IT ONLY HAPPENS ONCE... to Premiere with 10 Hairy Legs at Raritan Valley Community College, 11/3
10 Hairy Legs, Randy James, The Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College
The program includes a World Premiere by Tiffany Mills for five dancers. Mills stated, "It Only Happens Once...Yesterday and Tomorrow" is based on a recurring dream that begins exactly the same way. The piece is constructed in three sections, each starting with the same image and then vastly diverging in movement, content and relationships. To build material with 10HL, I engaged the dancers collaboratively, as I do with the Tiffany Mills Company. Phrases were learned then pulled apart and manipulated; fundamental partnering concepts were taught and then tasks were given to create fresh partnering material. Each iteration of this work becomes its own entity, as I allow dancers to infuse the work with their own quirks and personalities."
Company premieres include David Dorfman and Dan Froot's "Bull," Claire Porter's "Piano" and Randy James' "Closing the Glass Door." The company will reprise Manuel Vignoulle's popular "Together We Stand," which had its World Premiere last November at the company's World Debut at RVCC.
"Bull" in many ways was the "son" of "Horn" (1990) which was the first in a series of three original duets that comprise "Live Sax Acts" by David Dorfman and Dan Froot. Where "Horn" was a non-verbal, sax-playing, body-flinging show of affection and competition charting Dan and Dave's budding friendship, "Bull" dug deeper, using verbal improvisation and provocation amplified through electronic bullhorns to excavate intimate feelings rarely shared by heterosexual men together. The fifteen minute performance piece features a slap dance, replete with pleasantries exchanged in a banter as crisp as the slaps. Later, crotch grabbing replaces slaps as fodder for commentary and a personal fantasy section ensues where the duo re-define "hotness" for themselves. By "Bull's" end, a hope for tenderness permeates the stage.
Porter, a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship award recipient for choreography, pulls apart what seems to be normal and then puts it all back together in funny, absurd, touching pieces of spoken word and movement. "Her repertoire is cleverly crafted from everyday gestures that reveal human foibles." Wilma Salisbury, The Plain Dealer. "Piano" is a slyly witty take on the egotistical world of the concert pianist when confronted with a problem - his grand piano has not arrived in time for his performance.
"Closing the Glass Door," originally choreographed by James for two of our founding company members while they were his students at Mason Gross School of the Arts, had its debut performance at Raritan Valley Community College's "Dances from the Garden" in September 2009 and was performed in March 2012 at NJPAC as part of their Jersey Moves! Festival. Kyle Marshall and Nick Sciscione, now mature and full-fledged professionals, will reprise their roles. In his review in 2009, Star-Ledger critic Robert Johnson noted, "One of the beauties of a subtle dance like this is that it doesn't slap on a label or supply an easy answer that will stop the viewer from thinking. Instead the dancers' physicality insinuates what different kinds of intimate relationships might have in common." Set to the Handel-Halvorsen Passacaglia duet for violin and cello, the work will be performed to Live Musical Accompaniment.
"Together We Stand" explores the camaraderie among those brought together by violence and adversity as well as the manner in which individuals relate to one another during crisis. Manuel Vignoulle makes a strong statement about violence in this athletic work for five company members set to a rousing and visceral score.
Tickets to the performance are $30, $20 with Senior and Student discounts available. They may be purchased by calling (908) 725-3420, Monday-Friday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, or at rvccarts.org. The theater is located at 118 Lamington Road, Branchburg, NJ. Parking is free. The theater is barrier-free.
Founding Principal dancers of 10 Hairy Legs Alex Biegelson, Tyner Dumortier, Kyle Marshall, Scott Schneider and Nick Sciscione are joined this season by Robert Burke, Tony Bordonaro, Cyle Eugene Jackson, Aaron Ramos and Carlo Antonio Villanueva. They are all currently actively employed as performers and educators in the field, working with Stephen Petronio, Doug Elkins, The Bang Group, ZviDance and off-Broadway in "Sleep No More," among others.
The balance of the 2013-2014 season includes new works and company premieres from Doug Elkins, David Parker, Brian Brooks and Benoit Swan-Pouffer. The company will appear as part of the DanceNOW NYC Festival at Joe's Pub in New York City on October 11, at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center's Victoria Theater on March 8, on tour to the Cayman Islands in April, at The Crossroads Theatre in New Brunswick on May 4, and at New York Live Arts June 26-29.
10 Hairy Legs is a repertory company, founded in 2012, of Randy James' work as well as existing and new works, not meant to reflect a specific point of view about the male experience, but rather to celebrate and explore the tremendous technical and emotional range of the male dancer. 10 Hairy Legsadvances the understanding of the male role in dance through the creation, acquisition and performance of exceptional work. The company provides a multitude of educational and humanities programs throughout the state of New Jersey and at tour locations. In our debut season we served more than 8,000 patrons, students and educators in New Jersey, New York and on the Cayman Islands.
10 Hairy Legs is funded in part by a leadership grants from The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, New Music USA's Live Music for Dance Award, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation and Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission.
Randy James, founding Artistic Director of 10 Hairy Legs, has made a significant impact in the field of dance for more than three decades locally, regionally, nationally and internationally as a highly regarded dancer, choreographer, teacher, guest lecturer, panelist and staunch advocate of the arts. His impact in the field led The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation to cite him as "The Patron Saint of New Jersey dance" in 2010. As a choreographer, James has created more than 40 works on his own companies and on 16 other professional companies throughout the United States, garnering positive reviews from The New York Times and The Village Voice. The New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State honored him twice with Choreography Fellowships in recognition of his artistic excellence and named him "Distinguished Teaching Artist." As an Associate Professor of Dance, James has been a member of the dance faculty at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, since 1994. James' former company, Randy James Dance Works, provided 16 years of uninterrupted service to the field until 2009, at which time James put the company on hiatus. James hasbeen a guest artist at various institutions, including American Dance Festival, Jacob's Pillow, London Contemporary Dance Theatre and School, VII Annual International Contemporary Dance Conference and Performance Festival in Poland, Tage des Tanzas in Germany and Austria, Fine Five School in Estonia, Via Danse in Latvia, Dance Space, Inc., SUNY Purchase, George Mason University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Greensboro, Virginia Commonwealth University, James Madison University, East Carolina University and Ram Island Dance.