The distinguishing common characteristic of these videos is that we see the company director as a member of the ensemble. While dancing alongside other company performers may be viewed as a self-effacing gesture, it can also be risky—inviting comparisons with fellow dancers.
Paul Taylor Dance Company
After taking over the directorship of the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Michael Novak continued performing this role in Taylor’s final work where he seems to step out of the crowd—perhaps anticipating his own ascendancy.
Caleb Teicher & Company
The prodigiously talented Caleb Teicher functions as just another member of the group here, though the shock of white hair on his forehead makes him easy to spot.
Seán Curran Company
Folk Dances for the Future (Traditional Methods/Postmodern Techniques), 2004
Seán Curran gives himself one humorous solo moment in this excerpt, but we otherwise see him here as part of two different trios—combining the forms of Irish step dancing and contemporary dance in his own inimitable way.
Chinoise Flower, 2000
Choreographer Kota Yamazaki places himself among nine other performers who careen through the stage space with alarming speed, constantly shifting the focus through overlapping entrances and exits.
Sur-Perros del Sur, 1992
Company co-directors Pep Ramis and María Muñoz are the performers seen screaming at each other in this clip, while the work’s third performer hangs from a rope.
The Bench Quartet, 2003
Surrounding himself with fellow dancers of his own generation, Doug Varone programmed this early work on a unique evening of chamber dances that he designated as “Doug Varone’s Short Fictions.”
Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE
Brown positions himself as the most visible dancer in a lineup at the start of this clip, but he soon blends into the group as the movement begins.
JAZZDANCE by Danny Buraczeski
Swing Concerto, 1995
Watch for Danny Buraczeski’s entrance as the middle dancer in a group of three who enter about halfway through this clip, and you won’t be able to take your eyes off him after that!
Halau Hula O Hoakalei
Aia Moloka'i Ku'u Iwa, 1990
Throughout most of the performance, Helen Hoakalei Kamau’u was tucked among the musicians behind the greenery, but she ventured into center stage for this special encore.
Trisha Brown Dance Company
Lateral Pass, 1986
While Trisha Brown is the lone dancer who remains visible when the curtain closes in a theatrical coup, each dancer here is seen as a distinct individual with his or her own trajectory.
Charles Moulton Dance Company
There is no apparent hierarchy among these three dancers, aside from the fact that one of them is the choreographer whose name is on the company.
The Pillow Remembers
Carmen de Lavallade, Chandralekha Group, Universal Ballet Company, Richard Cragun + 4 others
Merce Cunningham Dance Company
Cunningham himself can be seen here darting about the stage in a dark leotard, from his company’s Pillow debut in 1955.