Each week, we choose a social media account, post, trend or figure that we think is worth exploring.
Why we chose it: The New York Times’s weekly visual series #SpeakingInDance offers an insightful look into how dance inspires, empowers and moves individuals.
#SpeakingInDance | “I never feel alone,” said the @marthagrahamdance principal dancer @xin_ying_mgdc. “I feel empowered. And I have never been so proud to be a woman.” Martha Graham choreographed the all-female “Chronicle” in 1936, the same year she turned down the Nazis’ invitation to dance at the Olympic Games in Berlin and 16 years after women were granted the right to vote in the United States. Martha’s scorching response to the rise of fascism, “Chronicle,” set to music by Wallingford Riegger, happened at a time “when there were not many opportunities for women to make political statements,” said Janet Eilber, the company’s artistic director. The original “Chronicle” featured 5 sections; 3 have been reconstructed, including this one, “Prelude to Action,” in which Ying leads a group through geometric patterns that build in fervor. “My character is about moving with them to make sure they’re going to the right direction,” Ying said. “It’s kind of like the light at the end of the tunnel.” And with #MeToo, “Chronicle,” part of the Graham Company's season at @nycitycenter, has taken on greater meaning. “It’s not just the audience paying more attention,” Janet told the @nytimes writer @giadk. “It’s the dancers’ understanding: They embody this powerful voice.” @mosadek made this video for #SpeakingInDance, our weekly series exploring the world of #dance.
#SpeakingInDance | “It's about familiarity, about a haunting from one’s past and also about a sense of tension and struggle,” said the choreographer @jackferver about this duet from “Everything Is Imaginable,” which he performs with his good friend @reidbartelme. In this moment, Jack said, “Reid just appears, and there’s certainly a quality of witchy-ness in the arms and a sense of this person coming from your past.” The focus on the upper body is meaningful, too. About 2 weeks ago, Jack experienced every dancer’s nightmare: He tore his calf. He’s making adjustments, and the show, at @nylivearts, will go on. In “Everything Is Imaginable,” an exploration of the lives and fantasies of 5 queer dancers, Jack and Reid are joined by @jamesbwhiteside, @lloydknight and @garenscribner. The bond among them is unmistakable, but at the heart of the piece is Jack and Reid’s long friendship, which dates to 1996. Together, they host the witty podcast, @withdanceandstuff. “I think Reid and I drive each other crazy,” Jack told the @nytimes writer @giadk. “My wildness and his formality push against each other — for better or worse.” @jay_dockendorf made this video for #SpeakingInDance, our weekly series exploring the world of #dance.
#SpeakingInDance | “What’s possible in a room?” said the choreographer Joanna Kotze (@jrkotze) of her new multidisciplinary collaboration with the dancer @nettayerushalmy, the visual artist @jonathanallenstudio and the composer Ryan Seaton (@riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine). In “What will we be like when we get there,” which opens at @nylivearts today, Netta and Joanna share the stage with Ryan, who creates the score live, and Jonathan, who uses tape to paint the floor. “In this section,” Jonathan said, “how can a line work in tandem with the choreography and be layered with it?” For Ryan, stepping into this theatrical landscape, he said, “after having played in clubs forever has increased my sensitivity to how things relate — I don’t hear the same as I did 2 years ago.” But while the work is about their connection, Joanna is also exploring spectrums. “Humor to violence has come up a lot in this,” she told the @nytimes writer @giadk. “There are things happening in current events that are so ridiculous: How does something go from order to chaos? That can happen physically, musically and visually. The piece glimpses into different ways that our disciplines lie together or collide or merge.” @_flodur made this video for #SpeakingInDance, our weekly series exploring the world of #dance.
#SpeakingInDance | “By the time it finishes, you’re like, Why is this ending?” said Paul Hamilton, or @bighamiltoe, of this moment in “…they stood shaking while others began to shout,” Reggie Wilson’s latest dance for @fistandheel. “It’s this pulse that keeps on going — it’s something like life.” In the piece, Reggie was inspired by black Shakers — specifically, the religious activist Mother Rebecca Cox Jackson. “This section is really me obsessing on what her worship style could have looked like,” Reggie said. At @danspaceproject tomorrow through Saturday, the work wraps up Reggie’s series, “Dancing Platform Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches and Downtown Dance,” which looks at intersections of dance, race and religion. Here, the music is "Jesus Lover of My Soul," from a 1939 Trinidad field recording by the anthropologists Melville and Frances Herskovits. “This particular thing is like a revelation,” he said of the trancelike state they reach in performing the repetitive movement. “Their faces are changing.” For Michelle Yard, there’s a telling part; it happens when she and the other dancers look up. “I’m seeing the space,” she told the @nytimes writer @giadk. “Those beautiful windows and the balcony — it’s when I realize, oh right: I’m doing this dance, it has a spiritual nature and we’re in a church.” @vickydu_ took this #video for #SpeakingInDance, our weekly exploration of #dance.
#SpeakingInDance | “This solo is extremely virtuosic and difficult, but I feel like I’m starting to find clarity and consistency,” said @briabacon of her part in “Signals,” a 1970 dance by #MerceCunningham. “Every time I find a stable ground with the technique, I add an element of risk — it’s surprising yourself as well as the audience.” The work, performed by the @stephenpetroniocompany beginning March 20 at the @thejoycetheater, was staged by the former Cunningham dancers @meltoogood and Rashaun Mitchell (of @rashaun.silas). Bria performs in silence here, but during the run, members of Composers Inside Electronics will accompany the dancers. The work is meant to be playful — movements are indicated through a series of cues among the dancers — but it’s technically diabolical. Earlier in the rehearsal process, Bria was worried she wouldn’t get through it. “Melissa told me to connect to my fatigue and to allow it to inform the movement,” Bria said. “Maybe I could use it to bring a breath of calmness.” That advice, she told the @nytimes writer @giadk “opened up the roof of what the possibilities are in terms of what I can do with the solo.” She laughed. “It makes me super excited because now I know how to deal with a Sunday matinee.” @anrizzy took this #video for our weekly series, #SpeakingInDance.