Another reason to love NYC in the summer – free modern dance performances on Friday evenings. rtb invited me join her to see Bryant Park Presents Modern Dance. As I was getting off the subway I could hear music playing and when I found the stage I could see the dancers rehearsing. I found rtb and sat next to her while we watched some very athletic and good-looking men dance around the stage. Then we had 50 minutes to chat while we waited for the show to begin.
It looked like Earl Mosley’s Diversity of Dance featured every Joffrey student at his institute. In “Running Spirits” (Choreography by Frederick Earl Mosley/Music by Ryushi Sakamota), featured Rawinan Asawakanjankit, Megan Brooks, Imogen Brown, Leslie Burns, Elijah Carter, Harrison Flint, Deborah Fonseca, Deanna Gerde, Rebecka Hansson, Jon Paul Hills, Gan Hua Hooi, Rachel Lovett, Chelsea Marshall, Jonathan Portillo, Eric Parra, Robert Redick, Bryant Rodriguez, Lorena Salinas, Luna Sayag, Jenna Steiner, Grant Towers, Rieko Tsunoda, and Paige White in white t-shirts and khaki pants dancing for the most part in sync. Even when not in sync there was a military feel about the dance.
“Facets Duet” (Choreography by Frederick Earl Mosley/Music by Wojociech Kilar) was a typical romantic duet with Luna Sayag in a short teal dress and Robert Redick in blue shirt, white t-shirt, and black pants.
Cameron Evans, Slim Mello, and Scott Willits dance athletically around for “Fray” (Choreography by Clifton Brown). All were dressed similarly in blue/grey t-shirts and black pants.
Suit jackets, t-shirts, and stretch pants were the costume for “Journey Draft 3” (Choreography by Frederick Earl Mosley/Music by Ethel and Zoe Keating) celebrated the joy of diversity. Sergio Arranz Vallejo, Rawinan Asawakanjankit, Megan Brooks, Imogen Brown, Leslie Burns, Elijah Carter, Harrison Flint, Deborah Fonseca, Deanna Gerde, Rebecka Hansson, Jon Paul Hills, Gan Hua Hooi, Rachel Lovett, Chelsea Marshall, Jonathan Portillo, Eric Parra, Robert Redick, Bryant Rodriguez, Lorena Salinas, Luna Sayag, Jenna Steiner, Grant Towers, Rieko Tsunoda, Paige White, and Emily Williams danced with a very urban feel. There were several solos and duets in addition to the company dancing together.
BARE Dance Company had a much sexier repertoire. In black shirts and black pants or shorts, Mike Abbatiello, Vincent Arzola, Jake Bone, Clinton Edwards, Larry Daniels, and Paul Vickers performed an excerpt from “Venomous” (Choreography and Music by Mike Esperanza). This piece is described as “centered around identity and its physically difficult, thrilling, and, at times, lonely journey.” There was one brilliant move when one of the dancers was spun around in a circle – it looked like a gyroscope on stage.
Excerpts from “Wallpaper” featured Sarah Housepian in a solo dance, dressed in a long white toga, dancing to music by Dave Brubeck and John Coltrane. The music was overlapped and worked better than I would have thought. Suzie Rzecnik entered towards the end of the dance and when Housepian left the stage, Rzecnik was joined by Paul Vickers for a duet to the music of Alva Noto. Both were dressed in tennis whites, which had drawings on it. These dances, choreographed by Mike Esperanza in collaboration with the dancers, celebrate home.
“IV” featured Suki Clements, Erin Love, Devin Oshiro, Britney Tokumoto in pink and white each helping each other along and showing strength as a foursome that they didn’t have as singles. Choreography by Mike Esperanza/Music by Peter Gabriel.
10 Hairy Legs is a sexy all-male company. “Friends of Dorothy” starts off on a funny note with Alex Biegelson in underwear and t-shirt with Tyner Dumortier handing him a Western shirt and jeans (same as Dumortier was wearing). Beigelson dressed and then they proceeded to dance romantically and athletically to music from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers – “Barn Raising” by Gene de Paul; “Why Not Me” sung by Debbie Reynolds, music by Jay Livingston and lyrics by Ray Evans; “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” sung by Jane Powell, music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E.Y. Harbour. Choreography by David Parker and it is funny and touching.
“Bud” (Choreography by Stephen Petronio) features Robert Mark Burke and William Tomaskovic in half black jackets and red shorts. Dancing to Rufus Wainwright’s “Oh What a World” this is another athletic and romantic pairing.
“Trouble Will Find Me” (Choreography by Doug Elkins/Music by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan) is hypnotic with its music and incorporation of different of types of Latin American and Spanish dancing. Alex Biegelson, Robert Mark Burke, Derek Crescenti, Kyle Marshall, and William Tomaskovic perform in gray and black hoodies (two with long backs). It’s another sexy and athletic dance.
By Carene Lydia Lopez