Saturday, August 9, 2008

dance in the park

Last night I had a lovely night with friends seeing a performance as part of Lincoln Center's Out of Doors Festival at Damrosch Park. It was another of those nights where it seemed that everyone in the New York dance community was there (including fellow bloggers Philip, Tonya, and Ariel).

I had never seen a performance in that space, so it was definitely an experience. A friend of mine got us "vip" seats even though it was free, but that meant we got to sit pretty close (and very near the blasting speakers) in the otherwise packed rows of seats. Dance in an outside space is always different from being in a traditional theater, and though both have their benefits (it was a beautifully cool night last night) I think I prefer indoors, haha. The acoustics were a bit of a headache (though maybe from seat location) and I, for one, kept getting distracted by birds and planes and cops roaming the aisles and people getting up and down.

That aside, the performance was quite good. Karole Armitage's troupe took the stage for a long piece called "Summer of Love," but unforunately I saw no sign of a program so can't describe names and such in detail. It was very energetic, with African-based movement and heart-pounding rhythms. Besides extensive bootie-shaking and legs intertwining galore, there was some great dancing by the very diverse company members (in terms of heights, body types...). Some parts were better than others and more engaging than others (the 2 dancers that were actually part of the msucial group were exceptionally entertaining), but overall it got a bit repetitive after the first hour. Maybe it was the whole location thing not holding my attention span after sitting their that long (actually not long compared to a noraml performance...), but I can't have been the only one thinking that.

After the brief intermission was Ronald K. Brown's company, Evidance. He had two pieces and I only stayed for the first (by that time I was antsy and starving...I should mention we got there a good 45 minutes early to get said vip seats). His work was nice as well but not in the same in-your-face way Armitage's piece was. The ladies screaming behind me in support of the dancers were particularly enjoying it. Hello rock concert?

Overall it was a very nice night and I hope to attend more of the outdoor festival. I'm not sure how many more dance events are actually happening though.

Coming up this week...attending a dress rehearsal of Cedar Lake's new installation, "The Copier," and going to some dance performances as part of the NY Fringe Festival downtown.

1 comment:

tonya said...

yeah,I agree. I liked Armitage a lot, but am sure I would have liked it better if it wasn't for all the interruptions. I'm sorry to hear you had the same experience sitting up front because I told Philip we should have requested press tickets or tried to sit up closer or something. (sometimes I think it's good for reviewers to NOT sit in the press section; to see and experience what their readers will be seeing and experiencing). But is sounds like it was the same no matter where you sat. I'm still overall happy with the performance and definitely want to see more of both companies.