This summer, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s SiteLines project has been tucking dance into many oddball downtown pockets. In Monica Bill Barnes’s
Limelight, a troupe of eager synchronized swimmers invaded Bowling Green park’s fountain at lunchtime under rain-laden clouds. Wearing modest, floral-print swimsuits and twirling red umbrellas, the 10 women danced and pranced in unison, grinned, and gesticulated broadly, sometimes gleefully splashing their audience of office workers and tourists. Diana Ross’s dulcet tones streamed from a sound system, masking the noise of cars, cabs, trucks, and sightseeing buses lumbering their way toward South Ferry. This site-specific water dance became even more specific when a panhandling nun working the captive audience snapped at a woman who tried to wave her away and a homeless guy regaled us with booze-marinated thoughts. At just under 10 minutes,
Limelight concluded before Mother Nature made a big splash of her own.
Celebrating the tap world’s masters, mentors, and women on a larger stage
You never go wrong when you take that exit to Tap City. The performance wing of Tony Waag’s festival–tap family reunion looked mighty good in its new home, the capacious Joyce Theater. Program B—”Tap Masters/Tap Divas”—paid tribute to the greats, living and deceased, from nostalgic photo montages to a charming revival of the Copasetics’ chair dance. It was gratifying to note the strong presence of women among the celebrants and the celebrated. Best among all: Brenda Bufalino’s sensuously musical song-and-dance creation Flame; Barbara Duffy and Company’s combustible Boom, made for them by Gregory Hines; Leela Petronio partnering mom Sarah with an easy, breezy flow; Karen Callaway Williams partnering Walter “Sundance” Freeman in Blue Skies, a sassy, incredibly sharp tribute to the Nicholas Brothers; and Mable Lee’s fab getups, stunning gams, and attitude. Musicians Frank Kimbrough, Joe Fonda, and Bernice Brooks once again made everything percolate just right with warmth and verve.