DANCE NOW FESTIVAL
September 14, 2017
Dance Now Festival rather successfully snaps dance performances onto a cabaret format at Joe’s Pub. This concept was circulating around the downtown dance community in the 1980’s and 1990’s but Dance Now formalized the funky structure that regularly attracts sold-out house.
The series of acts vary from “serious” dance to intentionally goofy pieces that ruffle conservative feathers and prove dance has humor. In keeping with the cabaret concept, a “master of ceremonies” or emcee guides the evening by toying with the audience and knitting together the disparate acts.
The most recent event was led by the spunky TruDee (aka Deborah Lohse). At total ease with the audience, she coerced folks into engaging in a couple of on-stage participatory gags and gave shout-outs to the performers.
Acts ranged from an intricately choreographed duet (the stamp size stage is restrictive) by Kate Weare to an Jordan Isador's intentionally wacky dance (he wore a floppy short haired wig) composed of bizarre movements that morphed into acrobatic sonnets. The evening’s strength came from the splicing of virtuoso dancing next to fractured stories and bump and grind antics.
For the most part, it’s a marvelous way to stretch an artist’s perspective—unlocking untapped creative resources and locating new ways to reach audiences. The next scheduled Encore Dance Now performance features 12 choreographers on Sept. 28.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis