Above: Hiroshi Miyamoto of inDance, photo by Nicholas Ursa.
Each year I could spend hours rushing all over Manhattan chasing APAP presentations; I know so many choreographers and dancers now and it goes without saying that I would love to be there to watch their work and lend support to their efforts. But there's only one of me, and I'm no longer young and no longer thrilled by the prospect of running around from place to place during cold weather. Plus, believe it or not, I sometimes have other things to do. So this year I only went briefly to Dance New Amsterdam on Saturday and then to one full-showing at Peridance on Sunday evening.
What APAP turned out to be for me this year was a mini-festival of favorite dancers, starting with Hiroshi Miyamoto of inDance. I love this Canada-based troupe and wish I could see them dance more often. To APAP they brought excerpts from BOX: a duet for two women, a solo danced by Hiroshi and a second solo danced by the Company's alluring director Hari Krishnan. Hiroshi offstage looks like your average young Japanese guy, but onstage he is a master of seductive movement, every centimeter of his slender body radiates with spiritual energy, and his eyes are so captivating. It was a fascinating experience to watch Hiroshi at close-range. I hope he won't mind that borrowed his photo from his Facebook page.
While I was (briefly) at the Dance New Amsterdam APAP showing, I enjoyed Sheetal Gandhi's wryly delivered Bahu-Biti-Biwit, a pointed commentary on the status of Indian women ("Why can't I wear a halter top?", she asks) and the proud beauty of the women of Soul Steps, a quintet of dancers who make their own music as they clap and stomp.
Down at Peridance on Sunday evening, a packed house watched as twelve companies showed off their work; that I enjoyed almost all of it is a good sign. In the opening piece, the Mettin Movement Collective (choreographer Sarah Mettin) danced the lyrical, mysterious IN DIVIDING with an exceptionally expressive performance from Clinton Martin (Kokyat's photo, above). Sarah Mettin recently performed with TAKE Dance in FIVE POINTS, as did Lynda Senisi who danced in the ensemble of Mettin's piece tonight.
A ravishing young dancer, Bethany Lange (above with RJ Johnston) looked lovely in a duet by Kate Thomas for Ballet Neo. Ms. Thomas also presented an excerpt from her wonderful APPALACHIAN SUITES Project in which Temple Kemezis danced radiantly. I've really got to get back in touch with Kate Thomas, I love her work.
Ryoji Sasamoto (above), dancing in Nathan Trice's Chim Chim Cheree, made a vivid impression in this ensemble work. Chroeographer Lydia Johnson, who was sitting next to me, also singled Ryoji out from among the Trice ensemble's fine dancers for his exceptional presence and grace.
Dancing for JACOBY & PRONK, Prince Credell, a dancer new to me, was magnificent in the Alonzo King solo Door (above); this was followed by a new solo for Drew Jacoby choreographed by Emery LeCrone. Entitled Aria, this work and Ms. Jacoby's performance could best be described as mind-blowing. Drew's dancing is other-worldly, mesmerizing. (There's a photo of Drew further down this article).
The Tomoko Dance Art Company performed the folkish/contemporary Okuni (above).
Igal Perry's Peridance Contemporary Dance Company gave us a glimpse of a gorgeous new setting of de Falla's EL AMOR BRUJO. Above: Nikki Holck and ABT's Sean Stewart led a large cast which featured some of my personal favorites: Shay Bares, Lauren Jaeger and Kentaro Kikuchi. Music, choreography, lighting and mood make this EL AMOR BRUJO a must-see, and you can catch it: