Aroundtown is a kinetic poem that examines the varied, unique and sometimes divided notions of LOVE- it's meaning, purpose, and platform. With original music, text, and visuals, the work explores commitment, community, and intimacy in times of violence and strife. DDD's trademark empathy, sly humor, and virtuosic physicality are harnessed to examine LOVE as both sociopolitical and intimate weather systems.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: David Dorfman
ORIGINAlL CAST: Jasmine Hearn, Jordan Lloyd, Nik Owens, Kendra Portier, Simon Thomas-Train, Aya Wilson
GUEST PERFORMERS: David Dorfman and Lisa Race
MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Sam Crawford
MUSICIANS: Sam Crawford, Liz de Lise, Zeb Gould, Jeff Hudgins
DRAMATURG: Anne Davison
COSTUME DESIGNER: Ásta Hostetter (Bates Dance Festival World Premiere)
COSTUME DESIGNER: Oana Botez (BAM New York Premiere)
VIDEO DESIGNER: Shawn Hove
PRODUCTION MANAGER: Sarah Lurie
LIGHTING DESIGNER: Tuce Yasak
CREATIVE CONSULTANT/SCHOLAR in RESIDENCE: David Kyuman Kim
come, and back again
Come, and Back Again is an evening length elegiac exploration of the virtuosity of daily life, vulnerability, and mortality. Driven by the charged poetry and unapologetic, raw ferocity of indie, punk, and folk rock music including venerated artists such as Atlanta, GA band “Smoke” and Patti Smith, the godmother of punk, five dancers and five musicians embark on a kinetic anthem of reckless personal abandon - taking on time, and how memory influences and manages our slippery, elastic existence. This work lives in the physical and metaphoric spaces where hope changes everything, shows us the beauty in our personal messes, and the resilience in the human spirit. Through movement, performance, and design, Come, and Back Again draws people together: musicians, dancers, artists, audience and to teach us all a bit about our humanity.
Original cast includes: Raja Kelly, Kendra Portier, Karl Rogers, Whitney Tucker and David Dorfman with special guests Lisa Race and Samson Race Dorfman. DDD worked with Composer Sam Crawford as a Sound Designer/Musical Director. Sam worked with local musicians at each site to which the Company tours. These musicians performed the music for Come, and Back Again live alongside the dancers. To create Come, and Back Again's shifting, revealing world, Dorfman and Company have also joyously collaborated with Street/Installation Artist and activist "Swoon," Sculptor Jonah Emerson Bell, Media Designer Shawn Hove, Costume Designer Kristi Wood, and Lighting Designer Seth Reiser.
prophets of funk
Prophets of Funk is an evening that celebrates Sly and the Family Stone’s groundbreaking, visceral, powerful music, and the struggles and celebration of everyday people. Dorfman and Sly and the Family Stone find common purpose in the prophetic possibilities of music and dance that invite everyday people to find ardor in the muck and mess –– the funk –– of life. Prophets of Funk seeks to lift up the spirit of Sly: insisting that in the face of this funk, there are still hopes and aspirations that reside in all of us.
For this performance DDD invited previous collaborators OBIE Award winning dramaturge Alex Timbers, creative consultant/scholar-in-residence David Kyuman Kim, and media designer Jacob Pinholster to join forces again with the company and deepen a dynamic engagement of movement driven by the popular ––and populist–– sounds of Sly and the Family Stone. Original cast for this project include: Kyle Abraham, Meghan Bowden, David Dorfman, Luke Gutgsell, Renuka Hines, Raja Kelly, Kendra Portier, Jenna Riegel, Karl Rogers, and Whitney Lynn Tucker.
Watch an excerpt of Prophets of Funk here.
Disavowal, inspired by the life and legend of radical abolitionist and (in)famous "race traitor" John Brown, is a flight of movement imagination on the stakes of racial identity, commitment, and the possibility of freedom and choice under conditions of white supremacy. Disavowal probes the fight versus flight relationship between militancy, civility, and conviction, asking: What price are we willing to pay for our deepest commitments? What are we willing to die for and to live for? Disavowal had its New York City premiere in 2009 at Danspace Project.
Disavowal was created in consultation with, and based on a concept by David Kyuman Kim. Original music composed by Mike Vargas, with a song by Alison Wonderland, and sound design by Jane Shaw. Toupie designed by Henri Ogier and constructed by Joshua Friedman; Lighting Design by Joe Levasseur; Media Design by Jacob Pinholster; Costume Design by Liz Prince. Original cast includes Kyle Abraham, David Dorfman, Patrick Ferreri, Renuka Hines, Tania Isaac, Molly Poerstel, Jenna Riegel, Karl Rogers, and Whitney Tucker.
Watch excerpts of Disavowal here.
American Dance Festival the summer of 2006 before being presented in Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival in November 2006. Using the 1960s as a starting point, underground explores the principles of political activism, in particular the activities of the Weather Underground and asks the questions: when can activism become terrorism, or vice versa, and is condoned or endorsed killing/destruction ever justified?
Watch an excerpt of underground here.
