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DANCE NOW: Dance-mopolitan

DANCE NOW: Dance-mopolitan

May 2, 2020

DANCE NOW presents a one-night-only performance as a preview to the 25th anniversary season of DANCE NOW’s signature festival, which kicks off this fall. The May program, a continuation of DANCE NOW’s short-takes format, will feature new and restaged works by Brendan Drake, Jamal Jackson Dance Company, LMnO3 (Deborah Lohse, Cori Marquis, and Donnell Oakley), Ian Berg/Subject: Matter, and Nicole Wolcott.

“As we approach the 25th anniversary of our annual festival series, we are presenting a special preview performance to celebrate the boundless imaginations of the dance innovators—past, present, and future—DANCE NOW has presented over the last two and a half decades,” says Robin Staff, Executive Artistic Director and Producer. “We selected these artists, all of whom are at different stages in their artistic development, for their bold, impassioned, and inspired approaches to their creative processes.”

May 2 Dance-mopolitan Program

Brendan Drake brings two new works to the series. The first is a new iteration of ROPE, originally choreographed in 2015. Drake will be resetting it on two new dancers, Nic Owens and Carlo Antonio Villenueva. The second piece is a new work for two performers, one of whom will be playing the mandolin live. The general mood for both works is somber with a hint of camp and magical realism.

Jamal Jackson Dance Company will be showing excerpts of a new work, Semantics My N***a. The piece explores the etymology and power of one of the most dangerous words in the English language. The first section is a recorded conversation/debate about the nuances of the word, who can say the word, and if the word can be reclaimed. The second section is set on a plantation and looks at who is in charge of the word.

In addition to hosting the evening, LMnO3 will present an excerpt from Pomp, which began as a love letter to and recontextualization of themes from the work of modern dance icon Pina Bausch, and has evolved into a work of epic proportions. LMnO3 is dreaming bigger than they have ever dreamt before, with cardboard boxes, Grecian wigs, gold silk skirts, endless gratitude logs and the soundtracks from the blockbuster hits of its member’s youth. 

Boston-based tap dance company Subject: Matter will present an expanded version of Fear For Your Life, which premiered at the DANCE NOW Festival in 2018. The work is an exploration of Cold War aesthetics and propaganda. The company will also present an excerpt from its evening-length project, Songbook, set to Ahmad Jamal’s version of “But Not For Me.”

Nicole Wolcott will share two works from past DANCE NOW performances: This Man, performed by Tim Edwards (originally performed at the festival in 2018), and Una Furtiva Abbraccio, a duet that was performed at the 2017 festival. Originally performed by Kristina Diaz and Isaac Spector, this duet will be re-staged on Patrick Ferreri and Wolcott.

For 24 years DANCE NOW has bent the rules to offer all-inclusive destination events that reveal the bustling energy and innovation of New York City dance makers. Created in 1995 as a program of the Downtown Arts Festival, DANCE NOW launched in 1996 as an independent festival. Without a performance venue, DANCE NOW learned to embrace limitation as a powerful source for creativity. Seeking creative ways to bring dance and community together, DANCE NOW developed partnerships to connect new audiences to innovative dance makers. Presenting dance in venues both traditional and not, DANCE NOW designed all-inclusive destination events for drained swimming pools, firehouses, galleries, and Joe’s Pub, where, in 2003, DANCE NOW introduced the Dance-mopolitan series. In 2005, DANCE NOW furthered its “less is more” mantra, creating a challenge initiative to encourage work marked by brevity, clarity, and effect. This inspired the commissioning of full-evening works specifically for Joe’s Pub, and the merging of all DANCE NOW NYC programs to the Pub in 2011.  

DANCE NOW’s programming at Joe’s Pub has defied the standard and encouraged artists to think outside the box and utilize the unique space, creating an inspiring new platform for dance. In the last decade, DANCE NOW has produced numerous critically acclaimed works at Joe’s Pub including Doug Elkins’s Fräulein Maria, David Parker’s ShowDown, Misters and Sisters, and Head Over Heels, Nicholas Leichter’s The Whiz and 20/20, Kyle Abraham’s Heartbreaks and Homies, Nicole Wolcott and Vanessa Walters’s Alley of the Dolls, Camille A. Brown’s One Second Past the Future, Monica Bill Barnes’s Snow Globes, Takehiro Ueyama’s Somewhere Familiar Melodies, Claire Porter’s Sent-ence, Mark Dendy’s NEWYORKnewyork@Astor Place, Ellis Wood’s The Juggler of Our Ladies, Larry Keigwin and Nicole Wolcott’s Places Please!, and, most recently, Megan Williams’s One Woman Show.  

From a small festival series to four distinct programs, from NYC to Pennsylvania, DANCE NOW presents young innovators and emerging and maturing artists side by side, building relationships at varying stages of development and providing comprehensive assistance to advance creativity and new career paths. DANCE NOW Joe’s Pub challenges artists to investigate new directions. DANCE NOW Raw funnels new artists into its programs. DANCE NOW Silo and DANCE NOW SteelStacks provide paid teaching, residencies, and commissioning and performing opportunities through partnerships with DeSales University, Muhlenberg College, Lehigh Valley Charter School, and ArtsQuest at SteelStacks in Bethlehem, PA.

May 2, 2020

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