Choreographic Excerpts

This page highlights sections of dances, dances not on my list of Signature Works. The dances as a whole were somewhat successful. These are excepts from those works that I really like.

Hornet’s Nest (1997) (Original Title: Bone Matter)

These women are incredible. This section is like an extended conversation – humid and spicy. I was inspired by the soundtrack from Robert Altman’s film, Kansas City. The music is heavy, thumpy and bumpy. The dance had four sections beginning with this women’s quintet.

Duet from Scene Unseen (1997)

The opening section from a larger work exploring the relationship between Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.

Foot Fetish Duet (1998) Commissioned by the University of Minnesota 

After its creation on University of Minnesota dancers, Foot Fetish immediately went into the JAZZDANCE repertory and was featured in an extensive series of performances presented by Ohio Dance on Tour. This is a performance at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in the summer of 1998. The dancers are Judith E. James Ries and Brad Garner.

Points on a Curve (1998) Finale

This dance has three sections. The first builds into a quartet with four women. The middle section is a duet leading into the finale with all five dancers. If anyone questioned whether my work was rhythm based, this dance would put that query to rest. It has very difficult and idiosyncratic movement vocabulary and is quite funky. Jazz musicians always loved this dance. I apologize for the time counter at the bottom of the screen. This is one of the only versions I have of Points on a Curve and it is a really great performance.

Happy-Go-Lucky Local (1999)

This dance was commissioned by David Moore and Three Legged Race in Minneapolis. Cathy Young had left the company, doing her own wonderful work and David wanted to honor our partnership with one more dance together. This is a very spicy duet and as always, Cathy brings out the best in me. The music is by Duke Ellington in this version played  live by Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

 

SPLASH (1981)

This is the opening section set to the music of The Lions. You could go to the History page and read about this dance. It was in the company’s third concert and was a “closer” with a bit of social commentary. The final dances on the first two concerts were Disco pieces, one set to Gino Soccio and and another to Dan Hartman. SPLASH was, in it’s humble way, a breakthrough for me.

 

Las Cuatro Estaciones (2002)

I have on occasion created dances set to music by composers who were profoundly influenced by American jazz. Aaron Copland was one, Kurt Weil, another. I was on my way to the grocery store in Minneapolis, listening to NPR when this amazing music came on. I had to pull the car over and listen. It was by Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla, a remimagining of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. I knew immediately that I had to make a dance. I created Las Cuatro Estaciones with costumes by Mary Hansmeyer and a set by Susan Weil. It was one of those dances that just poured out of me. I originally used the breathtaking set at Zenon for a work called Ancestral Voices. That work is on my list of dances that never worked. The set is gold leaf with cut out leaves and magenta branches. It was perfect for the Piazzolla. The work began in summer (el Verano), moved on to autumn (el Otono), then winter (el Invierno), concluding with spring (la Primavera). The soloist was the extraordinary Mary Ann Bradley.

This was actually the third dance I created using Astor Piazzolla’s music. There was Tanguedia (1987) for Zenon and also in 2002, Tango Etudes, commissioned by the Muhlenberg Dance Department in Pennsylvania.

 

Swing Suite Duets (1979)

These duets were part of a suite of dances presented on my first concert in New York City at Playhouse 46 (St. Clement’s Church). The dancers are Becky Bowden and Danny Buraczeski. I met Becky in Memphis, Tennessee. You can read more about her on the Pre-History page. She was dedicated to the company, always gave her best and brought out the best in me. She was profoundly musical.