American Dance Recon Hits the NYC Streets on September 30th

23 Oct

American Dance Recon (reconnection or reconnaissance with American dance) launched in NYC on Sunday, Sept. 30.  Twelve international presenters from Mexico, Venezuela, Chile, Macedonia, Hungary, Singapore, China, Australia and New Zealand convened for 4 ½ days.  During that time, they saw a wide range of dance – from performances on stage to artists’ rehearsals and video viewings – in all a total of over 20 different presentations.   Dance writer and critic Deborah Jowitt provided context for dance in the city and in the U.S., and they enjoyed an opportunity to meet and speak with their counterpart presenters from NYC and the region as well as participating in a Town Hall meeting with the local dance community, hosted by Dance/NYC and the Gibney Dance Center.

The group traveled by subway from one end of NYC to the other, starting in Brooklyn one day, heading to Harlem the next, walking the 19th Street corridor one day, crossing town to the 92nd Street Y another day, racing down to Soho and over to the East Village, and ending one evening at the Ailey Theater.

Scheduled from 8:30 AM every morning until late evening, they experienced what life in dance feels like in NYC.  The choreographers and companies they saw and/or talked with included: John Jasperse; Garth Fagan; Fall for Dance; Dance Theatre of Harlem; Forces of Nature; Ballet Hispanico; Pentacle’s Fall Further Showcase; Trajal Harrell; Sean Curran; Pascal Rioult; Philadanco; Doug Varone; Dean Moss; Jane Comfort; Stephen Petronio; Monica Bill Barnes; and Kyle Abraham.

Their travels included stops at the Center for Performance Research, Brooklyn Academy of Music, 55th Street City Center, DTH’s building, the Apollo Theater, St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Harlem, Ballet Hispanico’s space, Danspace Project, the Alvin Ailey studios and theater, Gibney Dance Center, New York Live Arts, the DANY studios, the Joyce Theatre, the 92nd Street Y, Baryshnikov Arts Center, and Joyce Soho.

In addition to the choreographers and artistic directors who welcomed them, several colleagues graciously provided tours, presentations, receptions, and/or studio visits.  They included Joe Melillo from BAM, Ben Pryor from American Realness, Arlene Shuler from City Center, Mikki Shepard from the Apollo, Jean Davidson from NYLA, Linda Shelton from the Joyce, Judy Hussie-Taylor from Danspace, Villejo Ganter from P.S. 122, Ella Baff from Jacob’s Pillow, Georgiana Pickett from BAC, and John-Mario Sevilla from the 92nd Street Y.

To a one, the presenters were amazed at the diversity of dance in the city and the spaces that house dance.

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