10 Hairy Legs Announces New York Season, Running 6/26-29
Randy James' all male dance company, 10 Hairy Legs, appears at New York Live Arts June 26-28 at 7:30 pm and June 29 at 2:00 pm. Continuing the company's aggressive repertory expansion that explores the range of the male dancer, the four performances feature two programs with works by Julie Bour, David Dorfman and Dan Froot, Doug Elkins, Tiffany Mills, David Parker, Claire Porter and Randy James. Tickets are $20 for General Seating, $15 for students, seniors, artists, and New York Live Arts Members.
New York City Premieres:
Julie Bour's quartet "The Blind Men and the Elephant" features a newly composed score by Kyle Olson, a frequent collaborator of Bour's. Combining the exploration of her medium with theatrical collaborations Julie crafts her language over time by consistently working with a diverse group of celebrated dancers committed to dance invention. Scenic Design is by Benjamin Heller. The work was underwritten in part by a major grant from The O'Donnell Green Music & Dance Foundation.
Doug Elkins' "Trouble Will Find Me" features five company members in a rousing work set to the music of Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn, an internationally acclaimed Pakistani musician, who was primarily a singer of Qawwali,
David Parker has reimagined his duet "Friends of Dorothy" for 10 Hairy Legs that was originally created in 2003 for Jeff Kazin and Parker for their company The Bang Group. It features a musical score with selections from the Barn-Raising from "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" (MGM 1954) by Gene de Paul; "Why Not Me" sung by the devotional music of the Sufis. The movement incorporates floreos (small, expressing hand movements used in Spanish dancing), floor work, Capoeira and Salsa. Elkins stated, "I am interested in conversations that deconstruct dance forms and in this work have indulged in the men's sensuality and funkiness while integrating the company members' individual corporeality to create a composite." Costumes are by Oana Botez.
Randy James' "Closing the Glass Door," set to the Haendel-Halvorsen Pascacaglia, a duet for Violin and Cello, had its debut performance at Raritan Valley Community College's "Dances from the Garden" in September 2009. In his review, 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."
Tiffany Mills' work for five dancers, "It Only Happens Once...Yesterday and Tomorrow" is, as stated by Mills, "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."
David Dorfman and Dan Froot's "Bull" in many ways was the "son" of "Horn" (1990). It 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.
Claire Porter's "Piano" pulls apart what seems to be normal and then puts it all back together in funny, absurd, touching solo of spoken word and movement. "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.
The performance on June 28 is preceded by a free Workshop for ticket holders from 6-6:30 PM in the Jerome Robbins Studio. Mr. James, members of the company and guest musicians discuss and demonstrate the nuances of the relationship between live music and dance. The performance, musical accompaniment and Workshop for "Closing the Glass Door" are funded in part by a Major Grant from the Frank & Lydia Bergen Foundation. Guest musicians Sarah Biber (Cello) and Jane Chung (Violin) have worked with James many times over the years, including most recently as part of a quartet for James' new solo work "Rook" at Crossroads Theatre in April 2013 at NJPAC in March 2014.
Company members are Alex Biegelson, Tony Bordonaro, Robert Burke, Tyner Dumortier, Kyle Marshall, Aaron Ramos, Scott Schneider, Nick Sciscione, William Tomaskovic 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, Tiffany Mills Company, ZviDance, off-Broadway in "Sleep No More," and the Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, among others.
This season the company appeared as part of the DanceNOW NYC Festival at Joe's Pub, the Soaking Wet Festival at the West End Theatre and at Dixon Place in New York City; The Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College as part of its Major Artist Series, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Crossroads Theatre, The Hub City Sounds Festival in New Jersey; and on tour to the Cayman Islands.
Tickets are $20 for General Seating, $15 for students, seniors and artists. Tickets may be purchased through New York Live Arts http://www.newyorklivearts.org/event/10_men_20_legs or by calling the Box Office at 212-924- 0077. Workshop Participants should register in advance as space is limited, also through New York Live Arts.
10 Hairy Legs is a repertory company, founded by Randy James in 2012, of 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 Legs advances the understanding of the male role in dance through the creation, acquisition and performance of exceptional work. The company provides extensive educational and humanities programs throughout the state of New Jersey and at tour locations. Since our 2012 debut, we have served more than 20,000 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 Frank & Lydia Bergen Foundation, The O'Donnell Green Music & Dance Foundation, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, The Hyde & Watson Foundation and Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission.
10 Hairy Legs season at New York Live Arts is made possible through New York Live Arts' Theater Access Program. The Theater Access Program is a comprehensive subsidized rental program benefitting a diverse group of dance and theater and producing organizations. For more information, visit www.newyorklivearts.org.
Pictured: Tiffany Mills' "It Only Happens Once...Yesterday and Tomorrow". Photo by Stephen Trumon Gray.