In the elevator of the Baryshnikov Arts Center I am met with an exorbitant amount of energy. “I hope we’re not late late late! I want to see him sooo badly,” chirp the people crowded in with me. David Dorfman’s new work-in-progress is entitled The Prophets of Funk and my elevator mates are just as eager as I am to see this profound prophet of dance theater at APAP on Sunday January 9th.
Entering as the newly incarnated piece begins, Dorfman stands in 60s duds and heeled clogs talking about the company’s plans for the piece’s development. In between his musings, he intersperses lines from Sly and the Family Stone, “if you want me to staaay I’ll be around todaaaay to be available for you to seeeee.” After mentioning that the final stages of this piece may * fingers crossed *involve performing with Sly and the Family Stone, the remaining company members join him on stage for a "band picture."
Dorfman kneels to take the picture as the red spandex, rainbow colored, bell-bottomed donning company member’s boogie into a tableau. One dancer begins subtle isolated movements while speaking about how prophets "take your mind to the future but your body’s still here." Her body control matches her control of her voice. Never booming or startling but equally powerful, she wields them in a way that reeks of anything but newness. The company’s history of delving deep into the worlds of both dance and theater to ignite emotional and physical responses from their audience pervade The Baryshnikov Arts Center now. So while this piece may be new, it reflects merely an application of the company’s securely founded process.
The tableau disbands and before her melancholy message resonates, the company explodes into dance so perfectly full of life and vitality I laugh at how much MTV music videos lack. Dorfman cheers the company on as the group works through unison, trios and duets. With hugely experimental partnering and effortless weight shifts, I can’t imagine how this will develop over the next few months/year. In one moment, the company stands in a straight line with a male company member professing a lengthy diatribe with the finesse of slam poetry. As he approaches the line’s end, a particularly fetching female dancer brings his first stuttering. Not immune to this choreographed distraction the pair begins circling each other like mates in a forest, sexual energy building with every moment. As living, breathing playground pieces they crawl, roll and climb with a voracious appetite for movement and each other.
A very promising new piece, David Dorfman's "work-in-progress," The Prophets of Funk, starts high out-of-the-gate, keeping Dorfman fans salivating for more...
iDANZ Critix Corner
Official Dance Review by Eileen Elizabeth
Compay: David Dorfman Dance
Venue: Baryshnikov Arts Center
Show Date: January 9, 2010
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