Reboot! American Dance Machine Returns With Workshop of Classics By Susan Stroman, Jerome Robbins, Bob Fosse, Hermes Pan
By Kenneth Jones
American Dance Machine for the 21st Century, an organization committed to preserving the heritage of musical film and theatre choreography, will stage recreations of work by Susan Stroman, Jerome Robbins, Hermes Pan and Bob Fosse in a Manhattan workshop presentation Nov. 14 at New York City Center.
"Each piece has been coached by artists intimately involved in their original productions," according to ADM21. Numbers from Broadway's Contact, Jerome Robbins' Broadway and Big Deal, as well as the film "Lovely to Look At," will be presented. The evening is directed by artistic director Margo Sappington and will feature live music with musical direction by Eugene Gwozdz.
The 6 PM Nov. 14 show is presented at City Center's Studio 4.
The workshop presentation will feature:
"Simply Irresistible" from Contact, original choreography by Susan Stroman, staged by Tomé Cousins, assisted by Leeanna Smith and coached by Susan Stroman.
"Mr. Monotony" from Jerome Robbins' Broadway, original choreography by Jerome Robbins, staged by Robert La Fosse, danced by Georgina Pazcoguin (New York City Ballet), Amar Ramasar (NYCB), Daniel Ulbricht (NYCB) and featuring Amra-Faye Wright (currently starring as Velma in Chicago).
"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" from the film "Lovely To Look At," original choreography by Hermes Pan, coached by Marge Champion, staged by Margo Sappington, danced by Maria Kowroski and Charles Askegard.
"Beat Me Daddy Eight to the Bar" from Big Deal, original choreography by Bob Fosse, original choreography recreated by Kathryn Doby.
ADM21 is a new not-for-profit dance company founded by executive director Nikki Feirt Atkins, "dedicated to creating a living and vibrant archive of classic and current notable musical theatre choreography." Atkins and artistic director Margo Sappington will continue the legacy of the late Lee Theodore, who established The American Dance Machine in 1976.
According to ADM21 notes, Theodore created a "living archive" of musical theatre dance to address her belief that many great choreographic works are lost with the closing of the musical they once embellished. "Of concern was that the artistry of each dance would vanish with the artists who created them. That was the impetus that drove The American Dance Machine from its pilot program in 1976 to its final days following the death of Lee Theodore in the late 1980s."
Atkins said, "My goal is to continue Lee Theodore's legacy by establishing American Dance Machine for the 21St Century as New York City's leading center for musical theater dance," said Atkins. "I believe that when a show closes and the script, songs and designs are preserved for posterity, so too should its dances."
The ADM21 Dance Company will present workshop presentations and full-length productions "and will demonstrate the value of theatre dance choreography through careful research and reconstruction, respect for how the dance relates to the source of the choreographers inspiration and will do justice to those works that stand alone as outstanding entertainment."
ADM21 seeks "to maintain a core company of dancers joined by guest artists proficient in the style and technical requirements of each dance piece." Classes will also be taught.
A limited number of $25 tickets will be available (at the door) for the Nov. 14 presentation at City Center Studio 4 at 130 W. 56th Street (between Sixth and Seventh Avenues). For more information, visit americandancemachine21.org.
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