2.00 pm – Samba & Brazilian Fusion, taught by Leticia Taylor @ Mark Morris
4.00 pm – POP UP SLAM / STREB Block Party @ Williamsburg Walks
Mark Morris Dance Center flung it’s doors open to the public this Saturday for three free classes. Along with Gaga.dancers — a movement language developed by Ohad Naharin in Israel to help dancers and non-dancers reconnect to the way they move, there was also Contemporary dance in the Simonson Technique taught by Laurie De Vito, whose classes I use to take and love when she was still teaching at Dance Space before it moved and became Dance New Amsterdam. My poison of choice for the day was Samba & Brazilian Fusion, taught by Leticia Taylor. And how deadly it was!
First of all, it does not go unnoticed that Leticia is gorgeous and tall and fabulous. Second, the way she breaks down an extremely complicated step such as Samba into three distinct movement groups (the feet, the hips, and the arms) makes it seem like butter! She was also excellent at sensing when students got it and just wanted a chance to fly with the step. Having taken Samba with one of it’s most regaled New York City queens, Quenia Ribeiro, at Alvin Ailey, I was truly appreciative for this return to basics with the step. I’ve always known my Samba was passable, but just a little bit off. Leticia broke it down to it’s most basic elements, giving everyone from first-timers to the more experienced a chance to access this wonderful dance style. And the choreo segment at the end with the music selection was like a big warm hug, straight from Brazil.
I decided to top the day off by visiting the STREB POP UP SLAM / Block Party which was a part of the last weekend of Wiilliamsburg Walks – a wonderful four weekend reprieve in Brooklyn where several blocks of Bedford Avenue are blocked off and covered with grass patches for pedestrians and joyous lollygaggers. The pictures describe it best. See for yourself…