David Dorfman’s “underground”

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David Dorfman’s choreographic work ranges from his solos works about memory and loss such as Sleep Story or Dayenu, to duets with performer Dan Froot which humorously spoof on the conventions of masculinity in American culture, to a variety of dances for his company of professional dancers. An important aspect of Dorfman’s repertoire is his series of group works on topics connected to his community outreach programs. Because they explore issues from both a personal and a social perspective, these works provide useful foundation for understanding his new choreography underground, which premiered at the American Dance Festival in June 2006, and then played at the Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in November 2006.

underground was inspired in part by a recent documentary by Sam Greene and Bill Seigel on the Weather Underground, a radical and sometimes violent leftist group active in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Although choreographer David Dorfman was too young to personally be involved in the anti-war, anti-establishment youth movements of this time period, he regards that period as part of his personal and cultural history. He writes: “Looking back at the 60’s and how it was the core of my emotional and artistic formation will be my entry point into this exploration ­ in essence, a return to my own movement ‘roots.'” Indeed, his movement vocabulary for this dance tries to capture something of that time period, connecting physical movement to the idea of political movements.

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