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Juan Michael Porter II - Page 4

Juan Michael Porter II

Juan Michael Porter II is the Managing Editor and  Critic-in-Residence of BroadwayWorld Dance. He writes and creates with a focus on engaging, entertaining, and educating the reader without being a prick about it. He has contributed dance and theatre criticism to Color Lines, TheBody.com, Dance Enthusiast, Time Out NY, Ballet Review, TDF Stages, HuffPost, and Movement Research.

He has worked with H.T. Chen & Dancers, NYCOpera, Michael Mao Dance, The Martha Graham Dance Company, BalaSole Dance Company, Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company, and collaborated as a soloist with Yvonne Ng, Autre Ne Veut, William Hooker, Yasuhiko Fukuoka, Bird Mask, Isaiah Sheffer, Rose Marie Guirard, and Yung Yung Tsuai.  

Behind the scenes, he is the former producer of Nadine Bommer Dance, production partner of Williamsburg Movement & Arts Center, director of dance at Webster Hall, Resident Artist at Sangre de Cristo Art Center, and regional coordinator of The New York City Road Runners. As the the founding artistic director of The Moving Beauty Series, he has advised, developed, consulted, and presented the work of numerous acclaimed artists.




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BWW Dance: Hottest Men in Dance 2019 PhotoBWW Dance: Hottest Men in Dance 2019
Posted: Jan. 2, 2020


BWW Tribute: Willy Burmann, Ballet's Sage Has Ascended to The Stars PhotoBWW Tribute: Willy Burmann, Ballet's Sage Has Ascended to The Stars
Posted: Mar. 31, 2020


Barcelona Dance Company Speaks Out On Being Barred From Performing At The Los Angeles PhotoBarcelona Dance Company Speaks Out On Being Barred From Performing At The Los Angeles Theatre Center By Immigration Officers
Posted: Oct. 16, 2019


BWW Dance: Rebuke to Blackface, Orientalism, and Racist Equivocation in The Guardian PhotoBWW Dance: Rebuke to Blackface, Orientalism, and Racist Equivocation in The Guardian
Posted: Dec. 20, 2019


BWW Review: BATTERY DANCE FESTIVAL Dances To Glory Through Rain and Shine
August 16, 2016

A gracious speech given by Jonathan Hollander - Artistic Director of Battery Dance Company - opened the 35th annual Battery Dance Festival. There was a welcome emphasis on all that went into making this festival possible, including calls for thanks to: Council member Margaret Chin and her continued support, American Express for two years of support, Holiday Inn for giving eighty free rooms - for the full run of the festival - to out-of-town artists, Mary McCormick and Funds for the City of New York for their support, Air India for flying the participating artists of India to New York, and the doctors of Weill Cornell who were on standby 'just in case'. Mr. Hollander closed his remarks with a special thank you to the main sponsors of the festival: 'The artists; they do it because they want to be here in front of you, the public.'

BWW Review: TINK! Soars Beyond Neverland
August 10, 2016

'OMG! Mom and Dad are being such phonies, so I'm going to run away and marry a pirate. Before you think about that too much, let me distract you with this show-stopping production number!' Actually 'TINK!' wasn't as vacuous as all that, though - true to the exclamation point in its title - it did tend to deliver narrative details in bold plot points. Still, Tony Marino's barrel-of-laughs filled book, aided by Lena Gabrielle's tuneful score, with an assist from Greg Kerestan on lyrics ensured that 'TINK!' stood out as one of the more delectable treats in this year's New York Musical Festival smorgasbord.

BWW Interview: Enrique Cruz DeJesus Paints The Future and Honors The Past
July 28, 2016

There may be 'no second acts in American lives' - thank you, Fitzgerald - and yet Enrique Cruz DeJesus has lived so many exciting chapters that seven or eight books could be devoted to his journey. Mr. DeJesus has been the Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer of Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company since 1998, inheriting directorship of this nearly 45 years old company from Andy Torres during a time when the future was anything but certain. Having led a successful concert dance career - that saw him working with Eleo Pomare, Talley Beatty, Gary Deloatch, Martial Roumain and George Faison - Mr. DeJesus transitioned in to a highly successful theatre career with his stage debut at Shakespeare in the Park's production of 'Measure for Measure' under the direction of George C. Wolfe.

BWW Review: LA DANCE PROJECT Bombs at The Joyce
July 27, 2016

Three men engage in acrobatic entanglements that transform from free-moving sculptural configurations to crumpled masses of bodies that roll all over the floor of a darkly lit fog filled stage. Resembling an improv-ed floor-work exercise full of incongruously musical acrobatic manipulations, this indulgent routine - replete with lingering touches and mashing of bodies into each other - revealed little about its performers and even less about itself the longer it went on.

BWW Review: FINI DANCE FESTIVAL Parties La Via Italiana
July 26, 2016

Though it was hot and muggy on the evening of July 24th, 2016, the jam-packed audience at Manhattan Movement & Arts Center was grinning agog like newly minted parents infatuated with their brood. The cause: a troupe of adorable bambine from Staten Island Ballet performing Ellen Tharp's 'Tarantella'. Though only one of these girls was delivering the movement nel modo Italiano, they were all so lively with their tambourine strikes and hops that even the most curmudgeonly of audience members applauded with gusto.

BWW Review: BRIDGMAN|PACKER Pack Sex and Art Into 3-D Renderings
July 20, 2016

If we've been here before, why aren't the returns diminishing? The sequence repeats itself all night long in continuous loops and yet the eye never wanders. To the contrary one is drawn in deeper with each new repetition. Is it the weather-beaten beauty of the performers and the total investment with which they infuse every gesture? Is it the fusion of technology, holograms, and art? Looking around at the audience in The Sheen Center on July 13th, 2016, one is taken by the fact that the patrons are mature in age and completely in sync with this new mode of technology. Going off of appreciation alone, it seems that there is not a luddite in the room for this multimedia spectacle of art that would not look out of place at Coachella. This is art that “younger audiences” think of when they ask for something cool.

BWW Interview: MONSTAH BLACK, The Interview. Part II
July 14, 2016

Well, yeah. I guess I am self-made. Because - thinking in terms of what my goals have been all my life - I've had very specific ideas around what I've wanted to do since I was about three. I can remember back to the day, the time of day, what I was doing, when the light bulb went off and I said to myself, "That's what I want to do." I pretty much focused on that. I said it on that day and I've gotten to the point where I'm in the middle of it happening. It's hinting towards what I see, what my goals have been. But it's not out of reach. It could happen. It's just a matter of putting the time into that and making it happen. It has happened already and now it's about allowing it to happen again and maybe getting more exposure to let it expand. My earliest inspiration is pretty much what helped shape myself into what I am. I can pinpoint who those people are and at some point I allowed it to… I let those landmarks inspire, I held onto them, and continued to step forward as the man. But it pretty much started with the Sonny and Cher show.

BWW Review: K ARTS BALLET Sets A New Standard for Excellence
July 13, 2016

The maxim 'Go big or go home' holds. That's one thing that can be said for Korea National University of Art's 'K Arts; Rising Stars of Korea Gala': they dance big; Bolshoi big. The leg extensions were never below 9 o'clock and more often than not floated past 12 o'clock; the pirouettes were never fewer than two and frequently zoomed from three to six; the grand jetes soared with clean splits every single time; and the manner always roared 'I LOVE TO DANCE AND I LOVE YOU TOO'!

BWW Review: DUSAN TYNEK Casts Magic at New York Live Arts
July 8, 2016

Lines of light illuminate the pathway of a woman in flight. Her focus is razor sharp as she surveys men soaring around her in configurations that fluctuate between the flight patterns of birds and planes. Eventually these men hoist and entangle her in a never-ending series of lifts that keep her suspended as she writes on the air with her body. Skillfully made 'dancing for the sake of dancing' is a special treat to drink in especially when it stars a captivating wellspring of power like Alexandra Berger. For Dušan Týnek Dance Theatre's July 7th opening night concert at New York Live Arts, the radiance that Ms. Berger beamed in this opening piece proved hypnotic.

BWW Interview: MONSTAH BLACK; Becoming a Fabulous Creature and Processing, Part I
July 7, 2016

You know how some people are effortlessly glamorous even when they are meeting up for a simple chat? The describes Monstah Black with whom I met a month ago to discuss his upcoming show at Dixon Place, "HYPERBOLIC! (The Last Spectacle)". Monstah is a handsome black man with impeccable style even when he is lounging and taking it easy. He and his husband, Manchild Black, are legends in the club and music scene.

BWW Review: JACK FERVER Mistakes The Kitchen for Camp
July 5, 2016

Jack Ferver never let up on his drag delivery. Switching arbitrarily from bad French to English or from danse to dance passed for plot in this cabaret act. The scantily clad men in the audience - I attended the June 30th, 2016 performance - lapped it up before they even had a chance to hear the next line. It was all good fun, though if there is an art to telegraphing intention it was not on display here. That was 'I Want You to Want Me': a surrealistic B movie romp ruled by a character with mystical abilities for no other reason than 'just because'. File it under lazy craftsmanship. The world that Mr. Ferver inhabited was self referential, sassy, and imbued with magic, not unlike a gay lounge.

BWW Review: SUSAN MARSHALL Talks, and Talks, and Talks about Color
June 27, 2016

You've been here before. Someone is giving a report on something that might have once held interest but through virtue of repetition, perfunctory execution, and obsession with minutiae that thing has become prosaic at best. Prosaic is the optimal description for this extended talkfest that Susan Marshall has cobbled together. The best thing one can say about 'Chromatic' - I attended the June 24th performance at The Kitchen - is that it was colorful. Colorful in the most obvious way.

BWW Dance Review: Alessandra Ferri Melts Our Hearts in ROMEO AND JULIET
June 24, 2016

Halfway through the bedroom scene (Act III, Scene I) I thought to myself, 'They're playing the music too quickly!' I was wrong. The tempo was fine; it simply felt faster than normal because the dancing was so wonderful. It's to be expected. Alessandra Ferri was guest starring in American Ballet Theatre's production of Kenneth MacMillan's 'Romeo and Juliet' nine years after she'd retired from the company in the same role.

BWW Dance Review: RIOULT DANCE NY Conjures Shades of Valiant Women
June 22, 2016

Mr. Rioult is a compelling storyteller. In 'Iphigenia' - which begins with a glimpse of the gruesome future - he confronts the tragedy head on by making it clear that the designated sacrifice is unaware of her fate. Watching Clytemnestra - Charis Haines, who handily walks away with the piece - batter a commanding Brian Flynn as Agamemnon reminds one that there is nothing so frightening as a mother whose child has been threatened.

BWW Dance Review: NEW CHAMBER BALLET Regales with Musical and Choreographic Treasures
June 22, 2016

Since premiering twelve years ago, Miro Magloire's New Chamber Ballet has commissioned and presented over 100 new works. Fifty of these works have been created by Mr. Magloire himself. In addition to his duties as choreographer and artistic director he is also an award winning composer - and at one time the most beloved classroom musician in the city - which goes a long way towards explaining his special appreciation for music. All of his concerts are accompanied by accomplished musicians; the fantastic pianist Melody Fader and violinist Door Na performed for this season closing run.

BWW Review: JANE COMFORT Dances Tales of The City
June 19, 2016

A man enters the space and walks the perimeter of The Kitchen's vast stage. Soon the entire arena will be filled with seven bodies locomoting with the purposeful gait of New Yorkers. Patterns form, collisions are narrowly missed, and somehow though it is only walking, we are rapt with anticipation. Anyone who has been in a modern dance class - or spent an hour people watching for that matter - has seen this before: walking patterns are nothing new to dance.

BWW Preview: RIOULT DANCE NY Astounds in the Open Rehearsal of 'Cassandra's Curse'
June 18, 2016

In preparation for its upcoming Joyce season, RIOULT Dance NY held an open rehearsal at the Gibney Dance Center at 890 Broadway featuring a run through of the company's upcoming world premiere, 'Cassandra's Curse'. Of course this refers to that doomed prophetess from the Trojan War who - though blessed with foresight - was cursed to never have her predictions believed. In an expansive opening, Artistic Director Pascal Rioult revealed that the piece was inspired by his passion for Euripides' 'The Trojan Women', a play that serves as a wellspring of material for his current artistic period.

BWW Review: JESSICA LANG DANCE Paints Nuanced Portraits of Brotherhood
June 18, 2016

The French make a game of finding the perfect word for a phrase. For choreographer Jessica Lang the word is never in doubt. She is a master builder of choreographic phrases. Attending June 14th's opening of her 5th Anniversary concert at the Joyce was a bit like watching the construction of bridge; you may not have known why a thing was being done but it was clear that it served a purpose. This is not to say that the craftsmanship was obvious, if anything it was immaculately rendered. While the charge could reasonably be made that her work lacks mystery, what stands out about Ms. Lang's choreography is how well formulated it is; every move and gesture has been considered in the name of efficiency.

BWW Review: MONTE, MOLISSA, MARGO, MULLER at New York Live Arts
June 17, 2016

Times are hard for choreographers, which is why Elisa Monte, Jennifer Muller, Molissa Fenley, and Margo Sappington have banded together to present their full-length works at New York Live Arts. What one might not be able to afford, four are more than capable of shouldering. While a solid business idea, the results as seen on Wednesday June 15th, 2016 were decidedly uneven. It's not that the works were too different in tone, it's that the quality was rarely of top caliber.

BWW Interview: JESSICA LANG Conquers The World
June 15, 2016

A month ago while Jessica Lang was in Utah working with Ballet West, I rang her to interview her about her incredible year of ongoing success. Years ago I took class with Robert Battle and struck up a dance friendship with his company dancers including Jessica's husband Kanji Segawa. But I have never met Jessica herself. Of course she is the 'It Woman' of dance so I know a bit about her. With her embarrassment of accolades one would have to have their head buried in the sand not to. Besides the rapturous praise she has received for her work, she has also secured numerous commissions (American Ballet Theatre, Birmingham Royal Ballet, The National Ballet of Japan at the New National Theatre Tokyo, Joffrey Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Ballet San Jose, Richmond Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Ailey II, ABT II, Hubbard Street 2, and New York City Ballet's Choreographic Institute, among many others), received many high profile awards (New York City Center Fellow for 2015, 2014 Bessie Award, 2013 Manchester Theatre Award, grants from Jerome Robbins Foundation, the NEA, the Choo San Goh Foundation, and a 2010 Joyce Theater Artist Residency supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), is opening her own dance center in Long Island City, and is celebrating her company's 5th Anniversary Season at the Joyce. But how did she come to all of this?



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