Dancing on the Railby Vanessa Manko
Argentine tango, Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, more Morris—if you hadn’t had enough—and lower Manhattan transformed into a danscape are just some of the performances to see throughout July and August. And while uptown-minded Lincoln Center presents their annual Lincoln Center and Mostly Mozart Festivals, the downtown Fringe Festival offers more avant garde performances and dance theater.
Lincoln Center and Mostly Mozart Festivals
Chinese-born and New York-based choreographer and visual artist Shen Wei brings a new work to this year’s Lincoln Center Festival (July 14, 16 and 17). Shen Wei has found a way to combine the ephemeral nature of dance with the static quality of visual art. Dancers, through what Shen Wei defines as "action painting," will leave the imprint or residue of the movement on what begins as a blank canvas covering the stage, creating a visual art work that creates itself anew each evening. In four parts, this evening-length work is set to music by Kevin Volans, Iannis Xenakis and Gyorgy Ligeti. And if you missed Mark Morris in the company’s spring season at BAM, you can catch his company again in August at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, where the company will perform to Monteverdi, Haydn, and Bach (August 19 and 20). Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker will also be performing as part of the festival. Her company Rosas presented the stunning Rain at BAM in the fall and will present an all-Mozart performance titled Mozart/Concert Arias, un moto di gioia which offers the choreographer’s particular take on interrelations between the sexes—girls and boys, men and women (August 25, 27, 28). For times, theater locations and ticket prices visit: www.lincolncenter.org.
Julio Bocca, the classically trained ballet star of American Ballet Theater, has long had a second love—the tango. To cultivate this other passion, he formed Boccatango. Bocca, along with his dance partner Cecilia Figaredo and dancers from Ballet Argentino, will perform this sensual, passionately fierce dance in a 90-minute performance accompanied by musicians playing works by Astor Piazzolla and other traditional tango composers. July 26-August 14, Monday through Fridays at 8:00 pm, Saturdays at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm., Tickets: $40, The Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street, 212-242-0800, www.joyce.org.
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s SiteLines Series
Dancers have taken over lower Manhattan with the help of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s site-specific dance series, SiteLines. The series, which began in June with Stephen Koplowitz’s Grand Step Project that featured 50 dancers performing on the Winter Garden stairs, continues through July and August with three other pieces. Tryst, by co-choreographers Clarinda Mac Low, Paul Benney, and Alejandra Martorell, is a two-part performance comprised of Business Herd—featuring dancers donned in suits mimicking the workaday crowd, traveling en masse from plaza to plaza—and Assisted Street Crossing, in which obliging New Yorkers will be carried across the street by the assistance of skilled dancers. Tamar Rogoff’s Night for Day deals with insomnia and seems to critique our work-obsessed culture. Rogoff will drag a bed through lower Manhattan, stopping at intervals to dance. The piece will be performed in the morning, afternoon and evening. And lastly, Heather Harrington’s Giscard Games takes place on the steps of Federal Hall Memorial, across the street from the New York Stock Exchange. The dancers will move up and down the stairs, mirroring capitalism’s reliance on the gains and losses of the market. For performance dates, times and locations visit www.lmcc.net/EventsandExhibitions/sitelines. All performances are FREE.
2004 Fringe Festival (August 13-29)
The dance offerings at this year’s Fringe Festival are slim pickings. Out of nearly 200 performances, there are only a handful of pure dance pieces, including Decadancetheatre’s Decadance Vs. The Firebird, a hip-hop ballet; as well as Spain’s Marina Donderis Dance Company and M’Oro Flamenco, which combines Flamenco with Indian and Middle Eastern dance. But despite this dearth of dance, several choreographers have collaborated with directors and playwrights in dance theater or movement theater productions. One such example is David Neumann, who teamed up with writer/director Kevin Lawler in 5000 Nights, a piece featuring hobos, dance, and "surgery with rusty implements." For dates, times, locations and ticket prices visit: www.fringenyc.org.
VANESSA MANKO was the former Dance Editor for the Brooklyn Rail.