Jazz Fusions

(1978 & 1999)

Rod Rodgers' initial experiment with contemporary jazz forms started in 1978.  Set in 1999, Jazz fusions, music by Jackey Terrasson and re-staged by Kim Grier-Martinez, Artistic Director.

Videography by Tristan Daley

 

Equinox Images

(1988)

This elegant suite is based on the sparkling interpretations of tradional tunes most frequently associated with the year end holiday season, as interpreted by virtuoso pianinst George Winston.

 

This work is the product of Choreographer Rod Rodgers' poetic explorartion of seasonal (primal) anxiety over gradually disminishing sunlight and the traditional "festivals of light" as celebrated in many cultures in different parts of the world.  Annually reassured by the "triumph of light over darkness" as the hours of sunlight achieve parity and days begin lengthening again people of different lands exalt at the end of winter and turn eagerly towards the promise of Spring.

 

Under guidance of noted visual artist CATTI who for the original collaboration developed costumes and set material, reflective surfaces and translucent elements suggesting crystal ice forms were incorporated into the work.

 

Stance

(1997)

A full company work choreographed by Rod Rodgers and restaged by Kim Grier-Martinez, is described as a sculptural movement landscape to an original score by percussionist Cooper Moore. 

 

This intensely spiritual work falls into the genre of Mr. Rodgers' work which a dance journalist once described as "energy studies. " Mr. Rodgers was inspired to do the work by standing among the redwoods in Northern California and notes that it's the kind of dance where "the space between the dancers is easily as important as the movement." 

 

Composer Cooper Moore creates his own instruments and the music, which has the "flute and percussion" qualities of traditional Afro-Brazilian music.

Photo by Rod Rodgers

 

Quartet Series

(2010)

This suite is comprised of three sections and is choreographed by Artistic Director, Kim Grier-Martinez.  It was inspired by her relationship with dancers encounters with others in life. 

 

The creative struggles of people of color; and the journey one must embark on to transform through interchangeable relationships and experiences.  Male/Female dancers when partnering have energy that transform from each individual perceptions; as well as Same Sex, Young and Old to tell a story. 

 

It is a philosophic bond between energy and spirits. It is a unique way to explore functional relationships where the norm has become dysfunctional in our society.  “In all our differences, our common is often greater. “It’s what brings us together…” 

 

Music includes an original score of George Ilgin, Classical New Age Piano Music and Ólafur Arnalds.

Photo by Herbert Delancey

 

Under Fire

(2011)

This work is developed and choreographed by Kim Grier-Martinez, artistic director after the incident of an oil spill caused by April 2010 deadly explosion on a British Petroleum (BP) oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.  The explosion took the lives of 11 workers and critically injured four more.  Eventually effecting all of our lives throughout the country.  Depending on our natural resources, we selfishly need more; yet still putting our lives and the environment in danger.

 

"Under Fire" is divided into four segments as "Stages" as one incident trickles down to another sufferings.  The First stage is performed by the company to music by Lorenna McKennit. The Second stage is a duet to music by Break of Reality.  The dynamic energy against each other in the duet leads to solitude of a solo in the Third stage performed to music by Yiruma.  As the dance settles, it ends with the company under images of fire.    

 

Until The End

(2014)

"What we represent is not entirely free. 

We are imprisoned by our own thoughts. 

Things that are unseen are spoken.  

Is it eternal?  

Yet things that are seen are transient."

 

-Kim Grier-Martinez

(artistic director) 

Photo by Herbert Delancey

 

Space Between

(2014)

"We are strangers in a familiar place. 

What we proclaim is not ourselves.  

We suffer the consequences of our actions. 

We observe, but do not interact."

 -Kim Grier-Martinez

  (Artistic Director) 

Photo by Herbert Delancey

 

Rise Up 

(2016)

Performed to a song, "Rise Up" by Andra Day.

sic,

As we strive to move forward and rise through these unprecedented times, our commitment to the arts and standing up to be a voice for so many is vital. We rise for economic and political equality and for social reforms. Systems of oppression built upon capitalism, patriarchy, and racism tries to tear us down. We will continue to dance for our dignity.

