On Friday night I joined a friend for an evening of dance at NYU’s Skirball Center. The weather outside was remarkably cold, yet inside this beautiful theatre there was distraction enough to endure the bleakest winter. The evening was entitled “Past/Forward,” a celebration of recent, and not so recent, alumni choreographers from the esteemed NYU/Tisch School of the Arts Dance department. This was the second of what Cherylyn Lavagnino, the chair of the department, hopes will be an annual festival. According to some of the work I saw last night I share her sentiment.
The first piece to really pull me in was “here we are,” a witty, sad, but ultimately hopeful solo choreographed by Monica Bill Barnes. To heart-wrenching vocals sung by Nina Simone, Barnes portrayed a woman waiting; perhaps for a night out on the town or for someone to come and sweep her off her feet. ... Read More