet Artist in Residence, Clifford Williams will perform the work at the Thursday, November 20 Gala performance.  10392506_10152549376453892_4574420590891863747_n Continue reading