Patricia Lynne Duffy
from the heart of Chelsea, NY…
Blue Cats Mews
Celebrating the synesthetic element in contemporary art and performance
Morphing sizes, shapes, rhythms:
it’s time we saw diversity in dance!
Naomi Goldberg Haas’ Dances for a Variable Population at the
27th Annual Downtown Dance Festival, Chase Plaza, New York City (August 20)
At the 27th Annual Downtown Dance Festival, they saved the best and most original set of dancers for last -- on a bright, breezy, late summer lunchtime in Chase Plaza’s generous outdoor space. The group, named Dances for a Variable Population is a unique mix of female performers of varying sizes, shapes, and ages -- including both professional and non-professional dancers. Watching dancers on stage -- that range in ages from 25 to 75, heights from short to tall, figures from slender to buxom -- allows an audience to be touched by a real beauty it rarely gets to see.
DVP’s founder and choreographer, Naomi Goldberg Haas is a genius at blending her dancers’ very diverse styles of movement to create an original choreography, the likes of which we have not seen before.
The dancers of DVP, with their different rhythms and energies, morph into unexpected choreographic patterns, -- unlike the more predictable ones of dancers with similar ages, body types, and movement styles.
Pieces performed by DVP included the smart and sassy Street, where the tender- and- tough of street life is shown in the push-and-pull between the strong and the meek; the somber and beautiful Straight, where two older dancers are paired with two younger ones, showing the simultaneous reaching-out-pushing-away of younger to older generations; the funky and spicy Mambo, with its quirky sense of play; and Disco, that final celebration-of-everyone -- where even those in the audience are invited to get up on the stage and join in the dance.
As Jonathan Hollander (?), director of the Annual Downtown Dance Festival said, DVP is a group that can help erase the sad belief of many that they are “denied dance or beyond dance” because they have the “wrong” age or body.
In DVP, an audience finds a synesthetic fusion of music, movement and style--with an excitement that can only be compared to that created by the diversity of New York City itself – with its teeming energy coming exactly from its “variable population”.
DVP dancers: Geraldine Bartlett, Sandy Broyard, Alison Cook-Beatty, Joyce Costanza, Bernice Feldman, Jackie Ferrara, Jill Frere, , Jamie Graham, Naomi Goldberg Haas, Sandra Indig, Carolyn Jarvis, Lori Beth Katz, Judy Kultermann, Emi Lesure, Kate Marks, Sari Nordman, Ingrid Rothbart, M. Lindsay Smith, Maxine Steinhaus, Judith Chazen Walsh, Betty Williams, Ji Yeon