Archives for NJPAC
28
Apr
2017

While Carolyn and her ensemble of dancers tendu and leap their way through final rehearsals leading up to the annual gala celebration tonight, it takes a small army to bring this special performance and event to life led by a hardworking Gala committee and office staff! From the immediate tasks of seat selections (making sure the right people are seated next to the right people), final design of the Virtual Ad Journal, selling the few remaining theater tickets to selecting the menu, securing auction items and volunteers for the evening, we also look towards the individuals who have made a significant and/or long-term commitment to the Carolyn Dorfman Dance organization. Their contributions are honored each year with special awards given by the company recognizing their talents and commitment to the arts!

Here is one of the three 2017 recipients:

Horacee Arnold

Meet Horacee Arnold, one of the best-known jazz fusion drummers in the world, who will receive the Keystone award on Friday evening. Not only has he performed and recorded with Charles Mingus, Bud Powell, Stan Getz, Alvin Ailey, Chick Corea and Return to Forever, he is also the composer of TWO works on our gala program, Dance/Stories and Sextet. Although Arnold gained recognition while recording and touring with Chick Corea during the late 1960s, it was his two critically acclaimed releases – Tribe (Columbia, 1973) and Tales of the Exonerated Flea (Columbia, 1974) that earned him five-star ratings from critics and a loyal following of fans. In the late 1970s, with drummers Billy Hart and Freddie Waits, Arnold formed the performance-based jazz ensemble, Colloquium III, which led workshops at the New York Drummers’ Collective.  In the early 1990’s Horacee began his relationship with Carolyn Dorfman Dance, and composed two works that highlight energy, rhythm and power both in music and dance.

Sextet

Photo by Whitney Browne

Premiered in 1994, Sextet challenges the dynamic and technical range of the dancers. With images of quick darting actions and suspended moments at its core, the work follows an accumulation form, progressing from duet to trio, quartet, quintet and finally, the full ensemble.

Two years later, Horacee returned to the studio to help Carolyn Dorfman create Dance/Stories, which premiered in 1996. This work integrates a selection of folk tales from around the world—the narrative, movement, and composition by Arnold illuminate our common humanness, weaving together image and metaphor to create an enchanting and interdisciplinary work.

Dance Stories

Photo by Whitney Browne

Thank you Horacee for helping to bring our vision to the stage.

“The truest expression of a people is in its dance and in its music. Bodies never lie.”- Agnes deMille

See you Tonight!

31
Mar
2016

“Restaging Echad” is a two-part series taking you behind the scenes as the company restages one of Carolyn’s most iconic works for our 2016 Gala Benefit Performance.

Part 2 is written by dancer Jenny Gillan-Powell, and focuses on her experience learning Echad.

Part 1, by Associate Artistic Director and ‘Echad’ original cast member Jacqueline Dumas Albert, is available here.

Echad will be performed at NJPAC on April 8, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

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It has been quite the journey to learn Echad this season with Carolyn Dorfman Dance. Our first rehearsal was back in October and Jacquie introduced us to the 9th company member of this piece… “The Wheel”. My first impressions of the wheel were: Ouch this hurts! Wow that metal is cold! Jeez that is sooo heavy! Holy moly I’m terrified! Why Carolyn… Whhhyyy?

Echad rehearsal

The opening section where we first interact with the wheel is know as “The Caravan”. This was one of the first sections we workshopped with Jacquie. I would say this was probably the most challenging section to master as so much of the flow and grace relies on where each dancers’ weight projects and balances on the wheel. The grips of how we all hold, and which specific rung we place our feet and hands on, is also super-important. My caravan movement is to hold on and connect my right side and back flip with the movement of the wheel as Katlyn catches me in my descent.

My initial thoughts while attempting my first backflip with the wheel were, “Wow, this feels like a really scary carnival ride with no seat belt.” I heard myself say, “never let go Jenny… never let go.” Luckily what goes around, comes around – so, I thankfully made it back down to solid ground in one piece. I felt a little shaken and dizzy but was glad to have that first attempt over with! That first week of rehearsals me and many other dancers developed black and blue bruises and scrapes all over from the wheel. Epsom salt baths were definitely needed on the weekend.

Needless to say, the more we rehearsed and all became acquainted with the wheel’s energy, personality (yes, personality), and movement, we learned that the wheel is consistent. It is us, the dancers, that needed to learn to dance with the wheel, and not against it.

Echad rehearsal

Over the past few months, as we prepare for the gala, each run of Echad begins to feel stronger. We are continuing to work with Carolyn on finding our performance and letting the human story shine through the movement. The physical rigor of Echad is grueling, so I’ve began additional cardio training such as swimming and running to help with my stamina. This piece has definitely brought us together as a stronger company and team. We are all trusting each other and becoming more attuned to little details that begin to create the magic and not just the choreography. I am so thankful for this opportunity to work with Carolyn, Jacquie, and the beautiful company dancers in the recreation of Echad! I am honored that this piece was selected for us this season, and I look forward to the performances ahead.

See you all at the gala on April 8th at NJPAC!

