Impressions on Impressions

Last night, choreographer and teacher Joelle Cosentino presented "Impressions," an evening of dance to benefit two breast cancer organizations: the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the American Cancer Society. The program was anchored by Complexions Contemporary Ballet and featured a slew of young dancers.


One was 11-year-old Dena'h Gregory who performed a dark and pulsating routine by Tokyo Kevin Inouye. She alternated between elongated positions—her legs reaching for the ceiling—and torso contractions that gave her a Hunchback of Notre Dame figure. Her focus and intensity filled the Symphony Space theater—so it was pleasantly surprising to discover, when we spoke at intermission, that she's still a sweet young girl with a generous giggle.


Geo Hubela's hip hop numbers crackled with energy, especially set amongst the many languid contemporary pieces. His first work featured the "Iconic Boyz," an ensemble of charismatic young male dancers who got the crowd roaring. They returned, joined by other dancers, for a second number to Michael Jackson's "Scream," the stage packed with bodies in silver bomber jackets. Hubela knows how to choreograph for large groups, creating clean moves that build strength in numbers.


Along with Complexions, contemporary dancer Chaz Buzan headlined the evening. He's got a piercing presence on stage. At one point, he danced in silence. His body sculpted the space with ease. The audience could hear him breathe in and out, the only indication that the fluid choreography demanded strenuous exertion.


Complexions completed the evening. Two couples, Natiya Kezevadze with Clifford Williams and Natalia Alonso with Gary Jeter, performed excerpts from Dwight Rhoden's On Holiday, which is set to songs by Billie Holiday. In both pairings, the dancers lithe bodies tangled with each other. It was a smooth and sleek ending to the night.

Latest Posts

Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo courtesy of Brittany Conigatti

Go Behind the Scenes of Annie Live! With Brittany Conigatti

Unwrap your candy canes, pour the hot chocolate and round up your fellow theater lovers: NBC is kicking off the Christmas season with its latest live-broadcast TV musical. Annie Live! premieres December 2 and features a star-studded cast, including Harry Connick Jr., Tituss Burgess, Megan Hilty and, as the title character, young phenom Celina Smith.

Luckily, people got a taste of what the special will entail when the cast kicked off the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a performance last week. But since you’re never fully dressed without a Dance Spirit exclusive, we caught up with Brittany Conigatti, one of the young orphans and adult ensemble members in the show, to learn what it was like putting together a large-scale live production for the small screen.

The cast of Annie Live! poses for a group photo. The cast of Annie Live!Photo courtesy of Conigatti

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search