Calling all dance fans to a dynamic Dance Fest! Grab a friend and leap over to Centenary Stage Company in Hackettstown this week. Four New Jersey dance companies, Umoja Dance Company, moe-tion dance theatre, Nimbus Dance Works and The Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, will perform from April 21 through April 27 at the Sitnik Theater of the Lackland Center. Each of the Dance Fest companies will delight audiences, young and old, seasoned dance aficionados and first-time dance fans alike.
A quick and heartfelt thank you to Centenary Stage Company; Lea Antolini-Lid, an Assistant Professor of Dance and Theater; and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, all passionate dance advocates. They understand the importance of presenting our professional New Jersey dance companies here in the Garden State, as it has become more difficult than you might imagine for our dance companies to be seen at local venues. Some of our companies have much more prominence out-of-state than here at home. Catherine Rust, General Manager of Centenary Stage Company, comments, “We’re so excited to be presenting these excellent companies, along with workshops that directly engage the public, which is certain to generate a deep appreciation for the art form. We thank the Dodge Foundation for their visionary support in helping to bring this festival to the people of New Jersey and beyond.” This Dance Fest is a fantastic opportunity for all of us to support our native New Jersey dance companies.
Umoja Dance Company
Sunday, April 21, 4:30 p.m.
Umoja Dance Company performs a fusion of contemporary modern and West African dance that reflects the evolution of movement and spirit in the African-Caribbean traditions. When I have seen the company perform, the energy and excitement of the dancers and the power and rhythm from the drumming overflow into the audience. You feel the beat take control of your body and have to resist the urge to join in. Karen Love, Umoja’s founder and artistic director, always presents an exhilarating performance for spectators of all ages.cts the evolution
moe-tion dance theater
Thursday, April 25, 7:30 p.m.
Picture Credit: Chris Santarella
Under the artistic direction of Maureen Glennon, moe-tion dance theater is a contemporary modern dance company dedicated to experimenting and creating new forms of expression. Ms. Glennon’s choreography has always touched my emotions whether through laughter, passion, reflection, or tears. Her company will perform a variety of works that will tug at you. moe-tion dance theater will premiere “Sense of Being,” a new duet; “Missed,” a new solo for Glennon, “Funked,” a new company piece; and will perform repertory favorites “Want” and “Jane & Dick” –if you are old enough to remember learning to read with Dick and Jane, you will certainly enjoy this piece.
Glennon explains the benefits of Dance Fest, “It is wonderful for moe-tion dance theater —we are a small company—to be part of this festival and to have new audiences see my work. I am very grateful for the entire experience. With the creation of Dance Fest, bringing together so many different dance companies for a week of dance…it’s awesome!”
Nimbus Dance Works
Friday, April 26, 8:00 p.m.
Photo Credit: Chi Modu
Nimbus Dance Works from Jersey City focuses its work on the intersection between high-level dance and innovative ways of involving communities and audiences. Samuel Pott, Founder and Artistic Director, deeply believes in the value that the arts can play in bringing people together, and this can be seen in the repertory being performed: “Memo,” choreographed by Pott and includes several members of the Centenary College community; “Danzon,” choreographed by Pedro Ruiz, which begins with traditional Cuban ballroom dancing and becomes spirited, physical, and energetic; “Lynchtown,” choreographed by modern dance pioneer Charles Weidman in 1936 and deals with mob violence and hatred in its most vulgar form; and “We Acquiesce,” choreographed by Pott as a response to the stirring “Lynchtown.”
Pott explains, “We’ve been working for several weeks with members of the local community in Hackettstown who will perform alongside Nimbus company members in our signature work ‘Memo.’ To connect with people through dance in this way and to perform Charles Weidman’s 1936 classic ‘Lynchtown’ – one of the most gripping social statements ever made in dance – is an incredible experience for us and one that audiences won’t want to miss.”
Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company
Saturday, April 27, 8:00 p.m.
Photo Credit: Paula Lobo
The Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, celebrating its 30th season this year, is led by one of our state’s dance treasures, Ms. Carolyn Dorfman. The company, known for its bold athleticism, dramatic nuance and musical range, performs high-energy and technically-demanding repertory, using movement as a metaphor to take audiences on intellectual and emotional journeys. Dorfman will be doing a brief slideshow presentation at the performance that you will not want to miss, as Dorfman always speaks to the dance audience with eloquence and passion. The evening will highlight three of her choreographic works: “Portrait - The life of one women danced by five;” “My Father’s Solo- excerpt from Mayne Mentshn Act 1: The Klezmer Sketch;” and “American Dream- excerpt from Mayne Mentshn Act 2;” as well as “Narcoleptic Lovers,” choreographed by Doug Elkins.
Video of Carolyn Dorfman Dance company: https://vimeo.com/50856663
And it is a bargain… Tickets for Centenary Stage Company’s Dance Fest range from $12.50 to $17.50 in advance and $17.50 to $22.50 at the door, with discounts for seniors and children under 12. There is also a Dance Fest Flex Pass to see all four performances for $40.00 a person. They may be purchased online at centenarystageco.org or by calling the Centenary Stage Company box office at (908) 979-0900.
Choose one or—even better—attend them all, but you don’t want to miss Dance Fest!