August 14th, 2024
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Cheers to 40 Years!

by Joan Chiang Paulin

“Life really does begin at 40. Up till then, you are just doing research” – Carl Jung

We are 40! 4 decades of dance creation, of connecting human experiences through performances and education, of keeping dancers employed! 40 years of work puts us on a map that not many modern dance companies have achieved and it is an absolute honor to say that Carolyn Dorfman Dance has withstood the test of time and we are so excited to look ahead the future!

But to look ahead, we must look back. Carolyn Dorfman Dance is a labor of love. Without Carolyn’s strength, passion, and tenacity, the company won’t be here. All the talented dancers throughout the years kept Carolyn’s work alive. The board of trustees and executive directors play an integral part in the survival of the company’s lifespan. Every single donor has contributed a way to keep the company running for 40 years. But there are so many others from administrative staff, company managers, stage crew, guest artists, school administrators to volunteers, students, audience members and community organizers… (the list will go on and on) whom we need to thank for making this 40th anniversary possible! It takes all the shoulders for us to step on in order for us to be here celebrating such a milestone. It’s not an exaggeration when people says it takes a village!

As a dancer who started in the early 2000s with the dance company, I remember learning choreography from VHS tape, DVDs. We would watch different cast doing the same dance throughout the years. Performing arts is a living organism and the beauty of it is that every individual has the power of bringing something unique and personal to the art. But at its core, it’s a dancer’s responsibility to never lose the intent of the work. We would always go back to the original cast to learn the intention and learn the “why” besides learning the “how”. From very early on, I knew that Carolyn’s work is about honoring the past in order to build a future. This is true in her story telling but also in how she works.

As we step into this new decade, I invite all of you to celebrate the future and honor the past of the company’s works together. I invite you to join us in this journey of exploration in dance and in life. We thank you for your continual support and we look forward to seeing you at our gala performances at The Bickford Theater in The Morris Museum on April 13th and 15th. Let’s celebrate!