Home & + | Search
Featured Categories: Special Focus | Performance Reviews | Previews | DanceSpots | Arts and Education | Press Releases
Join ExploreDance.com's email list | Mission Statement | Copyright notice | The Store | Calendar | User survey | Advertise
Click here to take the ExploreDance.com user survey.
Your anonymous feedback will help us continue to bring you coverage of more dance.
SPOTLIGHT:
PERFORMANCE REVIEWS
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
ExploreDance.com iPad Edition

New!
Read ExploreDance.com on your iPad!
Only $0.99 per issue! No ads!
www.exploredance.com/subscribe.htm
ExploreDance.com (Magazine)
Web
Other Search Options
Robert Johnson
Dance New York
Music and Dance Reviews
Performance Programs
Performance Reviews
Ballet
Modern/Contemporary
Post-Modern
Gelsey Kirkland ArtsCenter
United States
New York City
New York
Brooklyn, NY
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
ExploreDance.com Kickstarter Campaign

The ExploreDance.com Kickstarter campaign is live! Please consider backing our campaign to help us expand our coverage of dance.
www.kickstarter.com/projects/1306220552/exploredancecom
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
******* ** **
exploredance.com

2015 Dumbo Dance Festival: New Venue, Same Moxy

by Robert Johnson
October 25, 2015
Gelsey Kirkland ArtsCenter
29 Jay Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(212) 600-0047
The gala opening of the Dumbo Dance Festival, on October 8, marked a new beginning for this intrepid choreography showcase. After losing the lease on its long-time home, the festival sponsored by White Wave Dance found a partner and a sparkling, new venue just around the corner, at the Gelsey Kirkland ArtsCenter.

These freshly renovated digs provide a great setting. At the same time, the contemporary showcase will attract a different sort of crowd to the ballet-oriented space making the collaboration between these arts groups a win-win for all concerned. That “win” also includes the public, which attends performances of the Dumbo Dance Festival for free. That’s FREE, folks, in case you thought you didn’t hear right.

The eclectic, opening-night lineup, inaugurating the Kirkland Arts Center’s new theater, was the first of 10 programs featuring 75 different groups in all. Talk about variety!

Hungarian choreographer János Feledi raised the curtain with his duet “Breathing Together,” a contemporary piece heavily influenced by conventions like supported partnering. After a brief moment in which we see Feledi and his companion, Zita Horvath, looking past each other, the dancing begins when she falls back into his hands walking forward with exaggerated steps. Later, when he comes to her for comfort, leaning his head against her shoulder, she adjusts his position so he again stands behind her ready to prop her up. Evidently this is where she wants him; and this odd moment gives a flash of insight into the characters’ relationship.

“All through the day, others are looking at you,” cautions a recorded voice in the excerpts from “Lovely” that James Hansen/Assemblage Dance performed. According to this voice, which dispenses advice on personal grooming, the rest of the world is staring at us. Everywhere we go, people turn to inspect our clothing and frown disapprovingly when our nails are dirty. While hounded by these admonitions, the dancers fall out of regimented lines, two-by-two, assembling structures in an abrupt, manic fashion. Sinatra crooning “The Way You Look Tonight” softens the movement. Eventually, though, the cost of keeping up appearances proves too high, as a woman breaks ranks to throw herself on the floor, exhausted or despairing.

Two youngsters from the Gelsey Kirkland Ballet then offered the “Don Quixote” Pas de Deux. As Kitri, Dawn Geirling supplied two, pretty développés à la seconde: the first held in a solid balance before her partner seized her; the second full of tensile strength, smartly displaying her foot before a sudden drop to one knee. Overall, however, this pair seemed more earnest than confident. They need to sparkle.

Hunting down illegal immigrants becomes the national pastime in Annielille Gavino Kollman’s “La Migra, Let’s Run (baseball).” Here a chalk-faced umpire rocks foot-to-foot, hands twitching, with a sickly smile on her face, until she has a chance to yell “Out!” at one of the swerving ensemble members. She insists that catching immigrants is a game; and clearly she’s demented.

Dancer So Young An twists and stretches ecstatically at the start of a duet from “Sacred Landscapes, Episode One,” choreographed by Jacqulyn Buglisi. As soon as Juan Rodriguez joins her, however, the piece becomes a struggle, tense and effortful as the woman clutches her partner and they mesh in a series of gymnastic lifts. Watching this ordeal, I couldn’t help but ask where these two were headed, and whatever happened to “getting there is half the fun?”

Things loosen up considerably in the concluding number, “Here…Eternal NOW,” an ambitious, group work by festival director Young Soon Kim, who also runs her own White Wave Young Soon Kim Dance Company. The dancers enter with a determined stride, and throw themselves fearlessly into lashing movement phrases filled with kicks and twists. Marco Capelli’s music is like an industrial samba, providing a clangorous, rhythmic base; and there is much to admire in the way Kim channels the dancers’ energy and frames the stage. The choreographer finesses transitions by shining spotlights in the corners, drawing our eyes to the periphery, or by making her dancers collide in the center—a Big Bang event that gives birth to a new section. Emily Pope-Blackman and Anton Martynov were the stand-outs in a dedicated crew.

Now in its 15th season, the Dumbo Dance Festival has lost none of its moxy.
Dancers János Feledi and Zita Horvath in Feledi's “Breathing Together.”

Dancers János Feledi and Zita Horvath in Feledi's “Breathing Together.”

Photo © & courtesy of Yi-Chun Wu


James Hansen/Assemblage Dance in excerpts from Hansen's “Lovely.”

James Hansen/Assemblage Dance in excerpts from Hansen's “Lovely.”

Photo © & courtesy of Yi-Chun Wu


Gelsey Kirkland Ballet dancers in the “Don Quixote” pas de deux.

Gelsey Kirkland Ballet dancers in the “Don Quixote” pas de deux.

Photo © & courtesy of Yi-Chun Wu


Dancers in Annielille Gavino Kollman’s “La Migra, Let’s Run (baseball).”

Dancers in Annielille Gavino Kollman’s “La Migra, Let’s Run (baseball).”

Photo © & courtesy of Yi-Chun Wu


Dancers So Young An and Juan Rodriguez in Jacqulyn Buglisi's 'Sacred Landscapes, Episode One.”

Dancers So Young An and Juan Rodriguez in Jacqulyn Buglisi's "Sacred Landscapes, Episode One.”

Photo © & courtesy of Yi-Chun Wu


White Wave Young Soon Kim Dance Company dancers in Kim's “Here…Eternal NOW.”

White Wave Young Soon Kim Dance Company dancers in Kim's “Here…Eternal NOW.”

Photo © & courtesy of Yi-Chun Wu

ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
* **** ****


ExploreDance.com
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
******* ******
exploredance.com


home || view our calendar || the store || copyright information || join our mailing list || mission statement
Search for articles by
Performance Reviews, Places to Dance, Fashion, Photography, Auditions, Politics, Health