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NEW YORK CITY--Rarely is the word "constant" used to describe a dance company, but no adjective better reflects the conviction of choreographer Doug Varone, the loyalty of dancers to his company, or the steady stream of excellent reviews that have followed performances. From January 4-9, Doug Varone & Dancers perform two different programs at the Joyce Theater, a venue that the company has visited every other year since 1990.

These appearances trace a path of increasing success: from inclusion in the Altogether Different series in 1992 and 1994 to a full-week run presented by the theater in 1996 to seasons self-presented by the company in 1998 and 2000. "This Joyce season is definitely a boiling point for me," says Varone. "There's something new brewing in my brain right now and I don't know what's going to happen next."

Varone will premiere five works, including a duet with Gwen Welliver, a company member since 1991, set to a Chopin Polonaise; a suite set to eleven belle epoque love songs by Reynaldo Hahn; Agora, set to a commissioned score by Julia Wolfe, which will be played live and includes an "enormously virtuosic solo for the cello"; and a trio Varone created for a Toronto-based company. "Earlier in the spring I created this trio on a brand-new company that a few friends of mine began and decided to set it on my own company and see how it fared," explains Varone. "I am pretty confident I am going to bring that into New York. It has a nice edge to it."

Varone considers the fifth premiere, Sleeping with Giants, "my triumph." The piece, set to a score by Michael Nyman, marries Varone's interest in both the largest scope of space and energy as well as the tiniest detail. "Those two extremes are what make up my world," explains the choreographer.

Referring to the Joyce as "a wonderful support system," Varone says, "I feel like we grew up there. Before there was Altogether Different there were smaller series and one in 1990 was called ManMade, of all male choreographers. I shared an evening with Ralph Lemon." Varone's career has taken off since then: in September, his choreography for Rossini's opera Il Viaggio a Reims debuted at the New York State Theater. "The work that I have done in theater has made me a better dramatic choreographer, without a doubt," he says. In October, a work he created for the Limon Dance Company garnered positive reviews.

Outside projects inform his work with his company, he says. "Other outlets let me creatively explore possibilities and take that information and bring it back into the dance-making. I feel as if I have a pretty eclectic background in terms of dance training and the type of work I am interested in creating, and the type I think I can create." January's Joyce season highlights his range. "It's a remarkable body of work," says Varone, "almost a culmination of sorts."
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Title Annotation:Doug Varone and Dancers, Joyce Theater, New York City
Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Jan 1, 2000

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