It is almost impossible to express the feeling one gets after the final applause of New Dance Horizons has died out. The opportunity to see so many of the local artists, that we have gotten to know, grow beyond our wildest expectations and deliver performances that would be received with ovations anywhere in the world is a privilege. The idea to push the limit while inviting the local companies to join us and move forward is taking root and for it we are all better off.
An evening of diverse choreography, of diverse styles, and of diverse sophistications made for 2 hours of dancing bliss. And those who missed it, shame on them.
Roni Koresh pushed buttons, in more ways than one, working with MADCO. Points of Contact was a work of incredible energy, challenging the norm for MADCO and making them rise to the top as they discovered a different commitment to creation. It was a powerful opening that had people wondering how it would be topped.
The Big Muddy Dance Company was paired with Kate Skarpetowska to bring to life a work that I felt completely taken by. Inspired by the book “Awakening,” A Mariner brought to life, in a most sophisticate and poignant way, the experience of those mired in a state of mental limbo, brought to life for a few moments by a drug. It explored the pathos of feeling what it would be like to have experienced the moment and then be asked to revert back to a state of inertia. It was truly poignant and great compliment to Kate’s work.
Saint Louis Ballet brought to life Brian Enos’ work Bloom. This work surprised us all as it created magical moments that challenged not only the dancers but the audience as well. It took us on a journey that we were not sure where it would lead, but that once we arrived we could not help but scream for joy. I wish to thank our three choreographers, all of the dancers and the three companies for “making my day” and that of 1000’s of viewers.
*photos from New Dance Horizons III dress rehearsal taken by Steve Truesdell.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Brian Enos, Dance St. Louis, Dance STL, Kate Skarpetowska, MADCO, Michael Uthoff, New Dance Horizons, New Dance Horizons III, Roni Koresh, Saint Louis Ballet, The Big Muddy Dance Company
After having spent a summer vacation for the ages, as I think I said before, the excitement of New Dance Horizons III rapidly took over my office, our staff, and our spirits.
With choreographers like Brian Enos, Kate Skarpetowska and Roni Koresh walking the streets of St. Louis and creating on the gifted performers of Saint Louis Ballet, The Big Muddy Dance Company and MADCO, Dance St. Louis’ purpose seems to be fulfilled at a higher level.
Nothing is more pleasing than to see the agonizing faces of dancers trying mightily to master new choreography, feeling perhaps their inability to it justice (It is a trait of dancers, we always feel that we are ill-equipped) and then magic happens. A smile crosses their faces, the sweat is accomplishment, the aches and pains become a welcomed reminder of an exquisite process and, before you know, the un-known is about to be unveiled.
All three companies will meet at the Touhill to make sure the lighting is right, the costumes are right, their timing is correct, and their performances are up to the standards of the choreographers. You, the audience, will begin to take your seats and the reason for being there will happen as the curtain rises to the magic that is dance and to the beautiful unknown that is the creation of new works.
I am truly excited and I hope you are too, do join us.
New Dance Horizons III
Touhill Performing Arts Center
October 10 & 11 2014
All tickets just $30!
Click here for tickets or call 314.534.6622
Two weeks ago I attended MADCO’s fall presentation, an ambitious program with three world premieres. I thought each work challenged the dancers to move in a specific way and they met the challenge. However, I was not taken by any of the works specifically. Much too often their works fall in the trap of having everyone dancing all the time which does not allow for dramatic continuity and aside from costuming them differently, they start looking alike. I thought James Robey’s work had interesting tensions that should be explored further, though the use of a central character seemed to create certain expectations that were not totally resolved. Two other works founded up the program. One was a repeat of “Land’s Edge,” a PILOBOLUS work that was gifted to them as part of New Dance Horizons II. It was the strongest of all the works and it was great to see the dancers perform it at a higher level of intensity as well as a better physical and intellectual understanding than they had in October. The repeating of works is vital for their growth and the dancers’ development, but we often tend to simply move on and create more new works for the sake of newness.
