Monday, December 19, 2011

Playing favorites...of 2011


So, my dear readers, here's my end-of-year list of cultural high points, fond memories and mad, mad crushes, completely personal and subjective, and sort of in chronological order...



@Carlos Saura, director, Flamenco, Flamenco (Dance on Camera Festival); all performers; cinematography/lighting

@American Realness festival--Ben Pryor. Including reprise of luciana achugar's PURO DESEO (with lighting by Madeline Best) at Abrons Arts Center

@John Scott for Action at La MaMa; dancers Philip Connaughton and Michael Snipe Jr.

@Eunhee Lee for her performance in Oops!, her duet with Marcos Duran at Dance New Amsterdam

@Patti Smith (with Lenny Kaye and Sam Shepard) at 92Y

@Ursula Eagly (concept/choreography) and Jesse Harold (visual art) for Group Dynamics and Visual Sensitivity at Danspace Project

@Charles L. Mee, Dan Safer, Witness Relocation and ildi ! eldi for Heaven on Earth at La MaMa

@Verdensteatret for And All the Questionmarks Started to Sing at Dance Theater Workshop

@Cauleen Smith's Carousel Microcinema: GLOSSOLALIA 5.0 at The Kitchen

@The New Black Fest American Slavery Project--reading of Judy Tate's Fast Blood at Cap21. All performers

@Ntozake Shange and Marc Bamuthi Joseph in conversation at 651 Arts' Live & Outspoken at the Mark Morris Center

@Kathy Westwater performing in K. J. Holmes's This is where we are (or take arms against a sea of troubles) at The Chocolate Factory

@David Parker, curator and Michelle Dorrance and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, choreographers and performers at Danspace Project, part of Platform 2011--Body Madness. Performances by Cartier Williams, Caleb Teicher, Ryan P. Casey and Elena Steponaitis

@Yetta Yarushelmy in Doug Varone's Chapters from A Broken Novel at The Joyce Theater

@Trisha Brown Dance Company in Foray Forêt at Dance Theater Workshop (company's debut at DTW); performance by Elena Demyanenko

@John Scott, choreographer, Irish Modern Dance Theatre at La MaMa for Fall and Recover with performances by Francis Acilu, Julie Chi, Philip Connaughton, Aisling Doyle, Faranak Mehdi Golhini, Solomon Ijigade, Sebastiao Mpembele Kamalandua, Kiribu, Patience Namehe, Nina, Elizabeth Su, Haile Tkabo and Mufutau Kehinde Yusuf (Junior). With original music composed and performed live by Rossa O'Snodaigh

@Kumu Kawika Keikiali'i Alfiche's Halau o Keikiali'i for The Sacred Hula: Ka Wa Hula -- Hula Through Time at Symphony Space

@Eiko and Koma for Naked at Baryshnikov Arts Center

@Madeline Best (performance), Shaun Irons and Lauren Petty (video) and Brian Rogers (sound) for the horror the horror (I have plenty of energy to drive over there) at Abrons Arts Center

@Chase Granoff with Katherine Profeta, Maria Bauman, Faye Driscoll, Walter Dundervill, Jack Ferver and Andre Lepecki for Lobby TALKS at Dance Theater Workshop/NY Live Arts (discussion on narrative in dance)

@Alexis Rockman: A Fable for Tomorrow exhibit at Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington DC

@Belarus Free Theatre for Zone of Silence at La MaMa; entire cast, special mention: Pavel Gorodnitski

@A Prayer for Japan at La MaMa; featuring International Shinto Foundation (Rev. Masafumi Makanishi and Ms. Reina Hayashibara), Matou (Ataahua Papa, Tiokasin Ghosthorse, Charley Buckland and Donna Kelly), Toko Emi, Kinding Sindaw, Vicky Holt Takamine and Pua Ali'i 'llima (Marina Celander, Erika Comrie, Veronique Lozano, Anne Matematico, Kiku Sakai and Yvette Wynn), The Silver Cloud Singers

@Ursula Eagly in Iskra Sukarova's It at Performance Mix Festival at Dixon Place

@Suzanne Bocanegra for When A Priest Marries A Witch at The Chocolate Factory; performance by Paul Lazar

@Muna Tseng for Stella at Danspace Project; special mention: David Thomson

@Susan Rethorst for Beau Regard (1989) during Susan Rethorst: Retro(intro)spective at Danspace Project; curation: Melinda Ring; Carol Mullins, lighting; performances by Vicky Shick, Naomi Fall, Rebecca Brooks, Irene Hultman Monti and Jodi Melnick

@Sean Kelly Gallery for Robert Mapplethorpe: 50 Americans

@Pavel Zuštiak + Palissimo Company for The Painted Bird: Amidst at Baryshnikov Arts Center; including performances by Pavel Zuštiak, Lindsey Dietz Marchant and Nicholas Bruder

