Get Cultured — April 29, 2016 at 12:35 pm

NYC Dance Alliance Celebrates Six Years of Cultural Advancement

by

! - Robert Fairchild

At the Joyce Theater, one of the most intimate and lovely theaters in New York, the NYC Dance Alliance celebrated its sixth year in existence by showcasing the work of some of its participants, alumni, and sponsors. This wonderful evening brought to light the work of founder and dance lover Joe Lanteri, a proud advocate for the performing arts. Donors of the New York City Dance Alliance contribute financial aid to assist aspiring dancers to receive a college degree. Since its inception, over 17 million dollars have been awarded to aspiring dancers of the NYCDA.

Partnering with esteemed universities such as Marymount Manhattan College, Point Park University, Pace University, and Southern Methodist University, just to name a few, this charitable foundation has given 300+ teenagers the opportunity of a lifetime by allowing them to pursue a college degree in dance completely debt free.

The most recent celebration of this fantastic philanthropic organization featured a range of performers, each one more different and more innovative than the last. The first act was a group of extremely talented young dancers from Marymount Manhattan College premiering a piece entitled “Under the Surface.”  All members of this ensemble, both male and female, wore nude leotards and giant, billowing skirts. The skirts were as much a part of the set as the choreography, and while the dancing was exquisite, this piece seemed more a comment on sexuality and the obsession with gender that plagues this country as of late, making it one of the most thought provoking and intriguing of the evening.

1 - Marymount

The youngest of the group to grace the stage was a dance school from Indiana, and their ages ranged from 13 to 18. The youngest among us are usually the most on trend, and this group was no exception. Costumed in Free People and accompanied by the dulcet tones of Mumford and Sons’ hit song “Love with Urgency,” these teens are certainly destined for great things. They’d be smart to watch out for their earrings though – they tend to catch on lace.

Il Adagio was one of the most fascinating performances of the evening. Two couples, with each sex dressed identically, begin as one and peel off into a mirrored tango with their “twin” – or is it just their reflection? My notes for this piece simply read “silent green twins,” and the stop and start of the music has the same effect that an acapella rap performance would have on an audience. It was captivating.

1 - Alex Damiani piece

Breaking up the seriousness of the evening was a fun and funky collection of gold-lamé clad women dancing out their feelings. “Let’s Do It” featured dancers of all shapes and sizes shaking their groove thang, and I’ve had the song on repeat ever since.

Animus was one of those performances that you don’t totally understand (or even a little bit understand) but you’re so intrigued by the oddness of it that it stays with you. Are they birds? Are they human? Are they royals? Are they a regal human-bird hybrid? Did one of them die in the end?  Did he kill her? How did his feathers stay on? I have SO MANY questions, but they will not be answered, because like many facets of art, interpretation is subjective. It’s a testament to the success of this piece and this program that I am still thinking about these things a week later.

1 - Point Park

New York City Ballet principal dancer Tiler Peck was supposed to perform with her husband Robert Fairchild, also a NYCB principal and star of the hit Broadway show An American in Paris, but she was unable to due to an injury, which was exceptionally disappointing for this writer.

This show was an absolutely incredible collection of dancers from all stages of their career. It served as an excellent reminder of the steps it take, small and large, to build a career, and the village that helps to raise a dancer.

Twisted Talk: Are you familiar with the NYC Dance Alliance? When was the last time you saw a dance performance? Discuss below!

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