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Alma NYC "September Music Salon" - a hidden social gem of a show

by Robert Abrams
September 16, 2017
New York, NY
www.almanyc.org
I went to an ALMA NYC show tonight expecting a music performance, maybe with some conversation. There was that, but also several unexpected dance performances of a contemporary dance rooted in social dance style, or maybe the reverse. You know how in a musical people spontaneously start dancing? This show/social happening was kind of like being in the middle of a musical arising out of real life.

The band was playing a bluesy jazz that was often conducive to West Coast Swing, sometimes Lindy Hop, or maybe Westie-hopping. No one from the audience actually danced, well, maybe one by invitation during a choreographed-improvised number, but you could have danced. There wasn't much room on the super-lovely garden deck, but there was enough. You should dance. Which means you should bring your dance shoes next time, just in case. And if you didn't or don't, dance anyway, but remember to lighten up on your floor pressure.

One reason people didn't dance, other than the half of the crowd who appeared to be members of the dance company, was that the event was more than partly about highlighting the skills of the musicians in the band, who had skills aplenty. As a Westie, it was refreshing to hear a live band who could be a Westie band.

The crowd skewed younger, but there were several people there who weren't, and one pre-teen. If the event had been held earlier in the day, with the right elements, it could have been conducive to bringing kids. Here's hoping.

Artistic finger food was served, as well as wine and a signature gin and tonic. All included for the very reasonable price of $20 per person. If there had been a survey, I would have marked it "delicious". There was also fruit-infused water. My only suggestion for improvement of the hospitality portion of the evening would be to offer more EANABs (Equally Attractive Non-Alcoholic Beverages).

The event started at 7:30 pm and was supposed to last for two hours, which it did, but people lingered a little longer.

If you were looking for a welcoming smile on a late Summer evening with people who were serious yet relaxed about art in all its multi-dimensional and improvisational glory (a jazz dance meets flamenco sensibility? no actual flamenco, but the same kind of interplay between the dance and the musicians), this was the place to be. Well, "a" place to be. In NYC, art lovers ought to develop the ability to be in 20 places at once, there are so many worthwhile performances - ALMA NYC was definitely a worthy choice.
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