Roberta on the Arts
Dankmeyer Dance Company Presents "New Dances with Live Music" at St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery
Home
Contact Roberta
Jazz and Cabaret Corner
On Location with Roberta
In the Galleries: Artists and Photographers
Backstage with the Playwrights and Filmmakers
Classical and Cultural Connections
New CDs
Arts and Education
Onstage with the Dancers
Offstage with the Dancers
Upcoming Events
Special Events
Memorable Misadventures
Mailbag
Our Sponsors

Dankmeyer Dance Company Presents "New Dances with Live Music" at St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery

- Onstage with the Dancers

Park Central Hotel
Park Central Hotel
A Midtown Manhattan Hotel
Ballrooms, Boardrooms, and Suites
Close to Carnegie Hall,
Central Park, Times Square
870 7th Avenue at 56th Street
New York, NY 10019
212.247.8000
800.346.1359


www.parkcentralny.com

Dankmeyer Dance Company
www.DankmeyerDance.com
New Dances with Live Music
Erica Dankmeyer, Artistic Director
At
St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery
131 East 10th Street
New York, NY
Danspace Project
www.danspaceproject.org

Featuring:
Erica Dankmeyer, Martin Lofsnes, Alessandra Prosperi,
Natalie Turner, Samuel Pott, Blanca Cubillos-Roman,
Luis Gabriel Zaragoza

Musicians:
Tahirah Whittington, Cello
Chris Woltman, Guitar and Sound Effects
Melody Fader, Piano

Stage Manager: Jim French
Production Coordinator: Carlton Ward

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
September 27, 2007


(See an Interview with Erica Dankmeyer)
(See a 2002 Review of Dankmeyer Dance)

Erica Dankmeyer, Artistic Director, Dancer, Choreographer, and Teacher, began her ballet training with Paul Curtis and Anna Bena in California. She studied Modern and African dance at Williams College, and she performed as a soloist with the Graham Company for 10 years. Dankmeyer has choreographed works for herself and for Graham Company colleagues, which have been presented around the United States. Ms. Dankmeyer is on the faculty of the Martha Graham School and is a visiting lecturer at Williams College, where she created original works for the Williams College Dance Company.

Four-Ground (Premiere): Choreography by Erica Dankmeyer, Music by Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, Lamentations, Music performed by Tahirah Whittington, cello, Lighting design by Jim French, Costumes by Erica Dankmeyer and Karen Young, Rehearsal Assistance by Alessandra Prosperi, Performed by Blanca Cubillos-Roman, Erica Dankmeyer, Martin Lofsnes, Luis Gabriel Zaragoza.

This quartet of dancers relates in detailed rhythm and expansive motion to the reverberations of Tahirah Whittington's cello, as she unfolds Lamentations in solo performance. Ms. Whittington is a striking musician, in focus, with exceptional talent and stage presence. Ms. Dankmeyer, choreographer and one of the dancers, says in her notes, that "Each musical section evokes a distinctive and sometimes unexpected quality of the human experience.".

Some of the dance design had elements of Argentine Tango for Ms. Cubillos-Roman and Mr. Zaragoza, with intertwining legs in blue-red costumes. Jim French's lighting was both dramatic and nuanced, with dim lights on one couple at a time. Martin Lofsnes' slow, backward walk was followed with a high leg extension, defying gravity itself. There was much stretching of arms, and one couple walked offstage in opposite directions. Ms. Dankmeyer allowed Mr. Lofsnes to walk over her back, quite a different gender motif. Some of the dancers belong to Martin Lofsnes/MG360º, which presented its premiere studio showing November 20th, 2006 at the Alvin Ailey School Fifth Floor Studio.


Keep Off the Grass: Sigmund Freud meets action movie (Premiere): Direction, choreography, and visual design by Andrea Haenngi, Music composed and performed by Chris Woltman, Performed by Erica Dankmeyer. Andrea Haenngi is a Swiss-born choreographer, and founder of AMDaT. Haenngi and Dankmeyer have been friends for ten years, and this solo for Ms. Dankmeyer is based on Haenngi's personal impressions of her friend. Program notes say, "Think Freudian analysis meets action movies, accompanied by original, live electric guitar music". Chris Woltman is the guitarist, and he adds "new age"/rock sound effects and jolting percussive passages.

Ms. Dankmeyer arrives with shredded pink material, as she balances on one foot in a black jeans skirt. The pink material slowly transforms into larger than life, human silhouettes, each placed on the interior church steps of St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery. As the guitar adds mystery and vocal shouts, "We are all Ericas", the pink material figures lie surrealistically in various positions. New vocals shout, "I keep off the grass", and scratchy acoustics enhance a choreographed semblance of public and private angst. Ms. Dankmeyer reaches to the rafters, as Mr. Woltman's atonal bell effects ring forth.

The Thought Behind / Still the Line (Premiere): Choreography by Erica Dankmeyer, Music by György Ligeti, Etudes for Piano, "De'sordre", "Cordes a' Vide", "Fe'm", "Fanfares", "Vertige", Music performed by Melody Fader, piano, Lighting design by Jim French, Costumes by Karen Young, Rehearsal assistance by Marianne Bachman, Performed by Erica Dankmeyer, Martin Lofsnes, Samuel Pott, Alessandra Prosperi, Natalie Turner.

With three of the five ensemble dancers having been in the Martha Graham Company (Dankmeyer, Lofsnes, Prosperi), this final work on today's program sizzled. The Graham genre, contractions, releases, taut muscles, bent wrists and ankles, straight leg lifts, and Greek-like friezes, were all evident and then some. Melody Fader was at the piano for Ligeti's Etudes, and Ms. Fader is an impassioned and attentive pianist and dance accompanist. She brought five of Ligeti's Etudes to life, in the appropriately spiritual ambiance of St. Mark's. Ms. Dankmeyer's notes refer to "elusive ideas that seem to unravel.like trying to remember dreams".

Karen Young's blue-black leotards and bare backs add starkness to the fused mood and momentum. And, once again, Jim French's lighting is essential as it shifts with the unfolding choreography. Arms and head rolls are as intense as the Graham motifs, and Ms. Fader seamlessly and furiously raced through the windy passages that ensued.

Kudos to Erica Dankmeyer and her dance company.



Chris Woltman, Melody Fader, Tahirah Whittington
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Rehearsal: "THE THOUGHT BEHIND/STILL THE LINE"
Martin Lofsnes, Alessandra Prosperi
Pianist, Melody Fader
Photo Courtesy of Arthur Fink



"THE THOUGHT BEHIND/STILL THE LINE"
Martin Lofsnes, Samuel Pott, Alessandra Prosperi, Natalie Turner
Pianist, Melody Fader
Photo Courtesy of Linda Lewett



Rehearsal:"FOUR-GROUND"
Blanca Cubillos-Roman, Luis Gabriel Zaragozza
Photo Courtesy of Arthur Fink




"THE THOUGHT BEHIND/STILL THE LINE"
Alessandra Prosperi, Erica Dankmeyer, Natalie Turner
Photo Courtesy of Christopher Duggan



"THE THOUGHT BEHIND/STILL THE LINE"
Alessandra Prosperi
Photo Courtesy of Christopher Duggan



"THE THOUGHT BEHIND/STILL THE LINE"
Photo Courtesy of Christopher Duggan



"THE THOUGHT BEHIND/STILL THE LINE"
Erica Dankmeyer
Photo Courtesy of Christopher Duggan




"THE THOUGHT BEHIND/STILL THE LINE"
Photo Courtesy of Christopher Duggan


For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net