A Look Back at 2016


After 25 years of making dances depicting the human condition, relationships and the comically absurd, this year allowed me to look back and honor the dancers, the dances, and the archives of Adams Company Dance through the ages. What a gift to have been able to do the work I have been doing for all these years! I surely could’ve given up many times when the going got rough. I recently told a former student, who just started her own company, that the key to success is tenacity. It’s not all about talent or luck in this field, but it is about how well you can stick to it when the odds are against you. Balancing it all has been a challenge, but passion always trumps — oh dear, there’s that word…  Talk about challenges we faced this year, and one can only imagine what is to come with this guy in office. Ughh!

Through trials and tribulations on both a personal and global scale, I marched through 2016, with a bit of a ball and chain feeling I was dragging around. However, I know I was not the only one. My steadfast and stalwart rehearsal studio, ” The DANY,” closed their doors from the weight and pressure of the economy. Oh no! Thank God for trials though, as that is the stuff of creativity and art — but c’mon — enough already, 2016! I chose to celebrate my dancers, however. They are the committed ones that came through the muck and mire of their own personal trials, and like the phoenix rising from the ashes, they helped navigate through, using their ultra-talented gifts to fuel our choreographic endeavors. I owe everything to them!  Take a look here at their beauty in motion!

So looking back at the tenacious doings of 2016, I will remember fondly my Jin Shin Jyutsu Self-Help class for dancers at Greenwich Academy’s dance department, in Greenwich, CT; a fun podacst called “Quest Hands,” with one f my former dancers, Robert Halley, who started his own business; a summer into fall rehearsal schedule with James A. Pierce, III, working on our new dance “Sentimento Spirituale”;” our archival video shoot at Gelsey Kirkland Theater and our near-debacle, where we lost, then found all the video footage; our “Behind the Lens,” screening at the Bryant Park Hotel: our 25th anniversary celebration event; and lastly, the spiritually uplifting performance of James A. Pierce, III, in his new solo on the bill of Aries in Flight, at the West Park Presbyterian Church in NYC, where two performances that day allowed for a divine experience!

Most fondly, I will remember the dancers who showed up this year and performed in and attended our events — a reunion of my saints — who marched in some way, for some part, through these dance fields for the past twenty-five years, all who contributed to the essence of ACD; and, just like the postmen — through rain, sleet, snow, and hail — they delivered, no matter the weather… and that’s tenacity!

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Throwback artistic director’s moment
Film Screening at the Bryant Park Hotel
Film Screening at the Bryant Park Hotel
James A. Pierce, III
James A. Pierce III, in Sentimento Spirituale
Glenn Lonetybeing honored by Debra Levine at "Behind the Lens"
Dr. Glenn Loney being honored by Debra Levine at “Behind the Lens”
A moment with the dancers after the Bryant Park event: Milan Misko, Alana Kirzner,Chris Jackson, Mitzi Adams, Meredith Fages, Julie Fiorenza, Annie Heinemann

Behind the Lens: Screening October 14th!!

Adams Company Dance Presents:

Behind the Lens

Friday, October 14th, 2016 at 7:30p
Venue: The Bryant Park Hotel Screening Room
Location: 40 West 40th Street
New York , NY, 10018

Chris Jackson in Sea Chapter
Chris Jackson in Sea Chapter

Mitzi Adams, Artistic Director and Choreographer of Adams Company Dance, will present “Behind the Lens,” a 90 minute film screening of her award-winning documentary, “Except At Night: The Making Of A Dance,” and a compendium of short dance films. From the Baryshnikov Arts Center to the shores of Silver Sands State Park in CT and everywhere in between,  Adams and filmmakers Amelia Golden and Benjamin Moss, weave dancers into their unique settings to create film shorts that are visually stunning, whimsical and emotionally stirring. ACD is celebrating their 25th anniversary this year!

This event is in collaboration with Peace Community Chapel’s annual coat drive for the homeless. Your tax-deductible donation will go toward this year’s goal of 100 new coats.

Prior to the screening, acclaimed author and dance/theater critic, Dr. Glenn Loney, will be honored with a lifetime achievement award for his many accomplishments.


Adams Company Dance Screening at:
40 West 40th Street
New York , NY, 10018
203-829-4767 (for more info)

For tickets:

Celebrating 25 Years!

ACD celebrating 25 years
ACD celebrating 25 years

“Where do I begin? To tell the story of how great a love can be?” Sound familiar? The theme from Love Story is a little corny,  I admit, but true. Twenty-five years of a deep, passionate relationship to dance, the dancers, and the craft we’ve created together throughout the years, is a moving, telling story of love. Dance has been an ultimate channeling that has colored and shaped everything I’ve produced. Though more often than not it’s been a tough journey to stay afloat, being in the company of dancers has always kept me feeling alive. “In the company of dancers,” is what spawned Adams Company Dance. “C’mon over and let’s share in each other’s company, and if the mood strikes us, we’ll dance.” The name felt more like it came out of my living room than from a director’s chair, which is why I never named it, Adams Dance Company. The backward notion is more me– plus it’s a great conversation starter.

