UPCOMING PERFORMANCES: The Dance Department of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts will perform Under the Whale by choreographer James Martin on April 27 and 28 at the Tony Bennett Theater in the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts located in Astoria Queens, NY. Admission is free. Directions and further information are available at franksinatraschoolofthearts.org or by phone at (718) 361-9920.
James Martin Music/DanceJames Martin Music/Dance is a group of dancers and musicians under the artistic direction of choreographer and composer James Martin. The group strives to find deep feeling and clear meaning.
Mr. Martin's approach is interdisciplinary, dovetailing his musical background with his experience as a dancer, choreographer and teacher. Classical, contemporary and post-modern dance idioms are used. Structural elements and patterns are plotted with human relationships. The group is modular and performs in various combinations, in a range of settings as a dance company, or as a band in music venues. Of his interests and vision for the group, Mr. Martin says:
"I am attracted to the interplay between surprise and recognition in art--the tension between our longing to recognize and be oriented and our craving for new points of reference, location, experience and awakening. My intention is to challenge, but not obliterate, orientation--to make work that both confirms and reshapes our experience."
For the past two years Mr. Martin has created a dance /play about climate change and social justice. Titled, Under the Whale, Mr. Martin is setting this work on two New York City high schools: The Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, Queens, NY, and The Wadeigh Secondary School for the Performing and Visual Arts, New York, NY. The piece is a sounding board for young people's anger at the adult world fecklessly denying climate change and compounding social injustice. The choreography embraces multi dance idioms as its social justice massage regarding climate change swells the youth movement's raised voices for gun control. About politically motivated art, Mr. Martin says:
"The problems inherent in politically motived art are thorny. I want to present political discourse through comedy, irony and story telling that inspires rational thinking, avoids homily and stirs the heart."