Subways Are For Dancing - Part 5

(This is the fifth installment--check out the first, second, third and fourth--in a six-week series about choreographer Diego Funes' work on a NYC revival of the musical Subways Are For Sleeping. Stay tuned for more!)

Last week a very focused Diego Funes, who is choreographing a NYC revival of Subways Are For Sleeping, invited the cast to an extra rehearsal to polish the show's final big number, "What is this Feeling in the Air." The choreography includes lots of step ball changes and sweeping arm movements as the characters weave into various patterns while they sing. The piece occurs at an important turning point in the story, when the chorus affirms the leading lady's realization that she has fallen in love. It's a joyful and emotional number, and Diego wants his dancers to play it up to the max--despite the tiny space they'll be performing in.

At sixteen by nine feet, the stage calls for a "less is more" approach. Nevertheless, Diego draws upon an assortment of dance genres to express his characters' emotional states and move the story forward. "We are doing very well for such a tiny space," asserts Diego. "I've kept the choreography simple, but it's effective. It creates emotion and atmosphere." In addition to the last showstopping number, there's also a soft shoe solo, a sweeping romantic duet and a Tangoesque comedic duet, an ensemble number that creates the exhilarating effect of bustling through the New York subways, and a multiple Santa extravaganza.

Recently, the cast had its first full run-through on the stage. The affection Diego has developed for them is evident in his broad smile. "The opening number was excellent," he gushes. "The ensemble was super tight. Not a single mistake. And the lead and second couples are amazing triple threats."

"I'm sending my best energy to opening night," Diego says. "They have all done so much in very little time."

Subways Are For Sleeping will be playing November 1-2 and 8-11 at The Duplex, 61 Christopher Street, New York City. For more information, click here.

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