 

Will you RISE with us?

 

 

Conversations

(2014)

"Are we all the same?

What controls the thought processes?  

Is there moral fiber behind our happiness? 

Unbound by energy that resonates through redefining images that liberates us… 

What do we proclaim as truth? 

Does the spirit give us utterance? 

As multitude of bodies comes together, do we pour out our soul?"

-Kim Grier-Martinez

 (Artistic Director) 

Photo by Herbert Delancey

 

Time Has No Space

(2016)

This suite is comprised of three sections and is choreographed by Artistic Director, Kim Grier-Martinez.  

A dramatic expression of the ongoing and resurgence of the nature of human character in the form of identity, appearance, its affects and influence on society.  The struggle of how life and death defeats us everyday.

How circumstances of inhumanity, race relations, diversity or exclusivity, non-conforming or gender identity exposes us.

The flight of political power is a reminder of how injustice continues to occupy our space.  We find someone or remain in solitude.  There will be a time; the depth of our salvation will be the depths of our enemies.  To see each other, is to recognize each other in existence.  I become because you recognize me, you see me, I reveal myself.

"Instead of asking why they left, now I ask, what beauty will I create in the space they no longer occupy?"   

 

-Rudy Francisco

 

Music includes Cobblestone Jazz, Nils Frahm and  Ólafur Arnalds.

Videography by Tristan Daley

 

Attract & Repel

(2019)

This suite is comprised of four sections and is choreographed by Artistic Director, Kim Grier-Martinez.  

This work deals with the disruption and tainted woes of our society today. How we are now Socially and politically driven by fear. The constant negative energy that pushes through space, enforces distrust universally. The interchange of partners and relationships is the constant need of searching for trust or figuring out whom and what to be entrusted in.

In all our ambiguous moments, we thirst for that of what will satisfy our souls.

 

Music includes Greg Haines, Mari Samuelsen, Federico Albanese, Dirk Maassen feat. Nicolo Bluhm and Mark Richter

 

Moving Through...

(2018)

Time is filled with swift transitions. Unchanging hands by full bodies unmoved yet can stand. Humility & surrender, letting go as to see ourselves and bodies as divine. We have faulty dreams of freedom. Yet we forgive, because we want to be free. We are shackled, captive and dehumanized mentally, physically, sexually and often displaced. Perfect love casts out all fear.

This piece speaks to the suppression of the spirit for many of our population. People of color are often marginalized in their everyday lives through tangible and intangible borders. These borders are as literal as a wall at the southern border and as conceptual as stereotypes. A country and world in need of supporting our immigrant community, LGBTQ+, people of color, women and refugees.

Music includes Hauschka and Philip Glass.

 

Langston Lives!

(1981)

LANGSTON LIVES! is a suite of dance theatre vignettes created by choreographer Rod Rodgers, which reflect some of the extraordinary intellect, passion and rhythms of memorable images from the poet Langston Hughes’ lucid works. It was the first production in our acclaimed inter-disciplinary series of dance tributes to Black Heroes, POETS & PEACEMAKERS. 

 

Full production of LANGSTON LIVES! have been presented at the L.A. International Olympics Cultural Festival, at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and in two major festivals at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The work was also offered as the centerpiece of a fundraising event for the benefit of UNICEF African Drought Relief Fund and in educational programs across the country.  The presentations may be in concert or lecture-performance formats that may be followed by dynamic audience/artists dialogues. 

Photo by Herbert Delancey

 

The Legacy

(1984)

THE LEGACY was inspired by the dramatic true-life struggles and achievements of the great civil rights leader, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and the music of Coleridge Taylor Perkinson. 

