My favorite modern dance ensemble is Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. I first saw them many years ago with discounted tickets through a networking organization I belong to. I figured they couldn’t be very good if they were discounting the tickets. Instead I was blown away by the quality of the dancers and the choreography, and I’ve been a devoted fan ever since.
Most summers, Cedar Lake mounts installations in their New York City home, which used to be Annie Liebovitz’s photography studio. According to Cedar Lake, installations are “part choreographed dance performance and part interactive installation. Each installation bridges the gap between dancer and audience. Audience members are invited to move freely around the same space in which the dancers are performing.”
I felt comfortable bringing my camera as I had for a previous installation in 2011. This time, however, instead of seeing the familiar dancers, there was a whole crop of new performers, as this installation was the final performance of a summer intensive program for young dancers. According to the installation’s program, “Cedar Lake 360˚ is a unique summer intensive experience, offering a group of select young dancers a glimpse into the artistic life of the company. Young dancers participating in the program are selected through a competitive audition process. During the three-week program, students participate in daily ballet class and learn from Cedar Lake’s diverse repertoire. They also learn about the discipline and etiquette expected of professional dancers. To conclude, students perform alongside members of the company in an installation at Cedar Lake’s Chelsea home.”
Just as the performance concluded, I was approached by Alexandra Pinel, who noticed me making photos. She explained she writes a dance blog and asked if I’d offer her some photos to illustrate her review of the performance. I was happy to help, and here is the result: http://www.diydancer.com/2013/07/30/360-degrees-of-jaw-dropping-dance-at-cedar-lake/.