When it comes to David Dorfman, one needs to dismiss from mind one’s views on the art of dance and performance. Dorfman used his unique talent to start the David Dorfman Dance in 1987 with the mission “to get the whole world dancing.” Through dance, music and text, Dorfman and his team have travelled both nationally and internationally spreading the ideas of freedom, life and its struggles by incorporating it into their choreography. Dorfman had always enjoyed dancing, but it was not until the age of 23 that he know for a fact that performing was his future.
On Saturday Nov. 7, David Dorfman Dance performed live at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. From the music, dance, set and lighting, the show was worth the watch. Based on his most recent work “Come, and Back Again,” Dorfman’s performance highlighted mortality and the daily life of the common man, or as Dorfman put it, “about the mess in our daily lives, how we deal with it, the choices we make and how they change as we get older.” In one of the performances, there was a particular movement where he fell on the floor and the younger dancers picked him up and kept on moving. He perhaps did so to say that we are all bound to age and fail to do the things we once did. David also celebrated his 60th birthday on the day of the performance, adding to the notion of aging and placing questions of mortal uncertainty into his work, which made the story even more relatable.
The performance was all about expressions, and how often we feel we fail to communicate. One of the dancers mid-way through the show asked the audience to look at the person to their right and try to guess if they have ever truly been in love. With humor, she proceeded to discuss a formula recently discovered to calculate love, and this created a connection between the audience and the story being told.
Freshman Kayla Craig, a dancer, said that “It was the most heartfelt part of the show. I cannot believe I have just been introduced to his work.” Craig continued, “Where has he been all my life? As a dancer, we need to be exposed to more of this.”
There was so much freedom, yet struggle, in this post-modern dance performance. David Kyuman Kim, a creative consultant for the dance company, talked about how Dorfman shows both the artistic flow and struggle that comes with performing that most performers often try to hide. Kim stated that, “He uses both to portray the idea that our lives are messy and flawed, but it’s OK.”
The dancers performed with such freedom and imitation that it seemed as if the show was not rehearsed at all. There was an element of surprise in the choices they made as if the events in the stories being told were happening right there.
Putting together this show came with its own set of challenges, Dorfman admitted. His wife, who was to be a part of the show, was injured days prior and needed a replacement. In addition, the group had a new dancer and musician. At the end of the day, they all managed to pull through and give a great performance. Having Sam Race Dorfman (David’s son) as one of the dancers not only gave hope or certainty if you may of David’s legacy continuing, but was also genuine to see them spend his birthday doing what they love.