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PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE: A Celebration of Dance at the 92nd Street Y

On the Upper East Side, at the corner of 92nd and Lexington Avenue, lies a building steeped in dance history. Martha Graham, Jerome Robbins, Alvin Ailey, Katherine Dunham, and Doris Humphrey all performed, taught, or rehearsed there, and fittingly, their work was included in the 75th Anniversary Gala of the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center.

BILL T. JONES: Serenade/The Proposition

The post-performance discussion of Serenade/The Proposition nervously circled around the question of how one can (and even whether one should) make dance about history.

HIP-HOP CARNY: Teaching New Dancers Old Tricks

On Tuesday, November 10th, Carey Ysais and Paulette Azizian put together their bi-annual homage to hip-hop dance in New York (which is often regarded as more raw and authentic than its Los Angeles doppelganger).

CAVE New York Butoh Festival—The Butoh-Kan Phase October 23–November 25, 2009

Dance originates from a primal place and is then is usually molded into or filtered through various codified forms. Butoh, though, does not mold, filter, or codify. It is raw existence.


When moving forward, it helps to consider where one has been. On the cusp of a new decade, in my new role as Dance Editor for the Brooklyn Rail, I revisited great dance writers’ thoughts on their professions.

A Man's World: CHARLIE’S ANGELS AT THE KITCHEN, October 22-24

“She dances like a man,” an audience member gushed about one of the tap stars in Jason Samuels Smith’s Charlie’s Angels. I’ve heard it said of women tappers before, but what, exactly, does it mean? (Not to mention, why is it a virtue?)

Preview THE GOOD DANCE—DAKAR/BROOKLYN AT BAM, December 16th-19th

In mid-December, as part of the 2009 Next Wave Festival, BAM will showcase The Good Dance—dakar/brooklyn, a collaboration between American Reggie Wilson and African Andréya Ouamba.

Traveling in Time, to the Pear Garden: HAN-TANG YUEFU ENSEMBLE’S THE FEAST OF HAN XIZAI AT THE JOYCE THEATER, November 3-8

Early in his epistolary romance The Sorrows of Young Werther, Goethe paints a scene in which the doomed, noble hero encounters a servant girl at a well. The year was 1774, a mere two centuries or so ago. But that bucolic, pre-industrial scene is as unimaginable to our modern minds as the day before e-mail.

Replay as Revivification: PARADES & CHANGES, REPLAYS AT DANCE THEATER WORKSHOP, PERFORMA 09, November 18th, 2009

When art historians eventually look back on the aughts, I think it will be said that the predominant art form of this decade was the reenactment, works that “replay” or “redo” previous works of art or cultural texts.


The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 09-JAN 10

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