BWW Review: An Enthusiastic Evening with THE DANCE ENTHUSIAST

The Dance Enthusiast, commemorating 8 years of The Dance Enthusiast's dedication to Dance Communication, kicked off its 2015 fall season with "Dance-Art-Fusion-Family-8th Birthday Party" at Gibney Dance to celebrate the power of the arts. As part of the Enthusiastic Event Series, this is a place where master artists share their creations, ideas, and methods with their audiences. The theme, "fusion," is to show the connection through the arts because "fusion is the definition of how we live," as stated by Christine Jowers, editor-in-chief of The Dance Enthusiast.

The program started off with a demonstration by Harlem entertainer and Founder of LiteFeet Nation, Chrybaby Cozie. LiteFeet is a movement in Hip Hop dance with intricate footwork, smooth moves, and, most of all, high energy. And he was all of that and more! He was very entertaining and had the audience clapping along as he showcased the fusion of old-school Locking with the new-school LiteFeet fancy footwork.

Following the dance performance by Chrybaby was a demonstration by visual artist Hu Bing. Originally from China, Bing moved to New York in the 1980s to Brooklyn at a time where there was a lot of violence. Often times, she would look out her window and see a car lit on fire and people stripping what was left of it. She was inspired by the debris left behind by the shattered glass. Today, her artwork still includes broken glass and is showcased in galleries by Cheryl McGinnis, who was also present for the evening, for site-specific works. Bing also led a short drawing activity where audience members were encouraged to draw their own interpretations of the dancers on the stage with the drawing pads and pencils that were left on each seat. Personally, I am not much of a drawer, but it was interesting to see which lines and poses stood out to different people as their inspiration to draw. It was fascinating to learn about Bing's fusion of what others may consider to be trash to become beautiful artwork, with McGinnis' commitment to making contemporary art accessible to all.

Next, Artistic Director Lynn Parkerson introduced her company, the Brooklyn Ballet, as they showcased a section of a new work in progress, The Brooklyn Nutcracker. The piece experiments with technology and diverse dance styles, bringing a fresh look to the classic holiday favorite, The Nutcracker. Although it is still performed to Tchaikovsky's score, the dance incorporates a mad scientist, performed by popping artist Mike "Supreme" Fields along with a traditional ballet dancer. The piece also incorporates costumes with motion-sensored LED lights! It is an interesting fusion of classical with a contemporary twist.

The evening continued with a panel discussion, with the artists giving the audience an opportunity to learn more about each one's art form and how it relates to the theme of fusion and bringing art to the people. Following the panel, the program concluded with a birthday cake and a dance party to the tunes of DJ Alberto Denis.

The Dance Enthusiast strives to serve the dance community by sharing its stories and news, offering audiences unique access to compelling dance companies and artists of New York City and the world, and inviting audiences, artists, and writers to dance conversations. Jowers started The Dance Enthusiast by herself with a flip camera. Eight years later, the company has expanded to become a vibrant and engaging digital news site and arts service organization with affiliates in other cities including Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Paris, and Miami.

Photo Credit: Ben Gabbe/gabbegroup for The Dance Enthusiast

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