It was twelve noon on Sunday, Sept. 6.
Senagalese choreographer/dancer and founder of the world renowned Ecole des Sables, Germaine Acogny has long been regarded as "the mother of contemporary African dance." As such, it is apropos that for her appearance on the JOMBA 2020 Legacy platform she presented her critically-acclaimed autobiographical solo dance theater work, "Somewhere at the Beginning."
For arts photographer Val Adamson, the trickiest part about this year’s JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience moving online has been watching the works without taking photos. Having photographed the festival since its first season 22 years ago, Adamson has been the one person responsible for creating these snapshot archives of the artists and their works. This year, the JOMBA! team decided to integrate photography in a different way: a virtual photo gallery, “Through The Lens,” with photos selected by Adamson and festival director Dr.
These days, live dance is hard to come by. Strict social distancing guidelines prohibit dancers from touching one another. Theaters are mostly shuttered and audience members must stay six feet apart—all challenging hurdles in putting a show together. Lawson Dance Theatre, in their first partnership The Rooted Space (a new North Center dance studio in the former Rast Ballet space) made an open-air effort with “Summer Shorts” Friday.
This weekend Links Hall enters into a new era of arts curation and presentation with the culmination of the 96 Hours project: a play off of the typical 24-hour theater project or 48-hour film process. On Saturday at 1, 3 and 5 p.m., three teams of artists (listed below) will present their 20-45min creations from (you guessed it) a 96-hour creation process. On Sunday, the works will stream again consecutively at 5 p.m., followed by a virtual Q&A with the artists.
Introdans (Arnhem, The Netherlands), a tech-enthusiastic Dutch dance company, screened four performances Friday—“Wereldleiders,” “Face Machine” and “Blue Journey” by choreographer David Middendorp, and “Swingle Sisters” by Alexander Ekman—as part of the Digital JOMBA! Legacy series. Middendorp’s three pieces explore the relationship between 2-D graphics and 3-D lived experiences by choreographing the interplay between animation and physical performance.
I came home from a long day and sat down in my living room expecting to quietly watch some contemporary dance. If you, reading this, are familiar with Robyn Orlin and her work, then you’ll know that was not the case at all. Instead, I experienced something loud, blunt, a little confusing and the perfect antidote for passive, sitting-on-my-couch-watching-dance-on-a-small-screen that has mostly defined virtual performance up to this point of the pandemic.
A South African sunrise, reflecting iridescent swatches of light, flirts with a fluttering silk backdrop. Bleeding watercolor rainbows penetrate a translucent fabric hung from above the stage highlights clucking chickens projected on the feather-like backdrop. Moving into Dance Mophatong dancer SunnyBoy Matau oscillates and pecks as a bird-man, draped in a multi-purpose white dress made of dangling white t-shirts, which occasionally reincarnates itself in between banjo melodies as a gele, a baby swaddle and a fabulous accessory.
“’Revel’ is a gift of love. We made it, in some ways, for ourselves as a gift of love and flight and enjoyment. And if the film lands with someone else as a gift, or as a provocation, or as—whatever it lands as—then the film has done its work.” Alice Sheppard
BODYART Dance Company, based in New Orleans, LA, draws from various mesmerizing settings to spark new works. From an abandoned 1920s movie theater to a graffiti mural on Santa Monica Blvd., BODYART’s willingness to embrace location opens the parameters of what movement can be in a public space. It encourages looking beyond the traditional stage for performance and presents spaces that otherwise could go unnoticed.