From Korea With Love

i-will-show-you-an-ocean-07-034Digging way back into the passport that brought you to America could open up Pandora’s Box. That’s exactly what Julie Fiorenza did when she visited her birthplace last year… a trip to Korea that opened the door for my new dance, My Room.” I had never set a solo on Julie, so unraveling the story of her adoption seemed like an interesting place to start.

Working through the first few rehearsals, the movement just poured out, and Julie took to it, like a bird takes to flight. Fostering cross-cultural diversity came easily with this dance, as we stitched together themes using a slideshow of images from Korea, poetry, beautiful music, and of course, Julie’s incredible dancing.

As you can imagine, this process saved a lot of money in therapy fees! Look for Julie’s debut of this solo on October 10th at the Manhattan Movement & Arts Center in NYC!!!

Here’s a sneak peak of the poem:

Engulfed in a sea of faces like my own–
I feel a sense of belonging, but I am a stranger to this place.

You took me back, Korea…
for my eyes to see,
my lips to touch,
my nose to smell…

You’re a souvenir for only me to keep…
My nest, my cradle, my birthplace…

Roaming the streets of the city where I came into this world,
peering into the houses from high atop a hill–
I’m not alone…

It still feels like a dream… surreal.
But now I’ve seen it, stood there, brought a piece of it home.

I’m so glad I found you again…


Miles: A New Duet Comes About

A very last-minute performance opportunity popped up this month at the Secret Theater in Long Island City, Queens.  The new duet I was working on needed a trial run, so I took advantage of the dates. Tonight and tomorrow you’ll see a new duet entitled, Miles, danced by Ryan Schmidt and Ryan Lawrence. I was inspired, yet again, by another piece by Maria Schneider, Pas De Deux, off her Grammy Award-winning CD, Concert in the Garden.  I knew the “two Ryans” had to meet and dance together at some point, as they are altar-egos of one another. They dance very muck alike… stretchy, long legs, and the technical prowess most dancers aspire toward.

With Maria Schneider’s concert this week at Birdland, (this was pure coincidence, or maybe not!), it all seems appropriate to wrap another one of her works  around a dance this week. Thanks again, Maria, for the tickets to the show! It was outstanding, as usual!

With all the universe is going through right now, why not treat yourself to Maria’s voice of beauty through music and dance this weekend? Thank you, dancers, for making this happen!


Film Noir

bac-filmshoot2010-21In my inimitable style, I planned another piece while on the train into NYC. It’s a ride that takes care of so many needs, if you take the time to let the creative juices flow. This time it was more than dance, it was Godspell meets Baby Buddha, meets Richard the III, meets Doris Humphrey — toss in a narrative about Facebook, and you’ve got the gist of ACD‘s evening of film making, which I’m calling:  “Let’s Face It,a scrappy, austere, film noir comment on the loss of literature and spirituality, to the techno-modes of communicating and learning.

I fooled the dancers and told them they were going to learn a short combination for a commercial reel I needed to make… never mind! I lucked out to get Peter Richards, videographer magnifique, to shoot this night of  weird and wacky antics. Fay Li was amazing to come and capture our zaniness through her artistic lens. Thanks to Annie, Julie, Ryan and Sarah for making the night of April 28th at Baryshnikov Arts Center an evening that I’ll never forget!

“Now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious summer — by my editor!!!”

On with the film making! Coming soon to a YouTube near you!!



Leap of Faith

adamsdance_dress_0065Ryan Schmidt, flying high in this leap, was not only relying on her skill as a dancer, but also on a good dose of faith to get her up so high.  This article we wrote together, was a therapeutic undertaking.

When you see a dancer  performing onstage, there’s much more that goes on behind the scenes, than what you could even imagine. Yes, there’s the countless dance classes, but then there’s simply LIFE to deal with. Everything shows on a dancer, from an ounce of excess flesh, to the mole on their cheek; but, what lurks from deep within the psyche, also shows up. That’s what you don’t see — except it does affect a dancer’s ability to even do a simple tendu. How good a dancer feels on the inside, interprets through to the tips of the their toes! Ryan stretched through her toes — all the way to the air — in this story. I hope you have time to read it… I think you’ll be happy you did!

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A Dance Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Permit me to deviate from the usual domain of  the modern dance sophistication, and allow a simple, yet deeply meaningful solo to color the wall of this blog. “Undisclosed Recipients,” (A Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.), ushers in a message  through movement, depicting the struggle that King lived, and honoring his goodwill that helped break down the racial divide. This peacemaker, minister, activist and man of color, was fighting for our nation to bring equality to all people, and though we still have a ways to go, the monumental shift he made, brought justice to a broken people. In this, we celebrate his achievement.

Dance has a way of telling a story that invokes a feeling. I hope that young people who may not get a chance to dig deep into the pages of a history book, due to the Cliff-noted, Wikipedia classroom these days, will feel just a little something from watching this piece. King’s message is about love, and so with the support of John Legend’s music and U2’s lyrics, I have created this cameo piece danced by former Martha Graham dancer, James A. Pierce III. Please take the time to share this with a young person. I am sure that Dr. King would have much – pride… in the name of love!

