Swimming Upstream

 

Bill T. Jones fills brainy group structures with hurtling, full-out dancing in D-Man in the Waters. A tribute to the courageous spirit of Demian Acquavella, a dancer in the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company who fought the ravages of AIDS, the piece is exuberantly performed to the music of Mendelssohn. We’ll have another chance to see this 1989 masterwork March 26–April 7 at the Joyce, along with other works to classical music—Mozart, Schubert, and Ravel. The Orion String Quartet plays live. See www.joyce.org.

 

D-Man in the Waters with, clockwise from left, Antonio Brown, Erick Montes Chavero, and LaMichael Leonard. Photo by Lois Greenfield, Courtesy Jones/Zane.

From Spain With Pasión

Who knew that New York was a mecca for early flamenco artists? The exhibit “100 Years of Flamenco in NYC, 1913–2013” celebrates the evolution of a dance form more associated with Madrid and Seville than the Big Apple. Curated by scholars Ninotchka Bennahum and K. Meira Goldberg (“La Meira”), it includes memorabilia of great artists like La Argentina, José Greco, and Maria Alba; costumes; castanets; a documentary on the tumultuous Carmen Amaya; and performances by Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana. Stretching deep into the past, it has unearthed a short film that Thomas Edison made of the hugely popular flamenca Carmencita—in 1894! March 12–Aug. 3, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. See www.nypl.org.

 

Maria Alba and Ramon de los Reyes, 1965. Photo courtesy NY Public Library for the Performing Arts.

 

Gumboot Gumbo

 

Uplifting art arises from suffering and oppression. We’ve seen it in our country, and we can see it in South Africa. Community groups in the township of Katlehong, a hotspot of violence during apartheid, evolved into the professional, world-touring Via Katlehong Dance. Rough-edged but joyous, this all-male troupe combines gumboot (named for the rubber footgear that miners wear), tap dance, and pantsula (a form of hip-hop) into a terrifically rhythmic mix. Their boisterous spirit in Katlehong Cabaret yields exhilarating entertainment as well as cross-cultural education. March 16–24, Peak Performances, Montclair, NJ. See www.peakperfs.org.

 

 

 

Katlehong Cabaret. Photo by Annely Boucher, Courtesy Peak Performances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Studio Bleu students Jaxon Keller, Samantha Halker and Alia Wiggins. Photos by Chris Stark

How Turning Boards and Practice Mats Can Revolutionize Your Dance Training

When it comes to equipment, dancers don't need much—just shoes and whatever can fit in their dance bag. But between rehearsals in the studio and performances on stage, one major piece of equipment often goes overlooked—the floor.

Dancers too often find themselves warming up on the concrete or carpet backstage, or wanting to practice in a location without a proper floor. For years, Harlequin Floors has offered a solution to this problem with its innovative turning board, offering a portable and personal floor that can be flipped between marley and wood. Now, they've revolutionized portability again with their practice mat, offering dancers the option to roll up their own personal floor and sling it over their shoulders like a yoga mat.

We spoke with experts from every corner of the dance industry to see how Harlequin's products have become their everyday essentials:

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