Thomas/Ortiz Dance Returns to New York City
Thomas/Ortiz Dance makes a highly anticipated return to New York City with its two-night performance series November 7 – 8 at the Manhattan Movement Arts Center. Led by husband-and-wife team Ted Thomas (former Paul Taylor dancer) and Frances Ortiz, the 12-member contemporary ensemble shares a full evening of the couple’s emotional and colorful works including the world premiere of Four Temperaments.
A mainstay on the New York dance landscape, Thomas/Ortiz continues to provide a platform for Latin choreographers, and dancers of color. After a number of triumphant 2014 engagements --- In-Hale Arts Festival, International Festival of Arts and Ideas, Southern Vermont Dance Festival, to name a few --- Thomas/Ortiz presents an eclectic collection from its repertoire that spans the company’s 13-year life. From the world premiere of Four Temperaments ---- a group performance exemplifying a man’s vices (while he supposedly works late at the office), to the New York premiere of Lagniappes --- an emotional duet depicting the loss of a home after a natural disaster, the program explores relevant themes from religion and sexuality to alcoholism, love, introspection, and resilience.
Melding Thomas’s urban athleticism with Ortiz’s Latin sensuality, their choreography is a seamless union of dance movements that is graceful and heartening yet forceful and agonizing. Cited as bringing a fresh and emotionally engaging new vision to contemporary dance, Thomas/Ortiz’s works have been described as “ethereal and rejoicing, intriguing, light-hearted, sexually charged, political, thoughtful…(Show Business Weekly).” A few of the company’s dancers are alumni of the New England Academy of Dance.
Photo: Leverage (2011) © Christopher Duggan