New and Rare Broadway Dance
Broadway choreography often vanishes when the curtain comes down. Numbers fade from dancers’ memories, dance captains move on and few choreographers have the leisure to polish their legacies. American Dance Machine launched in the 1970s to preserve the best of Broadway dance. Relaunched two years ago as American Dance Machine for the 21st Century, the company now showcases newer Broadway work and musical theater rarities as well. The current run at the Joyce Theater in New York not only revives classic showstoppers like Michael Bennett’s “Turkey Lurkey Time” from Promises Promises, but also recent ones by Rob Ashford (the title number from Thoroughly Modern Millie) and Andy Blankenbuehler (“The Club” from In the Heights). The pieces have been staged by starry names like Donna McKechnie, Diane Walker, Randy Skinner and Marge Champion and the dancers, drawn from the world of ballet as well as Broadway, have equally impressive resumes: New York City Ballet’s Daniel Ulbricht, Craig Hall, Amar Ramasar and Georgina Pazcoguin join tap headliners Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and Derrick Grant, and a host of featured and ensemble Broadway talent.
“ADM is passing on the legacy and knowledge of some of the industry’s most renowned choreographers,” says Alison Solomon, a Broadway dancer and choreographer who will perform a duet from Street Scene, choreographed by Patricia Birch. “I’ve been doing so much as an associate choreographer lately, it’s exciting to have the opportunity to get back on stage.” Solomon wishes that she had been dancing when Fosse and Robbins were working on Broadway, but in the meantime, she has a list of dances that she hopes ADM21 will bring back. “I think it would be awesome to do numbers from some of the big MGM musicals, like the ‘Broadway Melody’ ballet from Singing in the Rain,” she says. Hmmmm. Paging Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly types….