Premiere: The Duke on 42nd St., New York City, March 2004 / 4 dancers. 40 minutes. Original comissioned score composed and performed by Chris Peck. / Costumes by Naoko Nagata. Lighting by Josh Epstein. / Live Electronic Music Component Available. Original cast includes Jennifer Nugent, Heather McArdle, Joseph Poulsen, and Paul Matteson. 2014 cast includes Karl Rogers, Kendra Portier, Raja Feather Kelly, Christina Jane Robson, and Bryan Strimpel.
"Dorfman's very individual choreography is full of entrancing contrasts, and, lord, what dancing!" -Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice.
Premiere: The Duke on 42nd Street, New York City, March 2004 / 5 dancers. 40 minutes. Original commissioned score composed and performed by Michael Wall. / Costumes by Heather McArdle in collaboration with Adele Twig. Lighting by Josh Epstein. / Live Music Component Available.
“Lightbulb Theory, set to a haunting piano score by Michael Wall, took on nothing less than life and death.” -Jennifer Dunning, The New York Times. Original cast includes Jennifer Nugent, Heather McArdle, Joseph Poulsen, and Paul Matteson. 2014 cast includes Karl Rogers, Kendra Portier, Raja Feather Kelly, Aya Wilson, Simon Thomas-Train, Dante Brown, Christina Jane Robson, and Bryan Strimpel.
Premiere: The Kitchen, New York City, February 2003 / 5 dancers. 60 min. / Original commissioned score by Chris Peck. / Costumes by Naoko Nagata. Lighting by Blu. Visuals by Samuael Topiary / Live Electronic Music Component Available.
to lie tenderly
Premiere: American Dance Festival, Durham NC, November 2000 / 6 dancers. 40 minutes. Original commissioned score by Amy Denio / Costumes by Naoko Nagata. Set by Paul Clay. Lighting by Jane Cox / Live Music Component Available
“Dorfman seems to have taken the energy of the music, allowed it to resonate internally, then thrust it out as gyrating pyrotechnics. The result is an arresting work that engages the audience from start to finish.” -Alice Kaderlan-Halsey, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
no roles barred (arts in action project)
Premiere: Boulder Theater, Boulder CO, July 1999 / 7 company members joined by 15-20 local community members. 30 minutes / Music compiled by Hahn Rowe. Lighting by Chloë Z. Brown.
“No Roles Barred became an impressively artful and soulful construction based on rich material, showing with interwoven text and movement how the performers cope with their repertoire of roles and grope for authenticity transcending confining labels.” -Daniel Gesmer, Daily Camera, (Denver, CO)
Premiere: American Dance Festival, Durham NC, July 1999 / 7 dancers. 30 minutes. Original commissioned score by Hahn Rowe / Costumes by Naoko Nagata. Set by Paul Clay. Lighting by Jane Cox / Live Music Component Available
“Subverse was a marvel. ... In larger ensemble movements, the dance had kinetic magic, fluid to the bone yet highly aerobic. It made me want to get up and dance, too." - Molly Glentzer, Houston Chronicle
cure for gravity
Premiere: Carver Community Cultural Center, San Antonio TX, November 1997 / 6 dancers. 40 minutes. Music by Joe Jackson / Costumes by Liz Prince. Set by Andy Benavides / Lighting by Chloë Z. Brown.
"a handsome, boisterous and poignant celebration of the music of Joe Jackson" - Jennifer Dunning, The New York Times
familiar movement (the family project)
Premiere: The Flynn Theatre, Burlington VT, January 1996 / 7 company members joined by 15-20 local family members, 35 minutes / Original commissioned score by Robert Een / Visuals by Elka Krajewska. Lighting by Philip W. Sandström.
"Purists might cringe at the notion of art born of excited amateurism and no small amount of therapeutic getting-it-off-the-chest, but Dorfman makes it boil as theatrical entertainment...the astute timing, the oddity of some moments, the pockets of thoughtfulness give everything the warmth of life." - Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice
approaching no calm counting laughter
Premiere: The Joyce Theater, New York City, January 1995 / Companion Duets, 27 minutes / Original scores by Amy Denio, Ben Neill / Costumes by Kasia Walicka Maimone.
approaching no calm: "Man and woman are equally athletic, equally subtle, equally vulnerable ... you follow them as if they were heroes of a story whose outcome you burn to know, even while you divine that there is no outcome." - Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice
counting laughter: "Dorfman and the wonderful performers create a communion, an awareness of each other's skin, muscles, and breath that's as intense as eroticism."- Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice
out of season (the athletes project)
Premiere: The Flynn Theatre, Burlington VT, January 1993 / 7 company dancers joined by 15-25 local amateur athletes, 23 minutes / Original music by Peter Zummo / Lighting by Philip W. Sandström.
"Dorfman's idea was to get us to think about athletes in unstereotypical ways as well as for athletes to think of themselves in arenas other than the ones used for sport; he succeeds mightily. And with great humor." - Janice Berman, New York Newsday
"[Dorfman]'s on to something mythic here, something important to American life; the fact that he's lured two dozen athletes onto the stage creates significant cultural exchange." - Elizabeth Zimmer, The Village Voice
"On a personal level, I was deeply moved by the experience. It was intense, painful and wonderful." - Diane Butler, participating athlete, writing in The Charlotte (Vt.) News