rtb and I returned to New York City Center for the fourth Fall for Dance program. Before the show we had a tap dancing lesson from this guy
who is the face for FFD for 2015. He is Leonardo Sandoval and he would be dancing later with Dorrance Dance. One woman arrived late for the lesson and had on a tulle skirt. Another reached for a fan in her bag – at the same time rtb and I said, “Some people came prepared to dance.” We were not prepared. The tap dancing was way above my skill as a dancer and I just sat back and enjoyed watching the crowd learn.
Nrityagram is a classical Indian dance company. Bijayini Satpathy and Surupa Sen danced Shivashtakam (An Ode to Shiva) danced in beautiful red and burnt orange costumes and no one will be surprised to know that I loved the bells around their ankles. The dance began with the recitation of a poem about Shiva and then the musicians – Rohan Dahale (chants, mardala), Manu Raj (bamboo flute), Jateen Sahu (vocals, harmonium), and Siddhartha Sarkar (violin) – came in. If you are a fan of South Asian dance, as I am, you would have loved the grace and beauty of the small movements. Choreography was by Surupa Sen, music by Pandit Raghunath Panigrahi, and costumes by Bijayini Satpathy and Ghulam Rasool Tailor.
Solo by San Francisco Ballet dancers Gennadi Nedvigin, Joseph Walsh, and Hansuke Yamamoto was a delightful little number with some small chuckles and moments. The music is Johann Sebastian Bach’s Violin Suite No. 1 in D Minor. Bach seems to be the music of choice for several of the companies this year. Choreography is by Hans Van Manen.
During his interview a few days before, Stephen Petronio of Stephen Petronio Company talked about Locomotor and how difficult it was for the dancers to get used to going backwards. The dance is about time and the bodies move forward and backwards throughout – time is not linear and comes back to moments that stand out. Music is by Clams Casino and costumes by Narciso Rodriguez. Dancers were Cori Kresge, Gino Grenek, Barrington Hinds, Jaqlin Medlock, Nicholas Sciscione, Emily Stone, Joshua Tuason, and Melissa Toogood.
During her interview a few days earlier, choreographer Michelle Dorrance of Dorrance Dance mentioned that a floor would have be laid down for the tap dancers for the FFD commissioned Myelination. This meant that there was a second intermission to give them time. She also talked about the dancers being part of the music and it was nice to see them working with live jazz musicians. The tap dancing was mostly classic moves with a few new moves thrown in and all of it fast and furious. Dancers were Megan Bartula, Chris Broughton, Elizabeth Burke, Warren Craft, Brittany DeStefano, Ali Dietz, Michelle Dorrance, Emma Portner, Claudia Rahardjanoto, Leonardo Sandoval, Caleb Teicher, and Byron Tittle. Music was composed by Gregory Richardson and Donovan Dorrance with vocal arrangements by Aaron Marcellus. Musicians were Richardson (electric and double bass, clarinet), Donovan Dorrance (electric bass, keys, and clarinet), John Angeles (percussion), Aaron Marcellus (keys, vocals), and Sean Fair, Karyn Porter, Penelope Wendtlandt, and Helen White on vocals.
By Carene Lydia Lopez