This past weekend I attended the Ovation Series that Charlie Robin manages at the Edison Theatre on the campus of Washington University. He brought a marvelous group of 13 men from Argentina performing in “Che Malambo.” The show was approximately 90 minutes of high power machismo, foot stopping, bolas flying and sheer fun entertainment that had the audience cheering their approval. The 13 men of various physical stature that presented a harmonious evening of stylized Argentinean folk must have been exhausted when the show finally concluded.
What I am really fascinated by is the wealth of world class dance that people in St. Louis have at their fingers tips and seemingly do not take advantage of. In a city the size of ours, the dance performances that both the Edison Ovation Series and Dance St. Louis offer give our city an incredible showcase of the art form. For simply 8 or 9 evenings a year, you will have seen close to 36 dance events in 4 years — to be able to catch and admire that many performances, you would have had to travel the world and pay 3 times as much.
I am thrilled that what the Edison Ovation Series and Dance St. Louis do compliment each other. And do not think it happens by chance, Charlie and I do correspond and exchange plans for the future so as to do exactly that, enhance the audience going to experience dance.
The time has come for everyone to rush to the Touhill and get a glimpse of an incredible performance that showcases 4 creations of un-paralleled beauty, passion and drama. Our four companies, Leverage Dance Theater, Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company, MADCO and Saint Louis Ballet shine brightly in magical creations by Nejla Yatkin, Uri Sands, PILOBOLUS and Emery LeCrone.
Each work is a jewel unto its own. Together they create a string of creative pearls that will have you glued to your seats, marveling at the images conjured by the choreographers and the interpretation of the artists.
From the white purity and romantic piano music played brilliantly by Daniel Schene, Director of the Piano Department at Webster University, in Nejla’s piece, to the abstract neo classicism of Emery’s intricate patterns to contemporary music, to the powerful drama of Uri’s creation inspired by an incredible American woman, Ms, Henrietta Lacks and the fluidity of the performers to the intricacies of PILOBOLUS’ work staged masterfully by Jude Woodcock and performed with strong assurance by the dancers, you will be positively and completely overwhelmed.
Do not miss this! There is no conflict with the Cardinals playoffs, so no excuse is allowed. Come and cherish the gifts that St. Louis has to offer and the gift that Dance St. Louis is bestowing on all of us.
*photos by Steve Truesdell
I finally got to see all of the New Dance Horizons II works and I could not be more thrilled at what has been created and how it is being danced.
Something very special occurs when you commission four independent choreographers and have them stage works on four different dance companies that appear together in an evening of dance second to none.
Having worked in a repertory company and having experienced and seen the thrill of performing different works I never thought of what would happen if the same approach was done utilizing four different groups with their own points of view. The result is New Dance Horizons II.
Emery LeCrone’s work for St. Louis Ballet is full of choreographic intricacies and requires total concentration and a complete physical commitment to the work. The dancers are doing exactly that. Although I have only seen some 5 minutes of the work, it is a fascinating abstract piece that takes you into the dancers’ bodies.
The imagery that Nejla Yatkin has created for Leverage Dance Theatre, the harmonious intensity, fluidity and emotionality of Uri Sands’ work for Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company and the amazing theatricality and physicality that is demanded of MADCO in PILOBOLUS’ “Land’s Edge” will make dance lovers drool. What a joy to be part of this unique adventure and how proud we feel to have this take part in Missouri, where the motto The Show Me State certainly applies to New Dance Horizons.
See you at the Touhill THIS WEEKEND. Don’t complain if you miss it.
Love and peace,
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company, Dance St. Louis, Emery LeCrone, Leverage Dance Theater, MADCO, Michael Uthoff, Nejla Yatkin, New Dance Horizons II, Pilobolus, PNC Arts Alive, PNC Arts Alive New Dance Horizons, Saint Louis Ballet, Touhill Performing Arts Center