A Night of Magic with the American Dance Guild

I Will Show You An Ocean

On Friday December 2nd, I had to make a judgement call to bring in a replacement dancer to cover Derick McKoy, Jr, after learning of his sickness. It was a tough call to make, considering the concert was just three days away. Erring on the side of caution was the best measure; however, and so within a few short hours and after a few phone calls, I found a new dancer to cover Derick’s role. Thankfully, I was in the know of this new dancer and he was ready, willing and able to be a quick study.

And quick study he was! It was the day before the show, and DaJuan Foley jumped in with full gusto, and within two hours, learned the whole piece! Unbelievable! I was with Payton, the female dancer, and DaJuan the whole day, as after the rehearsal we quickly jumped in a cab and got to our tech rehearsal at the Aliey Center where we went into the early evening — whirlwind!! Our tech ran smoothly and the dancers felt pretty good, albeit exhausted. We planned on one more rehearsal the following day before the show. OMG!! No stress here!

With our last rehearsal Sunday the 4th during the day, we were able to whip up a fairly decent run through, though I barely got through giving notes before we were called to stage for ten whole minutes of last minute spacing. I sent the dancers home for a few short hours after that to gather their wits, and then we met up that evening for the concert. Needless to say, I was a tad nervous, mostly about getting the sewing done on the costumes last minute. Relief came when the dancers were dressed and I saw the costumes were going to function properly. I hugged them, and as I do before every show, I bestowed the piece to them — it’s now yours… go make magic on stage, I said!

And, magic they did make! From the moment they stepped onto to the stage, I was blown away by their beauty. Good things come in small packages, as both dancers stand just a wee bit over five feet tall! It was so fun looking at them eye-to-eye while working together! Magically, their statures appeared to look larger on stage — a comment I often got in my professional dancing years. The immense joy I felt as they took their final bow, made all the last minute changes worthwhile. I Will Show You An Ocean, had its second run on the Ailey Citigroup Stage — this time on the festival bill of the American Dance Guild, for which I was so honored. These two talented dancers are sure to be turning heads for years to come!

Feature Images by Robin Michals

Check out some more images from our duet here.

Almost Fall

In many of my dances, there’s a common theme of fall and recovery — coined by Doris Humphrey, who considered this ‘the arc between two deaths,’ it’s a feeling of teetering on the edge, right before movement is arrested. As this summer winds down, I can’t help, but think about the replays of this principle within a few short months. With a recent move back to my home state of PA, I could wax poetic for another year about what guides big decisions, and just how difficult everything has been; however, with an open mind, I’ll default to my zodiac cycle, which tells me to look past the hardships and get ready to embrace the treasures yet to come. It’s almost Fall and new ideas are already beginning to circulate!

I’ll reserve my dialogue about becoming a caretaker for my parent, which is the reason behind the move my husband and I made. Instead, I’ll just share that I caught myself multiple times before falling. On the brink, yet still with my one foot planted, I said goodbye to my past, which began a sort of spiritual recovery. With Mercury in retrograde, I’m reviewing and revisiting my roots — literally my roots here in PA where I was born and raised, and reviewing the glorious 30+ years with Adams Company Dance based in NYC/CT.

As the saying goes, ‘it ain’t over til the fat lady sings,’ so I’ll be revealing my transcendence into new realms as time moves on. The review process has allowed me to sense just how devoted I was with my artistic path, and how despite all odds, I somehow kept creating year after year. As I rewind the tape, I look back fondly on the many generations of fabulous dancers that worked with me; the repertoire I’ve built; the commissions I’ve had; the films I’ve produced; the nine university/college teaching stints I’ve done, as well as a whole year term position as Assistant Professor of WMU; and the countless Master Classes and workshops in dance that I’ve taught to a wide variety of populations — and I wonder why I didn’t fall more than I did. In the end, I guess it’s how well you dust yourself off and pick yourself up after the falls, that counts most. So, during this time of Mercury retrograde, I’m delighted to fall back into my comfort zone of reminiscing, while the summer drifts by, and the hint of Fall is in the air~

Enjoy perusing this sampling of ACD over the years… just a slice of an enormous collection I have!

Photo credits to: Cathryn Lundgren; Whitney Brown; Jack Martin; Judy Lieff; Amelia Golden; Faith Marek; Peter Richards; Robin Michals; Don Adams; Ikada Dance; Joel Stephen