"Let us read and let us dance - two amusements that will never do any harm to the world." Voltaire
A Postcard from David Dorfman Dance
Summer Dancing in Greece, Connecticut and Jackson Hole, Wyoming
David Dorfman Dance has had a busy summer!
In June, they performed in Athens, Greece in the Metamorphosis Festival joining artists from around the world. There they performed three different projects and taught classes to community members
"The time in Greece reminded me of what it is we do best at DDD. And that is to say yes,” says company member Simon Thomas-Train. “Yes to anything and anyone who wants to share in the joy of dance. Whether it be building a dance with Special Olympians or dancing on the roof of an opera house over looking the Aegean. We were given so many fantastic opportunities to say yes to dance and yes to the human connection it inspires."
David shares his impressions of the company's time in Athens:
We performed three main dances/projects in Athens and were guests in another project for a brief moment.
All performances were outdoors and part of Metamorphosis, a four-day free festival attended by 115,000 people at the new Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center – park and buildings designed by Renzo Piano.
First we performed a customized version of our Athletes Project, a dance DDD has created many times over the years. This was unique in that the cast was a lovely mix of Greek Special Olympians, Greek Dancer/Athletes (including an award-winning couple who dazzled with an amazing Salsa routine) and DDD.
(I had led a workshop with all participants in my advance visit in the spring.)
The dance climaxed with an incredible solo by one of the Special Olympians to Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, in which we brought many audience members up to dance with us.
Next, was our brief guest role. We came out of the audience and danced about 16 counts of Hip-Hop with a super talented double group from Athens, Funky Habits and Waveomatics, in a mini-arena equipped with water jets. Wet and wild it was. Fun was had by all ages.
Our last two dances were in the spectacular Lighthouse Terrace, at the top of the park, overlooking the Aegean and the Acropolis.
Cerebral Palsy Greece was our collaborator for an afternoon show, which brought a large crowd and most of them to tears of joy. I had met with one of their directors on my earlier visit, and via video and emails and upon their invitation, we decided that DDD would take part in one of their existing dances. With only two rehearsals we bonded fully and immediately with this incredible group. Even I couldn’t resist the call to perform and threw myself in at the last moment. It was one of my most memorable experiences to date!
Lastly, we were lucky to be able to perform a new version of a dance we created for the opening of The Met Breuer Museum in March in NYC, this time along with superstar Greek dancers. The curator for The Met project, Limor Tomer, also curated Metamorphosis and invited us to collaborate with her Greek counterpart, Mily Paschali to dream up all our activities in Athens. The dance has an original and ecstatic musical score by NYC composer/saxophonist Ken Thomson that was adored by several hundred happy audience members on the Terrace witnessing this international collaboration. The cast included DDD, special guests (my family) Lisa Race and Samson Race Dorfman, a young Greek dancer who performed a feisty duet with Samson, seven Greek dancers from Quasi Stellar, and its choreographer, the wonderful Apostolia Papadamaki.
I couldn’t have been happier about the way all activities turned out. It was a pleasure and privilege to work with such generous, talented and eager Greek artists of all ages and abilities. I look forward to more!
P.S: And I almost forgot! One early morning, we became the last stop on a family health adventure which was comprised of running, boating and other physical activities - more like a fun relay race. At the end, we taught all participants a brief dance before they crossed the finish line. It was a blast, and was emblematic of the family feel of the festival and its concentration on health and wellness of all types.
Before jetting off to the company’s annual summer intensive at Connecticut College, company members were able to take in the sites and sea!
The intensive was met with great enthusiasm from the company members and participating dancers. Visual artist Daniel Jay live-sketched over the course of the week. Drawing dancers during rehearsals, the artist used different media to capture their movement. The closing day of the intensive, the company shared their latest work-in-progress Aroundtown.
The company has just returned from their last summer tour - this time to Jackson Hole, Wyoming where they were in residence at Dancers’ Workshop. A performance of Come, and Back Again and a showing of Aroundtown were featured along with plenty of master classes.
Rounding out the summer, the company will perform on August 11 in the recently renewed Arthur Ross Terrace & Garden at Cooper Hewitt. Join them for an evening of music, cocktails and dance. Held rain or shine! For more info, click here.