"Let us read and let us dance - two amusements that will never do any harm to the world." Voltaire
The Dance Enthusiast Hits the Streets: 60x60
Dance and Music Come Together in a New York Minute
Presented by Arts Brookfield
Conceived of by Vox Novus
Friday, October 23 at 12:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.
For a complete list of choreographers and composers click here.
Photo above by Darial Sneed, courtesy of Arts Brookfield
It’s such a trivial amount of time that one can slip away unnoticed. It’s lunch with a friend or a spin class. It’s a well-deserved nap or an episode of your favorite television drama. In the concert dance world, it’s the de facto length for a single-bill piece.
60x60 upends this notion of devoting one hour to any one thing. It presents 60 one-minute dances set to 60 one-minute music pieces, all created by contemporary choreographers and composers. The brainchild of Rob Voisey, Executive Director of Vox Novus, 60x60 was born of a mad, creative desire to present as much new music and dance in as short a time as possible.
It sounds crazy. It is a little crazy. But gung-ho choreographers and dancers show that a little crazy makes for a vivid and varied hour. At Brookfield Place, 60x60 captures the attention of everyone from worker bees in suits and scowls to moms pushing strollers. Some sit entranced for the entire hour; others only watch a piece or two.
Co-curators Andrea Skurr and Fran Sperling assemble a smorgasbord of movement styles that stretch from modern to ballet and from musical theater to circus arts. The show opens with a bang: To Allen Strange’s chugging, lashing composition, tapper Gwen Potter’s golden shoes beat a funky cadence as her white-blonde hair thrashes like a heavy metal singer.
Circus arts are particularly well represented. Brian Konash starts prone and then leisurely stands, thrusting Fran Sperling aloft in a gasp-worthy move to Angela McGary’s compositions that saunters with spunk and soul. To chimerical music by Greg Bartholomew, Randy Kato frames his body inside a cyr wheel and rolls in indolent curlicues.
Some minutes captivate with a single, striking motif. In Jamila Holman’s piece, a woman unspools from a bolt of aubergine fabric during a sequence of spins and back bends to Laurie Spiegel’s twinkly score. Both with and against John Bilotta’s skittery composition, Buggé Ballet's Jessica McCarthy engraves a delicate signature across the diagonal, her arms yearning toward and away from the heavens. Jen Roit and three friends, clad in suit jackets and crayon-colored pants, gesture with geometric precision as Jane Wang’s music clinks like a possessed chime.
Solid dancing is always appreciated, and 60x60 shows plenty of it. Jonathan Alsberry and Derek Crescenti from Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company bound with joyous physicality — crisp kicks and whip-fast turns — through several different scores. Performers from Emily Bufferd’s BEings flaunt inversions and sinuous balances in a display of versatility across the electronic musical spectrum. Charly Wenzel, sporting an architectural blonde ‘do, strides and then crouches to composer Pauline Oliveros’ scary, weird screeches.
For the finale, Voisey tramps onstage, holding aloft a gigantic donut prop (the music by David Hahn is called “Big Donut”). The cast strolls on with arms outstretched. More, they seem to be saying. We want more: more music, more dance. Perhaps sixty minutes isn’t enough to showcase all the diverse voices in contemporary music and dance.
Choreographers: Daniel Gwirtzman, Buggé Ballet with Nicole Buggé, BEings dance with Emily Bufferd, Inclined Dance Project with Kristen Klein, Gwen Potter, Charly Wenzel, Jamila Holman, Jen Roit, Gwen Potter, Holly Maddock, Monifa Kincaid, Aimee Plauche, Jonathan Lassiter, Jenny Efremova, Erin Pryor, Joey Dillon, Jennifer & Jaclyn Enchin, Sameena Mitta, Mito Pavio, Angel Fan, Joya Powell, Sean Boyt, Sarah Esser, KatieRose, Jerel Hercules, Karesia Batan, Morgelyn Tenbeth-Ward, Katelyn Halpern, Caitlin Dutton, Hannah Ulmer, Jaime Shannon, James Huggins, Rebecca McCurdy, Ann Dragich, Natalie Eramo, Rachel Harvest, Bassam Kubba, Randy Kato, Katya Bryleva
Composers: Joan LaBarbara, Annea Lockwood, Pauline Oliveros, Laurie Spiegel, Barry Truax, Greg Bartholomew, Dennis Bathory-Kitsz, Eve Beglarian, Stephen Betts, John Biggs, John Bilotta, Benjamin Boone, George Brunner, Warren Burt, CDZ, Paul Clouvel, Dan Cooper, Lin Culbertson, Alvin Curran, Douglas DaSilva, Brad Decker, Robert Dick, Larry Gaab, Iris Garrelfs, Monroe Golden, Josh Goldman, Melissa Grey, David Gunn, David Hahn, Andy Hasenpflug, Lynn Job, Aaron Johnson, Tova Kardone, Juraj Kojs, HyeKyung Lee, Stephen Lias, Patrick Liddell, Elainie Lillios, John Link, Charles Norman Mason, Paula Matthusen, Mike McFerron, Angela McGary, Christian McLeer, David Morneau, Jeff Morris, Serban Nichifor, , Milca Paranosic, Maggi Payne, Joe Pehrson, Gene Pritsker, Margaret Schedel, Judith Shatin, Alan Shockley, Allen Strange, Hans Tammen, Eldad Tsbary, Robert Voisey, Jane Wang, and Rodney Waschka
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