New York City
Rod Rodgers Dance Company returns to La Mama E.T.C. with a concert of new and premiere works reflecting a new direction for this veteran company. The company will offer twelve pieces, featuring one of
Rodgers’ most recent works, “Jazz Fusions,” an experiment with Jazz
forms, “She Sayings and Soul Songs,” inspired by the late Nina Simone,
“Mercy Street,” a new work by principal company member Kayoko Sakoh, and “Amadina,” a work by Guest Choreographer Seán Curran.
The concert is a tribute to Rod Rodgers’ vision with works that are
contemporary modern pieces, including abstract dances and works with
dramatic social commentary. It is named Don’t Tell Me Who I Am after an article by that name which Rodgers wrote in the late ’60s, stating that his identity as an artist should not be labeled by his ethnic identity. It appears now in “The Vision of Modern Dance in the Words of its Creators,” edited by Jean Larson Brown.
When Rodgers died in 2002, he was working on “She Sayings and Soul
Songs,” a suite of dances. It is being premiered in this concert, along
with “Mercy Street.” “Amadina” is not new, but is new to this troupe,
who have recently been collaborating with Choreographer Seán Curran.
Founding Director Rod Rodgers grew up in a family of professional
dancers in the midwest and established a company in New York in 1972.
His dances reflect his training and experience as a musician,
photographer and visual artist, but in his several styles of modern
dance, there is a strong strain of dramatic social commentary.