Danceletter 4

A Quickie

I should be grading papers, but I am committed to writing this newsletter twice a month! And this short month is almost over…

So, I’m keeping this one quick. I had the pleasure of interviewing Angie Pittman about her new work, Came Up in a Lonely Castle, which opens tomorrow at Danspace Project, part of a shared evening with Johnnie Cruise Mercer. We talked about her interest in soul line dancing, the notion of dance as prayer, and what it means for her, a black woman, to lean into her natural disposition: quiet. My favorite quote of hers: “I don’t want to have to yell for you to hear me.”

In this era of analytics-driven journalism (e.g. writing about celebrities to generate clicks), I’m grateful to be able to cover artists who are doing deep, thoughtful work but who might not (yet) be super well-known. I also urge you to read Angie’s own writing over at Danspace’s journal. “Quiet is not just a lack of noise,” she observes. “It is indicative of the interiority of a person.”

Some Videos

It’s not quite the same as the live event, but Google Arts & Culture produced this beautiful distillation of Camille A. Brown’s ink, filmed at the Brooklyn Historical Society. The library location feels just right.

I went to see Farruquito at Town Hall on Friday, and his 6-year-old son, Juan “El Moreno,” made a surprise appearance, happily carrying the weight of his family’s long flamenco lineage. It was Juan’s New York debut but not his first time onstage; he has evidently been performing at least since age 4.

I’ve been watching more TV (which, for reasons I won’t unpack here, I consider a positive personal development) and I’m thinking of getting into World of Dance? Season 3 started last night, and a colleague sent me this clip of the show’s first same-gender salsa duo, which was enough to make me feel like I should be tuning in…

A Correction

Danceletter’s first correction! What a milestone. The author of the ballet shoe emoji proposal (featured in Danceletter 3) kindly offered some clarifications, via Twitter, to what I wrote. First, the emoji will not necessarily look like the pink ribboned loafer I linked to:

Secondly, the author is not merely a “barre class enthusiast”:

My apologies for the errors, and thanks to Mr. Landmann for clearing things up!


There’s actually so much on the horizon, it’s a little overwhelming. A sampling:

Paramodernities: Over the past few years Netta Yerushalmy has been dismantling and remixing classic works by Nijinsky, Graham, Ailey, Cunningham, Fosse, and Balanchine. She presents the full six-part, four-hour series at New York Live Arts, March 14-16, and I cannot believe I’m going to be out of town for it. Please go and report back.

Future Faith: I’ve never seen but have been curious about the work of Lime Rickey International, alter ego of the Syrian, Palestinian, American artist Leyya Mona Tawil. Future Faith, to quote from the press blurb, “is rooted in Tawil’s practice of Arabic folk forms, specifically dabke and tarab” and will be happening March 7-9 at Abrons.

Momma’s Hip Hop Kitchen: This celebration of women in hip-hop comes recommended by pioneering b-girl Ana “Rokafella” Garcia, who will be hosting the 12th edition this Saturday, March 2, at Hostos Community College in the Bronx. I’ll be there with my class, and it’s free, so if you’re looking for something to do on Saturday, come hang out!

Thanks for reading,