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Flash Response, 3-22: More than a Few
50 Great Modern Dances for Anna

By Paul Ben-Itzak, with staff and reader contributions
Copyright 2002 The Dance Insider

Late last month, Anna Kisselgoff wrote in the New York Times: "'V' is a life-affirming new dance by Mark Morris, not only one of his best pieces in many years but also one of the few great works that modern dance has produced in a decade." (Emphasis added.) We beg to differ. Relying purely on memory, I came up with about 40 great modern dances from the last ten years. We shared these with our e-mail list; they came up with a few more, as did I, totalling 50 great modern dances for Anna.

The following list is not meant to be definitive and is in no particular order. Additional nominations came from DI staffer Rosa Mei and readers Claire French, Jefferson James, Gloria McClean, and Kristin Mangione, as indicated by their initials after their respective picks. Picks without initials are by me. To avoid the appearance of conflict of interest, I did not consider dances by current DI staffers, close personal friends, or artists I've worked with.

Donald McKayle: Body of Work
Pina Bausch: "Der Fensterputzer"
Pina Bausch: "Danzon"
Jane Comfort: "Underground River"
Jane Comfort: "S/he" (JJ)
Sean Curran: "Symbolic Logic"
Sean Curran: "Six Laments"
Doug Elkins: "Center My Heart"
Moses Pendleton: "Passion"*
Pilobolus, w/Maurice Sendak & Arthur Yorinks: "A Selection"**
Pilobolus: "Gnomen"
Pilobolus: "Women's Duet"
Merce Cunningham: "Biped"
Merce Cunningham: "Ground Level Overlay" (RM)
Paul Taylor: "Black Tuesday"
Murray Louis: "Sinner's All"
Maguy Marin: "Waterzooi"
Maguy Marin: "May B"
Maguy Marin: "Points de Fuite"
Angelin Preljocaj: "L'Annonciation"
Tina Croll, James Cunningham, et. al.: "Horse's Mouth"
Bill T. Jones: "Still/Here"
Bill T. Jones: 1996 Joyce program
Rennie Harris: "Rome & Jewels"
Mark Dendy, w/Larry Keigwin & cast: "Dream Analysis"
KT Nelson: "Scout"
Sara Hook: Body of Work
Douglas Dunn: Body of Work
Elisa Monte: "Feu Follet"
Grace Ellen Barkey: "Miraculous Mandarin" ("Few Things")
Jan Lauwers w/Ballett Frankfurt: "DdeadDdogsDon'tDance"
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker: "For," revised version 2001
Mark Haim: "Goldberg Variations"
Jawole Willa Jo Zollar: "Shelter"
David Neumann: Body of Solo Work
Lisa Giobbi/Altogether Different program, 1999
David Grenke: "Degenerate Art"
Emmanuelle Huynh/"Distribution en cours"
Peter Pucci: "Basketball Jones"
Trisha Brown: "Twelve Ton Rose" (RM)
Trisha Brown: "Orfeo" (RM)
Michael Moschen: Body of Work (RM)
Ulysses Dove: "Vespers" (remade in 1994) (RM)
Mats Ek: Body of Work (RM)
Marie Chouinard: "La Crie du Monde"(CF)
Doug Varone: "Possession Quartet"(JJ)
Wim Vandekeybus: "In Spite of Wishing and Waiting" (KM)
Joe Goode: "Deeply There (Stories of a Neighborhood)" (JJ)
Erick Hawkins: "Each Time You Carry Me That Way" (GM)***
D. Chase Angier: "Lemons for Loveliness"

*Created in collaboration with the dancers (many dances are, but Pendleton's Momix credits them by name!)
**Normally credited to specific Pilobolus directors, and specific dancer collaborators.
***Implemented by the company

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