From the early stages of my career, I backed out of traditionalism and leaned toward the human side of making dance. It seemed from the get-go that I was not meant to engage in a big touring company with my name at the helm, and cookie-cutter dancers working beneath me. Most rehearsals focused on the process of creating, and allowing the dancers to add their own voice, and nuance. I never liked in performance for my “choreography” to be overshadowing the story. In other words, let the dance do its thing without the obvious outlines of the craft. If the dancers are really genuine, sensing their weight, and musically aware, the lines of choreography are blurred and you focus on the beauty. This comes from a deep trust in the studio, and from the human element of the artistic process.

25 years ago when I came to Connecticut from Arizona with my husband, I morphed my post graduate studies into my emerging career as a choreographer. 1991 was the beginning of renting vans, and schlepping props to venues throughout NYC. Back then, it seemed doable. It was easier to mobilize all units and get the job done. Dancers were ready, willing, and eager, and opportunities were always there, without paying to be involved with them. Really! Now, you have to pay on PayPal to apply for a gig–more on my thoughts on that in a blog to come! Taking care of the dancers that have worked with me has always been a priority. Providing pay, and a letter agreement to ensure all equality, was essential to allow for the dancer to feel that they were being honored, and accounted for professionally. It was never enough for all they contributed, but in the long-run, the gift of dance made up for the lack of remuneration they really deserved. I am so grateful to all of them for their loyalty and dedication!

From East to West and places in between, I carried my spirit of dance through these past 25 years. Performances wracked up, and dancers have come and gone, but the process will always be the gem I remember most in my heart. The times when stories were shared, tears were shed, laughter rang out, hugs were given freely, and new relationships were forged.  That’s the company of dance I’d like to continue keeping! That’s the love story that I hope keeps unfolding. Stay tuned for our Fall events celebrating our anniversary!

Please see our Anniversary Photo Album here!  See our celebration video here!

Shelter: A Cosmic Experience

Maslow would be proud of me if he knew that I was highlighting the lowest level of his pyramid in a dance! If we didn’t have the handicap of always focusing on how to afford food and shelter, just think how much more we could do for the world. In this dance I used an umbrella and a large, red cloth to depict money, power and greed. Annie had a silver, sequined pair of honkin’ high heels that I had to use (oh no, I think I have a shoe fetish)! A pair of gold lamé gloves found their way into my dance bag, so she wore those, too. Hmm… silver and gold!

This event at the Secret Theater in Queens happened on July 10th from 6:30-9:30 pm. I had 3 hours to make a 9 minute 28 second piece. It happened in 2 hours and 9 minutes when it was all said and done, however. My inspiration was this picture that hangs on my office wall of people running for shelter under an umbrella.

Nicole Renaud, an amazing French composer/accordian player was so gracious to allow me to use her music, and in fact, was delighted to have me choreograph to her work.

I must have been in labor because I only had a few phrases to show the dancers, and the rest  just came with a few pushes. We ran the piece twice at the end with videographer, Marie Le Claire  raring to go. Also, young film maker Amelia Golden, was present the whole time with the task of making a new film of the experience. With all lenses in focus, the the dancers sweat like there was no tomorrow and a new piece was born!

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to do this, which also served as a farewell, but not goodbye to Ryan Schmidt and Julie Fiorenza–both who will be moving out of NYC at the end of the summer.  So sad to see them leave, but life is calling them to new pastures.

After a fun corner-diner experience with the group, I had time to think about the upper levels of the pyramid on my commute back home:  morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice, and acceptance of facts–seems I attained that level in a quick 2 hours and 9 minutes–enough time to make me forget that rent was due!

Pie, Picket Fences & Purgatory

Though I wasn’t called in life to drive oxen, I have occasionally been driven to madness. There’s a narrow chasm between iconic Americana and our deeper desires toward temptation and deviance.  I think I’ll live, but someone should really examine me after this.

“As seen on TV, ” the ideal 50s and 60s sometimes painted a picture-perfect image of the American life, but simmering beneath the surface, were always subversive leanings toward immorality and injustice juxtaposing it.

Pie, Picket Fences & Purgatory, ” through the mediums of film and performance art, attempts to reveal how the euphemistic “American Dream” falls between the cracks of the perfect picket fence/apple pie-idealism.

My inspiration came from Ben Moss’s film I saw at Monkey Town in Brooklyn, (now closed), almost two years ago. I remember falling in love with the pulp-retro-feel, and the iconic 50s images. It was meant to be that he and join our forces yet again, to produce this  absurd blend of performance art.

This Friday is almost here and I had no time with my one guest artist, and niece, Dori, so I rehearsed over the phone. That’s a first! I actually choreographed her part without moving at all. How this is all going to come together, will be very interesting, no doubt.  I had four separate rehearsals with all four cast members, but somehow I’ll have to trust that they will blend all their parts  into this cauldron of insanity I’ve written–the dress rehearsal will be in fine form!

I can’t wait for you all to see The Factory Underground in Norwalk, CT. This “diamond in the ruff,” is really like a funky SoHo gallery. I have six artists featured in the gallery, all depicting either Amercana themes, or themes of purgatory. This event is dedicated to the folks from Joplin, MO, and Springfield, Ma, who suffered through the devastating tornadoes this past Spring. We’ll have an apple pie raffle with all proceeds going to the relief efforts.

Hope to see you there, but keep in mind, may not all be there!

P.S. Show went great! Here’s a slideshow of the event with photos by Fay Li.