writers on dancing

The DanceView Times, Washington, D.C. edition

       Volume 1, Number 7      An online supplement to DanceView magazine

Tracing a New Version of The American Dream

Dana Tai Soon Burgess & Co.
Terrace Theater
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
November 6, 2003

By Alexandra Tomalonis
copyright © 2003 by Alexandra Tomalonis

Say "American immigrants" and the picture that's ingrained in our collective brain is one of people crowded together on the deck of a ship, or standing, numbed and exhausted, in Ellis Island's endless lines. That's the long shot. The close up is a black and white photo, perhaps from a history text, perhaps from our own family album. When we see their faces, we see worry, expectation, pride and (perhaps because we've been told it's there) hope. The overwhelming color is black.  Black dresses, black hair, black caps, black suits, black suitcases. A sea of darkness, befitting people who had fled political oppression, pogroms, famine or grinding poverty to find a new life in the New World. The stories that go with those photos are often ones of cruelty and terror. Hope, yes, but anger too at what had caused the journey.
read review

A Sensual Intellect at Play

Nejla Y. Yatkin / NY2 Dance & Guests
Dance Place
Washington, DC
Saturday, November 8, 2003

by George Jackson
copyright © 2003
George Jackson

Nejla Yatkin brings to the stage an exotic air, an erotic note and an artistic intellect that's stiletto sharp. Even in something so modern dance classical as Chaconne, the solo to Bach violin music that Jose Limón choreographed for himself in 1942, Yatkin's qualities were apparent. Surprisingly, they didn't seem impositions in this context but functioned in harmony with the human nobility and sense of duty to art that Limon likely wanted to convey. After all, back when Chaconne was new, Limón himself was an unusual import and, for a male, an exceptionally sensual figure on the American stage. When Baryshnikov danced this solo here a couple of seasons ago, one became aware of his superb precision, phrasing and dynamic but the only life traits were the nobility and duty. Baryshnikov's was a very pure embodiment of the Limón and, of course, he also had to deal with his own, quite different body -- short and compact. Yatkin's tall frame is closer to Limón's, yet I suspect that her performance was very much her own, even though she wasn't the first woman to have ventured onto this choreographic ground. I'd never seen her dance so fully as she did Saturday night. Almost all of her anatomy was brought into active, coordinated motion with only the mid-torso sometimes seeming restrained. In the solo's famous tilting pose, Yatkin leaned and stretched an awesome length. Throughout the piece, she engaged surrounding space, embracing it in her arms, furling it as she struck attitudes, brushing against it with confidence and perhaps even pleasure as she reached upward. Her long arms were softly strong. In the footwork section of the solo in which heels seemed to click and ones attention was drawn to what was happening at the ankles and toes, Yatkin seemed not to be cutting through space but gathering it in and folding it at ground level, executing this task as if she were arranging cloth at the base of an altar and doing it quickly, expertly without having to stoop and use her hands. Chaconne was a welcome surprise and I look forward to Yatkin hosting more choreographers from the past.
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[reprinted from last week's midweek Extra]

"Oh, Brad. They're dancing in the galleries!"

Liz Lerman Dance Exchange
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
October 25 2003

By Lisa Traiger
Copyright ©2003 by Lisa Traiger

"Oh, Brad! They're dancing in the galleries!" And why shouldn't they? Dance, that is. In the galleries. In the streets. On stages. Off stages. Anywhere there's a space for people to gather and move, to create a community of body and spirit, there should be room for dance. That's what I've learned from Liz Lerman.

Saturday one of Washington's august spaces for contemporary art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, opened its doors and its galleries for Lerman's Dance Exchange to dance in, to explore the art and the art spaces. And, oh my, what an hour it was.
read article



What's On This Week?

November 11
Nejla Yatkin
Berlin born dancer and choreographer Nejla Yatkin draws upon local DC dancers and jazz musicians in her presentation of Mosaic, a multi-media work fusing dance, text, live music, and video.
Nov. 11, 6 p.m. 2700 F Street, NW: 202-467-4600, Millennium Stage, Kennedy Center,

November 13-16
(Continuing show:weekends October 24-November 34)
Daniel Burkholder / The PlayGround

Buried in the Sky. Buried in The Sky is presented in conjunction with The Theater Alliance’s The Dispute. Neil Bartlett's translation and adaptation of Marivaux's The Dispute tells the tale of an experimental "Garden of Eden" created to answer the question: "Which of the sexes really was the first to prove inconstant in love?"Thurs - Sat, 9:30pm & Su, 3:30pm. Theater Alliance, H Street PlayHouse, 1365 H Street NE Washington, DC 20002 (The Dispute begins at 8 p.m.)

