September Sonnet at Reston

Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company performs Anna Sokolow’s gem September Sonnet at the Reston Community Center

MelandDanSeptSonnetFloorWednesday, May 28, 8:00 p.m.
Tickets: $15 (R), $30 (NR)
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Dakshina is excited to bring September Sonnet to the DC region again. One of Sokolow’s later pieces it highlights the softer, romantic side of Sokolow. The dance explores a couple trying to figure out who they are in a relationship, if they like the relationship and where they are headed. The dance showcases Sokolow’s hallmark starkness which allows the dancers and audience members to focus on just the essentials and everything superfluous falls away.

Revered dance critic George Jackson writes, “September Sonnet”, the program’s middle piece, is in the form a classical pas de deux – sort of. A woman and a man meet and engage, each then has a solo variation before they come together again in a coda that resolves their relationship. Strangely, Sokolow’s protagonists avoid looking at each other in their initial encounter. Without making eye contact, they do touch and this even elicits quivers, but all the while they gaze up overhead or peer past one another. Such behavior gives their affair a furtive air that perhaps can be called autumnal, Septemberish. Into the man’s variation Sokolow puts candy – just a little leg action of the showy, near balletic sort. Mostly, though, it is line and lyricism that are called for. The woman’s variation is about the expression of tensions, the revelation of feelings. In the coda, the man’s and woman’s eyes finally meet, but only a little. I concluded that, constitutionally, they distrust youthful joy. Sokolow herself didn’t seem to trust any one composition because she took the music for ”September Sonnet” from four different composers – Arvo Part, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Francis Poulenc and Robert Schumann.

The work will be performed by Helen Marie Carruthers and Daniel Phoenix Singh. Lorry May, considered the leading authority in staging Sokolow works has set the work on the dancers with her hallmark clarity and attention to Sokolow’s nuances. Buy Tickets.

Other works in the program include a world premiere choreographed by Daniel Burkholder called Acts of Arriving and a world premiere choreographed by Erica Rebollar called Cyborg Suites.