 

THE LEGACY features a series of dramatic vignettes exploring and reflecting ideas and issues relevant to the life and times of Reverend King and the civil rights struggle of the 60’s. The first statement “Currents from the East” was inspired by the idea of a philosophic bond between Ghandi and King where the “Spirit from the East” passes the mantle of non-violence to the man from the west. This is followed by impressionistic portraits of Rosa Parks, freedom marchers, a youth in jail leading to the climax of an exuberant ballet to Coleridge Parkinson’s “Freedom! Freedom…”.

 

Echoes Of Ellington

(1989)

Echoes of Ellington is a dance theatre tribute to the great Duke Ellignton, based on original compositions and arrangements by Billy Taylor from RRDC's Poets & Peacemakers acclaimed muliti-arts productions. 

 

Edward Kennedy (Duke) Ellington has been acknowledged by the world as the premiere musician-composer-band leader of the 20th Century. From the 1920's at the Cotton Club in Harlem, through the 1970's at Carnegie Hall and symphony halls throughout the world Ellignton was a major force among his peers, and a favorite of the public worldwide. 

 

The best of his work has inspired the admiration of music lovers and the eternal respect of his fellow composers, orchestra leaders and musicians. Ellington's place among the recognized immortals of contemporary music has been assured. 

 

"Echoes of Ellington...an engaging suite of dramtic and humorous vgnettes based on everybody's favorite Ellington tunes."

-New York Times 

 

Keep On Goin'

(1990)

Founder Rod Rodgers’ dramatic tribute to heroic women of color, is inspired by historic achievements (and personal motto) of legendary leader of the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman. 

 

It is from the company’s acclaimed POETS & PEACEMAKERS series of thematic dance theater works celebrating Black Heroes of American Culture: “…if you are tired keep on goin’, if you are scared keep on goin’, if you are hungry keep on goin’, if you want freedom, KEEP ON GOIN’… Harriet Tubman” 

 

Other women who are honored in this suite are Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Beecher, Winnie Mandela, Katherine Dunham and Mary McCloud Bethune. 

 

“KEEP ON GOIN‘…“ juxtaposes traditional and contemporary figures. This muti-arts production featuring original music by Joe Jennings, with segments by Traci Chapman, Bernice Reagon and Nina Simone, explores images of women as leaders in ongoing confrontations in the struggle for freedom and equality. 

 

Photo by Herbert Delancey

She Sayin and Soul Songs

(2004)

 This suite is inspired by songs of Dr. Nina Simone and the stories and images of Woman as our mothers, our daughters, our sisters and our lovers.

Unbound by energy that resonates through redefining images that liberates us… Does the spirit give us utterance? 

As multitude of bodies comes together, do we pour out our soul?

 

RHYTHMDANCES

  • Percussion Suite (1967)

  • Tangents (1968)

  • Ictus 

  • Rhythm Ritual (1973)

The dance theatre of Rod Rodgers has always had as one of it's underlying strengths, a highly sophisticated use of rhythmic elements. According to the choreographer, his determination to explore and rediscover the spiritual aethetic character of sensuous rhythmic forms- central to Black Dance music expression- led him in the direction of contemporarized percussion in theatrical movement. 

 

The dancer is presented as having a combination of dramtic, athletic and musical disciplines. Rodger's background as a percussionist enables him to orchestrate patterns to achieve a great variety of organic textures in sound and movement. Cadences and counterpoint are employed simply and forcefully with compelling effect in a series of rhythm structures (as within the context of his more literal dramatic statements.) 

 

In the Rhythmdances dancers utilize hand held instruments and at times vocalize, contributing to complex integral musical environments.

CONTACT

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Email. rodrodgers.dance@verizon.net

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STUDIO

HOURS

Mon - Fri  10am-10pm

Sat  10am -9pm

Sun  11am-6pm

 

Ongoing activities of the company are also made possible by assistance from New York State Council on the Arts, NY City Department of Cultural Affairs, NY City Council member, Rosie Mendez- District 2, NY Foundation For the Arts, NY Community Trust, Fourth Arts Block (FAB), Middle Collegiate Church, Corporation of the Collegiate Church, many friends and patrons.