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Fall for Dance: Nrityagram, 605 Collective, HeadSpaceDance, Dance Theatre of Harlem
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Fall for Dance: Nrityagram, 605 Collective, HeadSpaceDance, Dance Theatre of Harlem

- Onstage with the Dancers
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NY City Center
Fall for Dance – Program II

605 Collective
Dance Theatre of Harlem

At New York City Center

Arlene Schuler, President & CEO
Mark Litvin, Sr. VP & Managing Director
Stanford Makishi, Artistic Advisor
Ilter Ibrahimof, Artistic Advisor
Clifton Taylor, Festival Lighting Director
Leon Rothenberg, Festival Sound Supervisors
Press: Helene Davis Public Relations

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
September 27, 2013

Vibhakta (2008): Choreography by Surupa Sen, Music by Pandit Raghunath Panigrahi, Lighting by Lynn Fernandez, Production Manager: Lynn Fernandez, Musicians: Jateen Sahu, Vocals & Harmonium, Sibasankar Satapathy, Chants & Mardala, Sanjib Kunda, Violin, Parshuram Das, Bamboo Flute, Surupa Sen, Offstage Voice, Performed by Bijayini Satpathy and Surupa Sen.

This is a fascinating, cerebral dance, with two women, Bijayini Satpathy and Surupa Sen, intertwining, making themselves into dancing twins. They create look-alike gestures and expressions, with eyebrows, lips, hands, ankles, fingers, and shoulders intensely figurative. They wind down on knees and back up again, in gorgeous silk costumes, to Ms. Sen’s choreography. These performers celebrate “the union and separation of the male and female” in this Indian classical dance. Five musicians are onstage with vocals, flute, violin, percussion, and harmonium. The group is called Nrityagram, and the work, “Vibhakta”.

605 Collective
Selected Play (2012): Choreography by 605 Collective, Original Music by Kristen Roos, Additional Music: Tehn, Poirier, Yorke, Lighting by Jason Dubois, Performed by the Company.

The 605 Collective was a tired, unimaginative work, with six Company dancers chasing one member at a time, as they shift off like playground games. The electronic pulse and sounds energize the street athletics, in monotonous, meandering, meaningless motifs. Spinning on the floor, upside down, is not unusual in this performance, with arms spread out, leaping, and tossing the norm, as well.

Light Beings (1991): Choreography by Mats Ek, Music by Sibelius, Costumes by Fabrice Serafino, Lighting by Simon Bennison, Production Manager: Nia Wood, Performed by Charlotte Broom and Christopher Akrill.

Charlotte Broom and Christopher Akrill, of HeadSpaceDance, moved to Sibelius’ score, in casual, playful choreography by Mats Ek. They wore ballet slippers, so this must have been dance, but it was mostly a romantically inclined couple in some campy lifts, hand-slapping, cartwheels, and quasi-folk dance camp. One might call this Swedish vaudevillian, or such.

Dance Theatre of Harlem
Gloria (2012): Choreography by Robert Garland, Music by Francis Poulenc, Costumes by Pamela Cummings, Lighting by Roma Flowers, Performed by Da’ Von Doane, Ashley Murphy, and the Company.

Now, here we were treated to a magnificent dance performance, of Dance Theater of Harlem’s “Gloria”. This Company’s return to New York stages was gloriously reviewed last April, 2012, in this column. Tonight’s “Gloria”, with the Company dancing to Poulenc’s score, in bright yellow, green, and blue, even included children from its ballet school. Dancers were poised, elegant, and formal, in entrances and exits, a tribute to Robert Garland’s choreography of this enduring work. Da’ Von Doane and Ashley Murphy led the third and fifth movements of this six-movement ballet, with ebullience and graciousness. There’s inherent reverence built into this ballet, with youthful dancers gazing upon the mature members of the company, and the company gazing upon youthful dancers in their center stage walk.

in "Vibhakta"
Courtesy of Uma Dhanwatey

Dance Theater of Harlem
in "Gloria"
Courtesy of Matthew Murphy

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at