Grammy Winning Jazz and Dance Come Together

Take a look at Ryan Schmidt and Milan Misko in “Slate,” which I choreographed to Maria Schneider’s “Rich’s Piece.”

maria-schneider-at-standard09Two-time Grammy award winner, Maria Schneider will be at the Jazz Standard in NYC this week, so don’t miss her! Her orchestra will be in full style through this Sunday the 29th of November.  Jazz music and dance came together this past August when I choreographed two pieces to her songs, “Rich’s Piece” and “Aires de Lando,” off her Grammy award winning, Sky Blue.

I can’t wait to hear her premiere she wrote for her  band this season.  She told me she could see a dance to it! I’m sure I’ll need to control myself in my seat as I open my ears to the possibilities this weekend!! Good luck, Maria!

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Another Great Photographer!

r90_8aFay Li is another in the line of great photographers we’ve used at Adams Company Dance. Not only does she “get right in there with all the action,” but she also steps back to analyze the best angle and outcome for any shot. Not specifically knowing dance, she proved to know the ins & outs of movement, in a style all her own! Hope you find time to peruse her website. You’ll find more pics of my piece, “Cheap Seats,” if you click the tab labeled “Featured.”

Check out her photos of Adams Company Dance in my previous post below.

Thanks to the Donors!

Adams Company Dance would like to thank the following donors for their contributions to “An Evening Of Sharing: A Year Gone By,” last Wednesday, August 26, at the Ailey Citigroup Theater. Because of your contributions, we are able to continue  to offer continue high quality dance programs to larger audiences. Thank you for your generosity, continued interest and support!

Platinum Supporters: Kathleen Talbot, Leonard Blumenthal
Gold Supporters: Leslie & Howard Kirzner, Marie Spelling
Bronze Supporters: Mr. & Mrs. A. E. Betteridge III
Enthusiasts: Rebecca Scarpatti, Joyce & Robert Jones, Sandra Holmyard, Rachel & Eric Lerner, Dana McAvity, The McCabe Family

A BIG THANK YOU to Maria Schneider for her music lessons and permission to use “Aires de Lando” and “Rich’s Piece,” from her Grammy winning album, Sky Blue! Challenging music, but lots of fun to work with!

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Concert at the Ailey Citigroup Theater: A Magical Night!

August 26th was a magical night!  My new works, “Cheap Seats” and “Slate,” were only completed just a week or so before the concert. Thanks to Maria Schneider for her music lessons, score, and permission to use her phenomenal music!  Somehow, it all came together, as things usually do, and the dancers did a bang up job!  Another big thank you to Megan Slayter for flying in from Michigan to do my lighting design. She made the pieces come to life!

As I stood in the back watching the night unfold, I felt a sense of joy: not only were we able to pull the gig off in two months, but I was able to reunite old friends in the cast. I even had an old friend, Sarah Levine, stage manager extraordinaire, join me to work her magic in the wings.  As I hugged the sweaty dancers afterward in the dressing room, I was almost knocked over by the enormous amount of energy being exuded in the room. A cast of six incredibly talented dancers, all with amazing gifts, were together once again with me to ignite a powerful match that blew me away! Job well done, my friends! Thank you so much!

Visit this link to see more pictures from the concert!

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Summer Season at the Joan Weill Center for Dance at Ailey Citigroup Theater

This summer, Adams Company Dance presents, “An Evening of Sharing: A Year Gone By,” at the Joan Weill Center for Dance at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, on August 26th, in NYC. This mixed bill of media and dance will cover what the company has been up to for the past year. I’m excited to premiere, “Except at Night: The Making of a Dance,” a documentary based on making a ten-minute piece in three hours using eight dancers.

I also will be honoring world-renowned jazz composer, and two-time Grammy award winner, and good friend, Maria Schneider, by premiering two new pieces, using music off her cd, Sky Blue. These two pieces are in the making as we speak. Living up to the standard of Maria Schneider is impossible… instead I can only hope that by joining in the company of her music, a blessed augmentation will take place! Thanks Maria, for your permission!

Rounding out the program will be four other works, including a cameo dance piece, “Undisclosed Recipients: A Tribute to MLK, Jr.” This piece is based on a project I am pursuing revolving around a university dance scholarship, and a charity for the MLK Memorial Foundation, on the forefront of being built in D.C. I’ll be announcing more on this in the coming weeks.

As for the rest of the program, you’ll see slides of NY’s Cathryn Lundgren and CT’s Fay Li, and media quickies that will touch you and make you chuckle. I am happy to renew the energy from this past year’s run of some of my favorite dances, including, At Ease, Ruby, and I Will Show You an Ocean.

All the dancers I am working with are top-notch, and boast credits from the Graham Company, to Ailey, to Mark Morris, Mark Dendy, Broadway, etc… I am very lucky to have them in my rotating stable right now. Dancers come and go, but this group is definitely to watch!

Hope to see you all there!

cimg2158Please visit Adams Company Dance website at