DANCE NOW 25th Anniversary Season: Chapter 2
To celebrate its 25th season, DANCE NOW is presenting a series of online events featuring new and archival digital works by more than 40 innovative dance makers on its new web platform, dancenow.online.
As a response to the ongoing pandemic and to support its community of artists during this challenging time, DANCE NOW has reimagined its fall festival at Joe’s Pub, creating an alternative virtual space to celebrate its artists and this landmark anniversary. Each chapter (September, October, November, February, March, and May) brings new, emerging, and longtime veterans of the festival together to honor DANCE NOW’s past, embrace the present, and explore future possibilities for artists and audiences alike. The virtual series features 19 premieres and 18 treasured works from the DANCE NOW archive, as well as an interactive timeline featuring photos, interviews, and additional facets of the DANCE NOW Story. DANCE NOW is thrilled to have Joe’s Pub as a partner on this project.
The October Performance Chapter, to be released on Thursday, October 8 (12pm Eastern), will feature commissioned works by Jamal Jackson, Katy Pyle, and Nicole Wolcott and archival works by Katherine Helen Fisher and Wanjiru Kamuyu. The Artist-to-Audience Celebration on Thursday, October 22, at 7pm, will honor acclaimed choreographer and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Robert Battle. The event will be hosted by the brilliant Christal Brown.
For decades the Good Humor ice cream truck and its jingle have provided comfort and reminded us of our childhood. However, the origins of this music, a minstrel number written by Harry C. Browne, point to the power of the controlled narrative. Jamal Jackson’s latest piece comments on the tune’s racist past. “Between the paralyzing weight of a manufactured trope and the uplifting realization of prosperity through a familiar crop, lies the watermelon.”
Ballez director Katy Pyle brings together an intergenerational cast of Ballez dancers and mentors for a reimagining of the self-created, separatist world of the Wilis (from the classical ballet Giselle), updated for Covid-times with masks, social distancing, and an outdoor performance on a basketball court. With DP Robyn Ayers, original music by Clara Latham, and performances by Janet Panetta, Meg Harper, Charles Gowin, Matthias Kodat, MJ Markovitz, Ash Phan, Nat Wilson, and Pyle, this group of Wilis embraces and reclaims their “outsider” status in continually deepening ways that redefine what ballet is, and how dancers can claim the form for their own joy, pleasure, and self-expression.
In The Clearing, Nicole Wolcott stands at the epicenter of a charred sculpture built in reverence for the fires in the mountains. Describing the inspiration for her danced meditation, Wolcott writes: “A fire brings a painful and awesome power to the forest, but in its wake it leaves a clearing. A place for growth and space to stretch the eyes. Between the wrath and the growth is a great pause, a settling, an allowance for change to come.”
Katherine Helen Fisher’s Median is an excerpt from a 2016 evening-length solo show, CHARACTERS, consisting of image-based dances, projected film works, and wearable technology. CHARACTERS grew out of a series of photographed portraits of the same name in which Fisher used props, costumes, and heavy makeup in a hybrid of photography and performance art to explore aspects of femininity as an effect of representation.
Wanjiru Kamuyu’s piece is an excerpt from a larger solo work entitled Spiral, which examines the global influences, effects, and affects of the dominating Western patriarchal standard of beauty. This work was created for the DANCE NOW Festival’s 15th anniversary at Joe’s Pub in 2013.
Artists’ bios can be found here.
The season features new digital commissions from Tsiambwom M. Akuchu, Ayodele Casel, Sarah Chien, Brendan Drake, Mike Esperanza, Kayla Farrish, Jasmine Hearn, Orlando Hernandez, Jamal Jackson, Kate Ladenheim,LMnO3, Joshua L. Peugh, Katy Pyle, Alice Sheppard, Amber Sloan, Subject: Matter, Mariana Valencia, Nicole Vaughan-Diaz, Maleek Washington, and Nicole Wolcott, and archival works from Adam Barruch, Tricia Brouk, Katherine Helen Fisher, Mark Gindick, Ruben Graciani, John Heginbotham, HUMA, Paula Josa-Jones, Wanjiru Kamuyu, TAKE Dance, and Megan Williams.
Six DANCE NOW veterans will be honored: Robert Battle, Jane Comfort, Satoshi Haga, David Parker, Claire Porter, and Gus Solomons jr.
Hosts throughout the season include Germaul Barnes, Christal Brown, Sara Juli, Deborah Lohse (aka TruDee), andLarry Keigwin & Nicole Wolcott.
Each monthly chapter will be released at 12pm Eastern on the designated event date and will remain online through June 30, 2021. Artist-to-Audience Celebrations on Zoom start at 7pm Eastern.
Single tickets are $10 for each Monthly Performance Program and $20 for the Monthly Performance Program and Artist-to-Audience Celebration.
Two subscription packages are available: $50 (one-time payment) includes all six Monthly Performance Programs. Full Subscription: $100 (one-time payment) includes the six Monthly Performance Programs and the six Monthly Artist-to-Audience Celebrations. Tickets can be purchased at www.dancenow.online.
Proceeds from ticket sales support future artist commissions. Artists creating, performing, collaborating, and teaching in the 25th Anniversary Season programming will have access to all events for free.
*Programs subject to change.
Katy Pyle's Ballez. Photo: Robyn Ayers
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