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There’s something very special about David Dorfman.
Just about anyone who’s worked with the Connecticut-based choreographer will agree: he really, genuinely seems to like people. That warmth and insatiable urge to connect comes across in the workshops he teaches, the interviews he gives, and it’s there onstage in the shows he creates—embedded in both the movements and the theme.
That should be no less true this weekend, when the David Dorfman Dance company brings the performance “Prophets of Funk” to the American Dance Institute. It’s an homage of sorts to the music group Sly and the Family Stone, so audience members can expect to see dancers in bell bottoms, Afros, and Dorfman himself wearing a pair of towering platform shoes.
But the piece isn’t just a simple exploration of bass-driven rhythms and decades-old dance moves.
Like “Underground,” the last evening-length show the company performed in the Washington area (which was also set in the 1960s and ‘70s), “Prophets of Funk” focuses on activism, albeit with a personal focus. The piece aims to echo Sly and the Family Stone’s themes of empowerment and giving, a la the songs “I Want to Take You Higher” and “Everybody is a Star”—and maybe even bring some of those populist concepts to this conflicted era.
Dorfman being Dorfman, the show is designed to be appreciated by just about anyone, whether or not they’re a seasoned modern dance watcher. And his dancers are known for their kickass physicality, so no matter what audience members think of the themes, it should be an entertaining show.
Saturday evening at 7:30; only mat seats are available for $15. Sunday at 2pm; $25. At the American Dance Institute.