November 14
Come Sunday: Duke Ellington’s Sacred Music with Dance
Dancer and Broadway Choreographer Mercedes Ellington, the grand-daughter of famous jazz musician Duke Ellington, sets new choreography to the legendary tunes of the jazz great.
Nov. 14, 7 pm, Metropolitan Baptist Church, 1225 R St NW: 202-287-3369,

November 14-15
Lula Washington Dance Theatre
This upbeat program of modern dance designed for children includes Lula Washington’s African Memories, Rites, and Urban Themes, in a diverse program that brings rhythms of South African boot dancing, hip-hop, and themes of love and spirituality to life.
Nov. 14-15, 7:30,7:30, The Terrace Theater, J.F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street, NW: 202-467-4600,

November 14-15
Maryland Dance Ensemble
University of Maryland dance students present their latest concert. The program includes a new work by Doug Nielsen and Shadow Behind the Sun by Dan Wagoner. Under the direction of Alcine Wiltz, chair of the dance department, the performance also features works by Maryland faculty members.
Nov. 14-15, 8 p.m., Clarice Smithi Center, University of Maryland, 301-405-2787

November 15-16
Nancy Havlik Dance Performance Group
The Jack Guidone Theater
Joy of Motion
The D.C.-based Dance Performance Group presents its new work Pursuit of Happiness, featuring choreography by Nancy Havlik and Jodi Beder on cello. Incorporating movement and text, Pursuit of Happiness draws upon historical figures who define the American experience
Nov. 15 and 16, 8 pm, 5207 Wisconsin Ave, NW: 202-362-3042

November 15-16
Citydance Ensemble
This DC based company, known for their daring athleticism and technical precision, presents an exciting program of modern dance.
Nov. 15, 8 pm, Nov. 16, 3 pm , Black Rock Center for the Arts, 12901 Town Commons Drive, Germantown, Md.

November 15-16
Reggie Glass/Native Tongue Dance Collective
Reggie Glass/Native Tongue Dance Collective presents two nights of performance fusing dance, live music, and spoken word. The program includes three works by artistic director Reggie Glass: Big Up, Unlocking, and Soul in the Promised Land (2003), a solo that explores the difficulties of urban life through movement, poetry by local artist Yao Glover, and live music by local artist Sam Turner.
Nov. 15, 8 pm, Nov. 16, 4 pm, Dance Place, 3225 Eighth Street, NE: 202-269-1600

November 16
Hubbard Street 2
This talented and young group of dancers present a program pulled from its diverse eighteen piece repertoire consisting of work by emerging choreographers with styles ranging from modern, jazz, hip hop, and tap.
Nov. 16, 6 p.m., Millennium Stage, Kennedy Center

—Mary  Tisa and Liz Bartolomeo






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This weeks' articles


Mindy  Aloff's Letter from New York

The Balanchine Celebration
New York City Ballet:
A Veteran and a Raw Recruit
by Mindy Aloff

Heart and Soul
by Mary Cargill

Kid Stuff
Cas Public's If You Go Down To the Woods Today
by Susan Reiter

San Francisco Ballet:
New Wheeldon (Rush)
by Rita Felciano

New Tomasson (7 For Eight)
by Paul Parish

Possokhov's New Firebird for OBT
by Rita Felciano

Moscow Festival Ballet and Scott Wells
by Paul Parish

Hamburg Ballet's Nijinsky:
Nijinsky—Lost in the Chaos
by Clare Croft

NijinskyMadness and Metaphor
by Alexandra Tomalonis

Nijinsky and the Ballets Russes
by George Jackson

Batsheva: Breaking Down Walls
by Lisa Traiger

Ronald K. Brown/Evidence
by Clare Croft

Choreographers Showcase
by Tehreema Mitha

Zoltan Nagy
by George Jackson






Clare Croft
George Jackson
Jean Battey Lewis
Sali Ann Kriegsman
Tehreema Mitha

Alexandra Tomalonis (Editor)
Lisa Traiger


The Autumn DanceView is out:

New York City Ballet's Spring 2003 season reviewed by Gia Kourlas

An interview with the Kirov Ballet's Daria Pavlenko by Marc Haegeman

Reviews of San Francisco Ballet (by Rita Felciano) and Paris Opera Ballet (by Carol Pardo)

The ballet tradition at the Metropolitan Opera (by Elaine Machleder)

Reports from London (Jane Simpson) and the Bay Area (Rita Felciano).

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last updated on October 27, 2003 -->