Posted in 2001, academia, ambition, arts and events, award winning, ballet, balletic, boys, boys and girls, dance, dance making, dancing, Ellen Robbins, girls, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, lessons, music, narration, new work, performance works, teens, young cast, youth

Ah, youth

Photo © Lina Dahbou

Is it true that youth is wasted on the young? Perhaps not, at least this group of youngsters is making the most of their time and talents. And yes, I am a little jealous.

There is a good deal to be said for getting an early start. Youth is lithe and agile. It is a great season for dancing, Movement can be the lingua franca for the young; it is their body language as it were.

Ellen Robbins’ Dances By Very Young Choreographers at Live Arts, on January 26th and 27th, will be showcasing works by children as young as 8. The dance-makers, ranging in age from 8 to 18, study modern dance and choreography with Ms. Robbins.

The program ranges across the many styles of dance performance, from the humorous, narrative, to the lyrical. The music selections, chosen by the choreographers, include folk, jazz, classical, contemporary.

Ellen Robbins has been teaching dance sine 1966 and has received honors for her work with children. She has taught dance education at Sarah Lawrence and been on the faculties of Bennington College, the 92nd Street Y, and other distinguished institutions. In 2001, Dances By Very Young Choreographers was on the program at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.

After the matinee on January 26th, there will be an evening concert by the Alumni of Dances by Very Young Choreographers, which presents work by dancers who studied with Robbins from 1982 to 2016.  

Posted in 2001, a new play by Jack Canfora, a town in the west bank, Jack Canfora, Jericho, Jericho a town on LI, Joshua fit the battle of Jericho, Sep 11, the day the towers fell

The Battle of "Jericho:" Personal or Biblical?

Joshua 6-1-27: Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.And the Lord said unto Joshua:‘See, I have given into thy hand Jericho, and the king thereof, even the mighty men  of valour.’



The “Jericho” in the title of Jack Canfora’s new play is not the Biblical one that was conquered by Joshua in acknowledgement of his allegiance to God’s will. Or rather it is not only the one found west of the river Jordan, but also the community on Long Island in which Rachel (Jill Eikenberry) brought up her two boys,  Josh (Noel Joseph Allain) and.Ethan (Andrew Rein.) “Jericho”is very much about community and intertwined allegiances.

Jill Eikenberry, Carol Todd, Andrew Rein, Kevin Isola, Eleanor Handley, and Noel Joseph Allain in “Jericho” by Jack Canfora, directed by Evan Bergman and produced by The Directors Company, at 59E59 Theaters. Photo © by Carol Rosegg

Allegiance is a kind of connection that  Beth (Eleanor Handley), the central character in “Jericho,” struggles to find.. She has always struggled with relationships, even before the cataclysmic events of September 11th left her widowed and in distress. At the beginning of “Jericho,” Beth is “zoning out”as she puts it in her therapist Dr. Kim’s (Kevin Isola) office, while they are discussing her new relationship with Ethan.

Kevin Isola and Eleanor Handley in “Jericho” by Jack Canfora, directed by Evan Bergman and produced by The Directors Company, at 59E59 Theaters. Photo © by Carol Rosegg

Beth is frangible and likable. She is glibly articulate, but can’t seem to get herself together, and as this does not seem to bother her, we are all right with it as well. Beth is haunted by the appartiion of Alec (Kevin Isola), the husband she lost on 9/11. She sees him everywhere, even sitting in her therapist’s, Dr. Kim’s (Kevin Isola) chair.

Noel Joseph Allain and Andrew Rein in “Jericho”by Jack Canfora, directed by Evan Bergman and produced by The Directors Company, at 59E59 Theaters. Photo © by Carol Rosegg

In “Jericho,” in the four years since the World Trade Center towers fell, Beth is not the only one can’t cope. Josh, to the dismay of his wife Jessica (Carol Todd), has become obsessive, finding every attack anywhere in the world to be one aimed against Jews. Unlike Beth, Josh is brittle and off-putting. He has become a stranger in a strange place. Josh’s motivation seems weak even in the context of traumatic occurrences.

Carol Todd and Jill Eikenberry in “Jericho” by Jack Canfora, directed by Evan Bergman and produced by The Directors Company, at 59E59 Theaters. Photo © by Carol Rosegg

The opening act of “Jericho” sets the stage for a poignantly funny play. The writing is witty; the characters make unexpected observations. As “Jericho” progresses, it also gets bogged down, and loses its light footing. The first-rate ensemble, under Evan Bergman’s direction, never loses its way, however, each giving extraordinary performances. The scenic design that Jessica Parks has created for “Jericho” is as so animated that it is allmost another character on the stage.

For more information about “Jericho,” please visit
www.59e59.org.