Chances are that if you live in New York, there aren’t enough hours in the day. If you’re into culture, you have a to-see wish list a mile long. Even dance, which tends to have less events nightly than other genres such as music, theater, art and film, has so much to offer that you can pick from a half-dozen at a time.
The DanceNow festival now at DTW can help. Founded by Robin Staff and Tamara Greenfield, over the course of six programs it offers 65 choreographers and 40 new works. The emphasis is on younger artists working in modern or hybrid forms, rather than more traditional non-modern genres. But it doesn’t exclude older artists; there are two 40Up programs plus four “Base Camp” showcases. Each night features twelve artists contributing short works; tickets are a reasonable $20 in advance and $25 at the door.
There are also several 10th Anniversary Project artists, whose older and new work will be presented: Cherylyn Lavagnino, John Heginbotham, Robert Battle, and Monica Bill Barnes. It’s a good context for these hard-working artists, recognizing their persistence while potentially introducing new eyes to their work.
Each program is balanced out by more and less familiar names. Julian Barnett and Camille Brown, audience favorites who both perform and choreograph, are on the Oct 31 program with the lesser-known Pengelly: Projects and Tze Chun Dance. And on Oct 28, Amy Larimer and Young Dance Makers Company perform on a bill with Terry Dean Bartlet and skybetter and associates, familiar names to downtown dance mavens.
A project called DanceNow (NYC) Raw Festival has selected new artists to include throughout the lineups, including some from outer boroughs. Partners include Bronx Academy of Arts, Tisch School for the Arts, and Queens Council on the Arts. Some of those chosen are Yin Yue, Jamal Jackson, and Mana Kawamura.
The 40Up slates are full of distinguished names, and are worth a look to get a sense of the depth and variety of New York’s dance riches. Oct 27 includes stellar stalwarts Risa Jaroslow, Lawrence Goldhuber, Gus Solomons jr, and Heidi Latsky. Saturday’s lineup (Nov 1) boasts David Parker/Jeff Kazin’s Bang Group, Jane Comfort, Paz Tanjuaquio/Niles Ford’s Topaz Arts, and Gina Gibney. Can’t go wrong with either, and likely you’ll see something new you like.
This year, a new Silo Artist-in-Residence Scholarship will be awarded to an artist chosen by Joan Duddy, whose support of DanceNow has been vital.
Photo of Monica Bill Barnes with Deborah Lohse by David Wilson Barnes.