FRO N T ByCourtneyBowers
The world-renowned American Dance Festival will celebrate its 40th year in Durham, NC, this summer.
Highlights include Paul Taylor Dance Company, Crystal Pite’s Kidd Pivot, Pilobolus, Mark Morris Dance Group and
the world premiere of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company’s full Analogy: A Trilogy, which consists of three evening-length works. Dance Spirit caught up with Bill T. Jones dancer Jenna Riegel to get the inside scoop on Analogy
and why she loves performing at the festival.
Tell us about the pieces the
company will be performing.
We performed the first two pieces of
Analogy: A Trilogy at ADF the past
Tramontane in 2015 and Analogy/
Lance: Pretty aka The Escape Artist
in 2016. This summer will be the
premiere of the full trilogy and the
first time we perform the third
What’s the movement like in
Analogy: A Trilogy?
The movements from one piece in
the trilogy to the next have both huge
variance and also sequences that you
see appear and reappear in all three
works. The Analogy/Dora movements
are more Trisha Brown–influenced,
and it has phrases inspired by Merce
Cunningham. Analogy/Lance draws
inspiration from hip-hop and urban
dance aesthetics, especially from the
late ’80s and early ’90s. And in
Analogy/Ambros, we’ve been working
with a kind of minimalistic movement
that’s a new and difficult challenge to
a lot of us.
What was the process of
learning Analogy: A Trilogy like?
In addition to dancing, we’re asked
to speak, sing and retain a huge
amount of details and specifics
regarding set moves, text cues,
microphone use, etc. It’s been
beautiful to watch everyone take
risks. I’ve been moved to tears many
times throughout this process, in
awe of what my colleagues (and I)
are capable of.
What’s it like to perform at ADF?
ADF is one of the most exciting and
fulfilling places for me to perform. I
danced there as a student in 2006,
so there’s this sense of coming full
circle, now that I’m the one onstage
performing. But it’s always a bit
intimidating to perform in front of
some of the best dancers in the
world! The bar is set high at ADF.
The French dance film that made waves at last year’s Venice Film Festival is
heading stateside: Polina opens in theaters on July 21. The story follows a young
Russian ballerina-in-the-making, played by dancer Anastasia Shevtsova, who’s performed
with the Mariinsky Ballet. Polina is about to join the Bolshoi Ballet when she discovers the
rule-breaking genre of contemporary dance—and radically alters her path. She begins working
with a choreographer in France (played by Academy Award winner Juliette Binoche, who’s
danced with Akram Khan), who encourages Polina to become a choreographer in her own
right. “The fact that the choreographer she meets is a woman is no accident,” says Angelin
Preljocaj, the film’s choreographer. “We have a lot of ballerinas, but there are very few women
choreographers. It was important to us that Polina’s path be the path of a person who is the
master of her own life—that she takes her place in the world of art.” For more info head to
American Dance Festival’s
Jenna Riegel (far left) in Analogy: A Trilogy
Polina Hits Theaters
A still from Polina