David Dorfman Dance returns to Bates Dance Festival

David Dorfman Dance returns to the Bates Dance Festival, northern New England’s leading contemporary dance presenting and training program, in a concert at 8 p.m. Aug. 1 and Aug. 2, in Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College St.

David Dorfman returns to Maine with three dynamic and entertaining new works combining text, live music and athletic dancing, including “Gone Right Back,” a richly layered piece made and performed in collaboration with musicians Elaine Buckholtz and Shannon McGuire; “Job,” a hilarious duet with David Dorfman and longtime friend and collaborator, musician Dan Froot; and “Sky Down,” a purely physical piece set to funky music by Amy Denio. Tickets for the performances are priced at $14 and $8 (for full-time students and seniors) and can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling 207-786 6161.

A pre-performance lecture focused on Dorfman’s work will be given by Washington Post dance critic Suzanne Carbonneau at 7:15 p.m. Aug. 2, in Schaeffer Theatre. Free and open to the public, the lecture is part of a Bates Dance Festival educational program, “Inside Dance”, funded in part by the Maine Humanities Council.

First premiered at the Joyce Theater in New York in February 1997, Dorfman’s latest work received critical acclaim. According to Jennifer Dunning, dance critic for The New York Times, these recent pieces “suggest Mr. Dorfman has come of age as a major modern dance creator.”

The program centerpiece, “Gone Right Back,” with dancers Jeanine Durning, Tom Thayer and Curt Haworth, is a continuous stream of movement and talk that turns the traditional duet on its head. Dorfman explored the creation of “Gone Right Back” during previous teaching residencies at the American Dance and Bates Dance festivals. The daring piece “Job” suggests friends from school days and deals surrealistically with love, respect, admiration and trust, while the fragmented duets in “Sky Down” are more purely physical.

Among the festival’s extensive roster of artists, Dorfman is one of its most popular performers and frequently requested instructors. A Chicago native, Dorfman is a musician and athlete who became a dancer after earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Washington University.

He is the recipient of two New York Foundation for the Arts fellowships, the first Paul Taylor fellowship from the Yard and four fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Dorfman’s choreography has been produced in New York by The Joyce Theater, Dance Theater Workshop, The Kitchen and Dancing in the Streets. His project “Familiar Movements” (The Family Project) won a 1996 New York Dance and Performance Award for outstanding choreographic achievement.

One of the company’s best known works involving local volunteer athletes, “Out of Season” (The Athlete’s Project, 1994), blurred the line between sports and dance and challenged the audience’s perceptions of who should and should not dance on stage. Since its founding in 1985, David Dorfman Dance has performed extensively in New York and throughout North and South America, Great Britain and Europe.

In addition to its critically acclaimed mainstage performance series of 17 concerts, the festival offers two intensive training programs, one for adults and one for younger dancers. For more information, or to request a brochure, call the Bates Dance Festival at 207-786-6381.

Support for this New England Dance Project concert is provided by the New England Foundation for the Arts, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Maine Arts Commission.

View Comments