"Let us read and let us dance - two amusements that will never do any harm to the world." Voltaire
LIGHTNING by The Felice Lesser Dance Theater at The Duke on 42nd Street
The opening night for LIGHTNING at The Duke on 42nd Street was a stunning success! The Felice Lesser Dance Theater captured the need to speak civilly and respectfully about the challenges facing our country. The program addressed both the borders we can see, as well as invisible borders like hatred and prejudice. The double solo "Paths of Coincidence" included a deep concern for the type of evil embodied in Boko Haram's Abduction of Nigerian Schoolgirls and Hitler's murder of the Jews, seen through simultaneous solos danced by the girls' teacher (Katherine Files) and Anne Frank (Danielle Shupe). It addressed global warming and appreciated the feeling that "Black Lives Matter."
The dancers honored the tradition that artists often take responsibility for focusing on what needs attention in our society. These high energy dancers were able to suggest a path toward repairing what needs to be mended and preserving civil liberties for all Americans.
I was intrigued by "Celebrity Gossip." The dancers completely convinced me that although gossip generally lets the tongue do the talking, it is possible to gossip with feet and toes. The choreography and music combined to push feet and toes to talk.
This performance went beyond civil and respectful discourse. It was artistic, elegant and creatively compelling.
Photo by: Gerry Goodstein