6.30 pm – Advanced Beginner Modern Dance, taught by Mike Abbatiello for Dante Brown @ DNA
Today marked the half way point in the festival and my fabulous journey seeing New York City through dance. So many different studios, styles, and faces so far and yet the heart and the intention is the same at each place: to lose oneself to dance. To make a statement, with instructors as guides, that is somehow bigger than oneself. To tap into a collective pulse and to offer up one’s own particular, peculiar, singular light.
That said, somewhere between Day 4 and Day 5, I hit a wall. Slammed right into it. And not just any wall, a very special wall that all dancers are familiar with when the mind and spirit have the best intentions, but the body just will not go on. My wall had muscle soreness and fatigue written on it. All the hardcore dancing and trying new things (in addition to being a Zumba Instructor with regular classes) finally caught up to me. On Monday, I wisely called off all my daytime activities to stay home and recuperate. I still made it to dance class in the evening though!
This evening, my choice of class was Modern dance with Danté Brown | Warehouse Dance at Dance New Amsterdam aka DNA. Taught by one of the Warehouse Dance company members, Mike Abbatiello, the class was full of pleasant surprises; not least of which was heavy use of improv as a warm up technique. Guiding us across the floor, initiated by various body parts, Mike encouraged us to find the space between the movement and see where it takes us. He, himself, was extremely light on his feet and agile as he spun, dipped and rebounded. The playlist was equally versatile, from Daft Punk disco beat to Kanye West and random songs in between.
It’s the kind of dancing where the less you try, the better you get at it. Though less was more in this style, it was hard sometimes not to force the movement in an earnest attempt to ‘get it’ and instead to just allow the movement to be, in one’s presence, on one’s body, like a loose but seductive summer dress. It pulled me in and freed me simultaneously.