As the crow flies. Northwest out of Maputo over the South African Transvaal, Botswana, Angola and a very long stretch of the Atlantic, probably crossing just below coastal Liberia and Sierra Leone and into New York City. The first leg of Global DanceFest’s spring dance trajectory.
Panaibra Gabriel Canda and Jorge Conceicao have just completed their round trip journey from Maputo to Albuquerque but, not being crows, they had to detour through places like Houston and Frankfurt. In any case a far journey. Fortunately there is Global DanceFest to spend all those hours in economy class so you don’t have to! Panaibra’s Time and Spaces: The Marrabenta Solos offered an unambiguous perspective on colonial and post-colonial African experiences of which we in the US have little knowledge. The dance and music were exhilarating and profound. Totally enjoyable but with ample meaning to ponder.
NOW for Week Two which begins with the Global DanceFest Crow flying out from New York. Referred to by our friends on the East and West coasts as flyover country, we prefer to think of it as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, the Oklahoma Panhandle and then on into Albuquerque’s Sunport.
STEPHEN PETRONIO has come to town. For the fourth time. Making a lot of people very happy. The Stephen Petronio Company will perform at the National Hispanic Cultural Center on Friday and Saturday nights (March 18 & 19) at 8pm. Much of the work presented by GDF incorporates narrative about place and time and events, always with superb dance and music, etc. and we love that. But every now and then, it is good to simply revel in pure dance, to let the energy and gloriousness of unique movement and brilliant dancers take over! And nobody offers that opportunity better than Stephen and his dancers.
Petronio company visits are always great dance events and friendly happenings. The first time in 2001 an almost full house at the KiMo braved roads of glare ice to attend. At a later performance at Rodey and my four-year-old granddaughter’s first contemporary dance event, she leaned over to me and, in a very carrying whisper, said, “Grandma, why are the boys dancing in their underwear?” causing many nearby chuckles. During one early visit, Stephen, looking every inch the very hip downtown New Yorker was refused entry to a Central Avenue club because of his shaved head and baggy cargo pants—the door guy apparently convinced he was a dangerous back-east gangster. But the company keeps coming back—for enchiladas, big skies, dust and ice storms and because we love them.