7
Oct
2015

Carolyn Dorfman Dance Creates New Work; Expands their Arts Education Footprint and Community Workshops; Awarded Citation of Excellence from the New Jersey State Council of Arts (NJSCA)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Contacts:
Kimberly Giannelli | Amber Henrie
In The Lights PR
Kimberly@inthelights.net
Amber@inthelights.net
Photos and video available on request

NEW YORK, October 6, 2015 — Carolyn Dorfman Dance, whose bold and dramatic works connect life and movement, announces its impactful and dynamic 2015-2016 Season. Carolyn Dorfman Dance is kicking off the fall with a TedX Talk in Morristown, NJ on October 20, where Artistic Director Carolyn Dorfman and dancers will share the craft of dance making as Dorfman reveals her inspiration and artistic philosophy. On October 29, Dorfman will participate in the Dancemakers on Diversity panel, along with other diverse artistic directors whose companies are part of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s (NJPAC) dance series. On November 1, audiences are invited to join the company for a matinee performance at the Bickford Theatre. Come spring the company performs the powerful duet Keystone in DanceNOW! Miami’s concert celebrating Jose Limón on March 18—DanceNOW! Miami will perform Dorfman’s dramatic Odisea. Additionally, the company celebrates its annual Gala performance on April 8 at NJPAC with the world premiere of Dorfman’s newest work Traces. The New York premiere of Traces will be held at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (LPAC) on April 16, Long Island City.

With a strong commitment to dance education, Carolyn Dorfman Dance teaches students of all levels, connecting movement and life in a curriculum that helps people learn new skills, explore their potential, and understand the world and each other better. A recent recipient of a Citation of Excellence Award from the NJSCA for the Arts Education Special Initiative Grant, the company will expand their residency programming to the McKinley School in New Brunswick and the Link Charter School in Newark. For the second year, Dorfman and the company continue as the lead dance company in residence for arts education at NJPAC, working year round with their Young Artists Institute. Additional residencies that are continuing are with New Jersey’s Rutgers University, the East Brunswick and New Brunswick Public School Districts. A new weeklong residency, including a school and public performance, is happening at the Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut in November.

“The motivation to keep creating lies in the versatile collection of dancers and collaborating artists who I have the privilege of working with each season,” comments Artistic Director Carolyn Dorfman. “With an increase in educational grant support, this season is able to offer creation, performance, and the opportunity to watch young artists flourish through our community teaching program. We look forward to further bridging our community work with the multi-level impact of our repertory on audiences around the globe.”

Dorfman presents the world premiere of Traces during the company’s annual Gala evening at NJPAC on April 8. With ten dancers and four musicians, Dorfman reunites her stellar team of artistic collaborators—commissioned electronic and acoustic score by Svjetlana Bukvich, video design by Kate Freer, technology development by Dave Tennent, costume design by Anna-Alisa Belous, and new team members—set design by Ben Hobbs, and lighting design by Marika Kent. Traces will occur both on stage and in the audience space. Drawing on her multi-ethnic company members, as well as audience members from different venues for source material, Traces juxtaposes abstract images with narrative elements that shift from the individual to the collective, the personal to the global, and the inner to external natural worlds. Images, music, and text will be interwoven with the choreography to transport audiences through time, location and purpose

Other repertory to be performed during the season includes: Dorfman’s popular Echad (One), about the power of one community and featuring an iconic 120 lbs., 8- foot diameter, aluminum wheel; Under My Skin, a duet that chronicles the growth of a relationship; excerpts from Dorfman’s signature work Mayne Mentshn; latest work WAVES, a sensation-based exploration of music and dance; and a moving duet Keystone.

The company is happy to be joining the roster of Sheffield Global Arts Management, New York City. And proud to welcome two new board members Asha Ganesh, CPA at Withum, Smith and Brown and Fran Sullivan, Editor of TAPinto.net.

CAROLYN DORFMAN DANCE 2015-2016 SEASON CALENDAR HIGHLIGHTS
October 20 – TedX Talk in Morristown, NJ, 1:00 p.m.
Performing My Father’s Solo and Under My Skin (excerpt)
October 29 – NJPAC Dancemakers on Diversity Panel, Chase Room, Newark, NJ, 7:00 p.m.
November 1 – Bickford Theatre performance, Morristown, NJ, 2:00 p.m.
Performing WAVES, Klezmer Sketch and Under My Skin
November 20 – The Taft School Performance, Bingham Auditorium, Watertown, CT, 7:00 p.m.
Performing Under My Skin, Klezmer Sketch and Doug Elkins’ Narcoleptic Lovers
December 9 – Performance at Academy for Performing Arts at Union County Vo. Tech, Scotch Plains, NJ, 7:00 p.m.
Performing excerpt of Waves and Echad
March 18 – DanceNOW! Miami performance, Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, 8:00 p.m.
Dance NOW! Miami artists to perform Dorfman’s Odisea; Dorman lead dancers Jacqueline Dumas Albert and Louie Marin will perform Keystone
April 8 – NJPAC Performance and Gala Benefit, Chase Room reception, Newark, NJ, 6:30 p.m.; Victoria Theater performance, 8:00 p.m.
Premiere of Traces – also performing Echad and Keystone
April 16 – LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (LPAC) performance, Long Island City, NY, 8:00 p.m.
Performing Traces, WAVES and Keystone