@Coby Koehl (singer) at Dixon Place HOT! Festival 2011

@Maria Bauman/MBDance, Ephrat "Bounce" Asherie, Jen Abrams, Diana Y Greiner and Lauren M Feldman at Dixon Place HOT! Festival 2011

@Pamela Sneed for America Ain't Ready at Dixon Place HOT! Festival 2011

@Ruth Gruber, Photojournalist exhibit at International Center for Photography

@Metropolitan Museum of Art for the inaugural Members Grand Tour, September 15, 2011

@Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in Body Against Body programs at New York Live Arts, September 16-25

@Occupy--the brilliant performative embodiment of ideas, outrage and conscience at encampments and in minds worldwide and probably somewhere near you, September 17 and ongoing  

@Music according to Tom Jobim by Nelson Pereira Dos Santos, NY Film Festival, New York premiere, October, 2011

@Dancer Crush--curated by Carla Peterson and Annie-B Parson at New York Live Arts, October 5-8, 2011

@A Dangerous Method--directed by David Cronenberg, NY Film Festival, NY premiere, October, 2011

@Ordinary Witnesses and World Fair by L'A./Rachid Ouramdane at New York Live Arts, October 11-15

@The Bessie Awards at The Apollo, October 24. Kudos to Lucy Sexton, Lane Harwell (Dance/NYC), Mikki Shepard (The Apollo Theater) and the entire Bessies team.

@David Margolick's Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock (Yale University Press, 2011)

@Maria Hassabi and Hristoula Harakas in SHOW at The Kitchen, November 2011

@Kendall Cornell and her Clowns Ex Machina troupe at La Mama, November 2011 in Clowns Full-Tilt: A Musing on Aesthetics. Lighting by Carla T Bosnjak

@Chase Granoff, intuition is preceding over my understanding at The Chocolate Factory, November 2011. Poetry by Thom Donovan

@HIDE/SEEK at Brooklyn Museum, opened November 2011

@Jonah Bokaer and Irit Batsry for Sequel at CPR, December 7-10 (choreography & direction by Bokaer; visual design & installation by Batsry)

@Tere O'Connor for Cover Boy, at Danspace Project, with dancers Michael Ingle, Niall Jones, Paul Monaghan and Matthew Rogers. Composer James Baker. Lighting Designer Michael O'Connor. Set Designer: Aptum Architecture (Roger Hubeli and Julie Larsen). Costumes: FACADE/FASAD

@Merce Cunningham Dance Company at BAM Next Wave Festival, The Legacy Tour, December

@Robert Battle and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Winter Season at City Center. Rennie Harris for Home; Ohad Naharin for Minus 16

@The renovated City Center

@Elizabeth Streb and STREB EXTREME ACTION "action engineers" and collaborators for STREB: Kiss the Air! at the Park Avenue Armory

@Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor in Beginners, ending the list only because I recently got it from Netflix!

Wishing a grand New Year to all the artists and cultural workers who give of their best every year!

AND NOW, A FEW WORDS FROM SOME OF YOU!


Recently, I playfully requested your nominations for DANCE PERSON OF THE YEAR. I got a handful of replies--all of them on Facebook--and I'll just paste them in here. If you'd like, you can certainly add to this by posting a comment or two.

My choice is Lindsey Dietz Marchant. She's been sorely overlooked by the community despite more than a decade of significant, consistent, excellent contribution, and this year saw no shortage of her brilliance on many stages in many works by numerous choreographers. This is a great idea Eva. Thanks for putting it out there. ;-) [Alberto Denis]

Not to mention her own choreography as well. ;-) [Alberto Denis]

In the spirit of occupy I vote for all in the field of dance, who keep the art form alive in any form possible wherever and however. No judgement calls on aesthetic , on who is who, no to who is your favorite, but just honor all who love dance and keep dancing against all odds, keep presenting dance, keep teaching dance and about dance, keep funding dance. I vote for all of us who in whatever form possible stick with it. As Merce Cunningham said so beautiful:" you have to love dancing to stick with it. It gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on your walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be oriented and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive. It is not for unsteady souls." so to all those who stick with it in one form or the other. Peace. [Gabri Christa] 

Lucy Sexton for having the patience and tenacity to bring back the Bessies.
[Anna Glass]

Elizabeth Streb [Barbara Levy]

I have two - Baraka de Soleil for always thinking in art mode and creating something and working hard to get it done!and my dance mentor Luigi, who still teaches at 86! [Alexis Marnel]

Good QUESTION!!! Gotta think about that. For me out here "at the quiet limit of the world," it was Pina Bausch; I'd never seen "Danzon" before, and though it's 15 years old, it was new to me; I was ravished. Sun moon stars rain. [Paul Parish]

And that's a pretty good way to end the year:
Sun moon stars rain.

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