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Are Choreographers’ Styles Immediately Recognizable?

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The New York Times dance critic Roslyn Sulcas is absolutely correct when she says, “Although we don’t think about it much in daily life, the way someone moves is as distinctive as a voice or facial features. Of course some movements, voices or features are more striking than others.”

The article in today's Times is about choreographer Stephen Petronio, whose latest program of contemporary dance opened this week at the Joyce Theatre. He uses music that surprised (and thrilled) me a bit--bands like Radiohead and post-punk pioneers Wire are featured prominently in the program--and Sulcas’ descriptions of the way the dancers move made me think – what other choreographers’ styles are immediately recognizable? I think of Bob Fosse first. Then I think of Fred Astaire.

Who comes to mind first for you? If you were watching a performance on TV with the sound off, would the way the dancers move tell you who the choreographer was? Without the prairie costumes worn in Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, would you know Michael Kidd’s choreography? Would Agnes de Mille’s work leap out at you?

Just some light questions for what looks to be a sunny, warm weekend. Whatever you do, enjoy it!