Performing Arts: Dance
December 8, 2015
Lux by Doug Varone capped this program featuring ten choreographers presented by American Dance Guild (ADG) at Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theatre. Alex Springer had the meditative solo at the top of this galvanizing, joyful dance for six that premiered in 2006 with music by Philip Glass. His quiet awareness and masculine sensuality immediately sets you up for a treat. The other dances on the program have their merits, but none can top the kinetic freedom and lightness of being conveyed in this dance. Varone lets the arms of his dancers fly and lift them off the ground. Their heads shimmy, feet hint of tap dance and torsos curve and lengthen amongst pass-by partnering, as performed by a company completely at home in his style.

Catching Dreams choreographed by Adrienne Clancy as set to music by Albert Mathias has somewhat similar energy. Philip Baraoidan was particularly fascinating in this work for six. Molly McSherry danced winningly with Lauren Kravitz in Who Man, as deadpan deadbeats who resist the jive of The Champs, Bo Diddley and The Letterman.

A polar opposite to this merriment, Freedom Isn’t Free set to the music of Jonsi & Alex: Sleeping Giant, dedicated to the Japanese Americans sent to Internment Camps during WWII, was choreographed and performed by Kaoru Ikeda with passionate conviction, a direct appeal that we honor liberty.

Echoes, choreography, performance & costumes by Fadi J Khoury with four other men, music by Shamou is a striking vehicle for the technical proficient Khoury whose inspiration, “DABKE," a line dance from the mountains of Lebanon and Syria, is expanded with his balletic prowess.

Vanessa Knouse and Benny Olk performed the challenging Suite for Two choreographed by Merce Cunningham to the music of John Cage. In stark contrast to the flow of the other pieces, Suite for Two demands stalwart concentration and balance while holding various poses, which these two managed with grim determination.

Sharing Cunningham’s spatial acuity for design, Sue Bernhard’s Precipice set to music by Evelyn Glennie, as performed by Melissa Brading, Courtney Lopes, and Elisa Schreiber has a similarly graphic clarity and craft.

Erin Dillon’s Projection C opens with a captivating duet in which a man manipulates a woman while we hear the recitation of Wallace Stevens' So and So Reclining on Her Couch, followed by a less enthralling group dance for eight. Tina Croll’s Ancient Springs Revisited opened the program with a confusingly mixed musical bag in a dance for six performers.

Gloria Mclean, president ADG, founded in 1956, opened and closed the evening, one of three programs in this annual, well-attended festival. Varone came onstage to receive a gift of flowers as one of three artists, Liz Lerman and Alice Teirstein, honored by ADG. “Support Dance,” he grinned. “It’s great!”
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Deirdre Towers

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