Wednesday, July 19, 2006

American Dance Festival: International Choreographers Commissioning Program

We couldn't make the Tuesday night (I was teaching) ADF show with the post-performance discussion, but did get to see the three international choreographer commissioned pieces tonight, the last of its three night run. It was an interesting evening filled with quite contemporary dance theatre that makes me continue to think about how to best define the term "dance".

My favorite piece was the Japanese Butoh-style one, choreographed and performed by Takuya Muramatsu, entitled Taiyo no kokuin (Mark of the Sun). The picture here, captured from the ADF website, gives a glimpse into what the dance was like. Moody ambient techno music provided the backdrop to a slowly revealed dance that was a bit scary, with starkly original costumes and characteristically Butoh white makeup.

Tatiana Baganova, whom I saw on June 27 as part of the Russian Provincial Dances Theatre, choreographed Post Engagement, the closing performance, and my second favorite. It also had interesting costumes and abstract theatre.

I didn't much enjoy Argentinian Luis Garay's 12, which opened the night. It featured a Chinese woman in a red dress and heels who was searching for something (as revealed in supertitles) and who would occasionally yell, evidently causing the other dancers to fall to the ground, motionless. There is a disturbing end - but if I better understood the dance, perhaps the end would have not been so incongruous and shocking? My wife had an interesting theory; the red colors were perhaps symbolic of Red China, and authoritarianism. For a long time it all seemed to work, but at the end it fell apart and became clear that people couldn't be controlled. Hmm... it sounded convicing to me! One nice twist to this piece: I saw my friend Derrick Acker in the lobby after the show, and he asked if I had seen his name - he was featured in distorted silhouette playing one of his guitar compositions!

By the way, there is a good description with many pictures of the performance at the News & Observer ADF blog. That blog includes reviews of each of the shows this season. The July 19th issue of the New York Times has a review about this performance.

Pictures from the ADF website.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting site. Useful information. Bookmarked.

Thu Aug 10, 10:07:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I see you said you were friends with Derrick Acker. I was a student at the ADF this summer and LOVED his composition, performance, and voice...Do you know if I can get a hold of him and how? I am choreographing my own show this year and would love to use his music if he would allow me to. Thank you! If you'll leave a comment on my blog ( maybe we can figure out a way to swap contact info without publishing to the world. Thank you!!!

Tue Aug 15, 08:53:00 PM PDT  

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