SEASON REPERTORY DETAILS

Traces (2016)
Choreography: Carolyn Dorfman
Composer: Svjetlana Bukvich
Lighting: Marika Kent
Video/Projection Design: Kate Freer (IMA)
Costumes: Anna-Alisa Belous
Set Design: Ben Hobbs

Traces explores the forces that create and change us across time, distance and circumstance, and features an electro-acoustic score encompassing a vast range of musical vocabulary. Images, music, and text interweave with choreography to transport audiences through time, location and purpose. The work is driven by a strong sense of immediacy and connection.

WAVES (2015)
Choreography: Carolyn Dorfman
Composer: Jessie Reagen Mann, Pete List, Daphna Mor
Lighting: Marika Kent
Costumes: Anna-Alisa Belous
Length: 25 minutes

WAVES is a sensation-based exploration of music and dance featuring live music composed by cellist Jessie Reagen Mann, beat boxer and multi-instrumentalist Pete List, and recorder player Daphna Mor. Dorfman uses this eclectic and unusual grouping of artists to create new waves of sonic and movement possibilities.

Keystone (2012)
Choreography: Carolyn Dorfman
Music: Rufus Wainwright, Louis Armstrong, and Jamie Randolph
Original Lighting: Simon Cleveland
Costumes: Anna-Alisa Belous
Length: 10 minutes

Keystone is a duet that explores the endurance of relationships and the concept of staying power in a world that continues to embrace fast digital communication that is not aligned with the human pulse or true intimacy.

Narcoleptic Lovers (2012)

Choreography: Doug Elkins, restaged by Fritha Pengelly
Music: Gavin Bryars, Mio Morales, Mozart, Urban Species, and Sinead O’Connor
Costumes: Anna-Alisa Belous

Narcoleptic Lovers is guest choreographer Doug Elkins’ electric and oft hilarious, full company work. Using his signature eclectic movement vocabulary, the work draws on modern, hip-hop, ballet and martial arts with an equally broad range of music – Mozart, hip-hop by Urban Species and spoken word and music by Sinead O’Connor and Lenny Bruce.

Odisea (2004)
Choreography: Carolyn Dorfman
Music: Greg Wall and Cecelia Margules
Original Lighting: Sean Perry
Costumes: Katherine Winter
Length: 12 Minutes

With Odisea, choreographer Carolyn Dorfman continued her explorations of the Jewish legacy. Commissioned by Jewish Heritage New York and premiering at the South Street Seaport in NYC (September 12, 2004) the work chronicles the physical, emotional and spiritual journey of twenty-three Jews leaving persecution in Recife, Brazil in 1654 and their journey and ultimate landing on American soil in New Amsterdam (New York City). With music by Greg Wall and Cecelia Margules, the music blends elements of Jewish liturgy and musical legacy.

Echad (One) (2002)
Choreography: Carolyn Dorfman
Music composition/arrangement/adaptation: Greg Wall
Original Lighting and Set Design by John Evans
Costumes: Russell Aubrey
Length: 32 Minutes

Dorfman’s popular work featuring an iconic 120 lb, 8-foot diameter, aluminum wheel. Echad, the Hebrew word for “one” refers to the power of one community; the uniqueness or oneness of each individual and the delicate balance between the two, that is the essence of our humanity.

Mayne Mentshn (2001)
Choreography: Carolyn Dorfman
Music Composed, Arranged & Adapted: Greg Wall
Original Lighting and Set Design: John Evans
Costumes: Russell Aubrey
Masks: Grigory Gurevich

Dorfman’s signature work explores the lives of her parents, whom are both Holocaust survivors. Excerpts from Act 1: The Klezmer Sketch and Act 2: American Dream will be performed throughout the season.

Under My Skin (1999)
Choreography: Carolyn Dorfman
Music and Lyrics: Jennifer Giering
Original Lighting: Paul Hudson
Costumes: Russell Aubrey
Length: 19 minutes

An evocative and sensuous duet that explores the way people invest in their relationships with bits of themselves and how positive and negative experiences always lead to growth.

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About Carolyn Dorfman Dance
Carolyn Dorfman Dance connects life and dance in bold, athletic and dramatic works by Carolyn Dorfman and nationally renowned choreographers. The company’s ten multi-ethnic and stunning dancers present high-energy and technically demanding dance that unleashes the powerful storytelling and imagery of its visionary creator. This distinctive combination takes audiences on intellectual and emotional journeys that ultimately illuminate and celebrate the human experience. The highly acclaimed ensemble is known for emotional resonance and artistic excellence in both performance and its interactions with audiences, students and community. For over 30 years, Carolyn Dorfman Dance has appeared at major theaters, dance festivals, universities, schools, museums and galleries regionally, nationally and internationally.

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