“Don’t Tell Me Who I Am” was an article written in the late ’60s by Rod Rodgers, who directed an eponymous troupe until his death in 2002. It became the title of an evening under the new direction of his second-in-command, Kim Grier. What the company of eight women and three men lacked in precision and mechanics they made up for in heart, poise, and jubilant energy. She Sayings and Soul Songs, a suite of dances that Rodgers conceptualized before he died, found its inspiration in the music and soul of Nina Simone. Soloist David Browne, a long man with broad, robust limbs, went tête-à-tête with gravity and came out the victor in How Long This Time. . . . Wearing an outlandish, earth-toned cocktail dress in I Shall Be Released . . . My Way, hot-to-trot dancer Sarah Cosner was revealed as the diva among the rest of the pack. Sean Curran’s Amadinda Dances had seven performers cheerfully attempting tricky linear patterns and canons to an even trickier experimental percussion score composed by Tigger Benford.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 20, 2004