This has been a journey of about 45 minutes, full of a unique vocabulary of shifts and pacings and collapses that brings us close to inner states of discomfort. Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble has re-imagined Sokolow’s Rooms for a pandemic era online presentation – and Rooms2020 works, because they’ve done it well – and Sokolow’s choreography is so inventive and strong.
Anna Sokolow’s Rooms – Rooms2020 the online version
DanceTabs, July 19, 2020
Watching this thoughtfully reconceived version of Rooms, you’re aware of the silences and the stillnesses that pit both the choreography and Hopkins’s emotionally and environmentally charged score. Is this what being alone for a long time feels like? What to do next? Why get out of bed? Are you going crazy? Are you alone by choice? If you died, who would bury your bones? Instead, let us thank the powers that be for the sunshine and the moonlight and the grass that continues to grow. And thank the spirit of Anna Sokolow for showing us the darkness so fiercely.
Dancebeat, July 6, 2020
…a masterful full-length, 47:26-minute reimagined Rooms2020…In some ways, the work feels even more authentic, given that the eight dancers, located around the U.S., were truly isolated from one another while performing the reality that Sokolow originally envisioned. …Rooms is a remarkable work, which stands the test of time, with or without a pandemic. But it’s especially relevant in today’s current state of anxiety, frustration and uncertainty.
Anna Sokolow’s ‘Rooms’ Resonates Amid Pandemic
ExploreDance.com, June 30, 2020
ROOMS2020 is an amazing adaptation of Sokolow’s ROOMS, which premiered in 1955…. Every aspect of this production is beyond stellar. The music, the video editing, and the fact that each dancer did the video recording of his or her performance. This is a classic.
Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble Premieres a Virtual Performance of Anna Sokolow’s ROOMS2020
ELJNYC.com, July 2020
Reach – quiver – look – step – touch…. The power of etched gesture is nowhere clearer than in the work of Anna Sokolow. … The five Sokolow works shown in reconstructed and reimagined form as part of Dancefusion’s “Moving” are episodic, dramatic, emotional, and immediate. You see them, you feel them, you “get” them.
The Art of Gesture
Lynn Matluck Brooks
thINKingDANCE, September 16, 2018
“Moods” felt relevant even as it evoked the ’70s with choreography that alternately formed organic shapes with dancers’ bodies and broke them apart. …dancers spinning away from the group made me think plants of going to seed and nature’s changing rhythms. My favorite part was when a female dancer balanced between the legs of two men, who folded their upper bodies over her like the petals of a flower closing at sunset.
Worlds Gracefully Collide
Broad Street Review, September 16, 2018
The generous program put together by Samantha Géracht, the Artistic Director of the Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble, was made up of short dances by some of modern dance’s early choreographers along with three newer works. … the evening was a performance, not a dance history conference or a visit with old scrapbooks, and the most important question, for me, was “does it work?” and by and large the evening’s dancers were by turns gripping, profound, and yes, entertaining.
Lest We Forget
danceviewtimes, June 1, 2018
[Anna Sokolow’s] legacy has been valiantly carried on by Director Jim May and the recently appointed Artistic Director Samantha Géracht, both former Sokolow dancers. The program, subtitled “Moods and Dreams” ranged from the meditatively personal “Poem” to the haunting Holocaust-inspired “Dreams”. The dancers’ grounded strength, unexaggerated power, and fierce theatrical determination made the works seen timeless.
In the Mood
danceviewtimes, March 13, 2018
[The] performers stare intently at us—calling to mind animals with a cage between them and their prey, or escaped prisoners trying to see into the darkness ahead. When they suddenly gaze toward the roof, you imagine that something deadly could rain down. Or a blessing. … it grips your heart. … The members of Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble perform her works admirably, with a fervor and emotional nuance that she would have appreciated.
Anna Sokolow‘s Dark Spirit
DanceBeat, March 13, 2016
“Theater” is listed first in the title of the company founded by the late Anna Sokolow and the dancers all lived up to the billing, giving dramatically incisive and committed performances
The Way it Used to Be
danceviewtimes, March 11, 2016
[“Frida”] did show the dancers’ many strengths—their easy and free movements, their straightforward, unmelodramatic approach, and their belief, completely justified, in the power of these dances.
danceviewtimes, December 9, 2014
Homage to Edgar Allan Poe … is best appreciated when one considers the rarity it was for dance and text to work together like this in the early 90s. Integrating art forms, it is a treat to see Sokolow‘s endeavor into this kind of fusion performance. … It is a joy to see [Jim] May in his element. He is a physical and expressive being, even after so many years in this field.
StageBuddy, December 9, 2014
For Homage to Edgar Allan Poe, … Motifs of lament and of a hope of escape from some nightmarish doom are threaded in…and in a brilliant moment the solitary Luis Gabriel Zaragoza collapses into darkness. … Annabelle Lee, a hauntingly lyrical duet danced by Lucy Sydel and David Glista, begins with a feeling of gentle romance and includes a sustained, poetic lift; but death triumphs over love, and the dancers – just inches away from us – beautifully captured the tenderness of parting forever.
Oberon’s Grove, December 08, 2014
I suggest that today’s young choreographers take a long look at Ms. Sokolow’s work for its clarity, musicality and vivid imagery.
Anna Sokolow Way
Oberon’s Grove, December 8, 2013
Odes deserves it proper place within the history of dance. … It is a strong work and just as a true great piece of art is has an element of timeliness.
“Odes” Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble
NYC Dance Stuff, November 15, 2011
Majestic in its very simplicity, the timeless qualities of ODES are evoked by Edgard Varese’s often angular and elemental musical paintings. The dancers, a collective of unique individuals forged into a team by Jim May and [Lauren] Naslund, gave the kind of emotionally-connected dancing that the choreographer so passionately sought.
Anna Sokolow‘s ODES
Oberon‘s Grove, November 14, 2011
The ensemble segments [of “Odes”], danced by an augmented company of 23, fill the stage with complex action, breaking a large group into pieces that move independently but not randomly. With no loss of drive, the dance maintains a grandeur befitting its ancient Greek subject.
Keeping It Honest: Choreography That Stays True to Itself
The New York Times, November 13, 2011
“Odes” remains a luminous work deserving a place of honor. Inspired by the legends of ancient Greece, Sokolow made a spare dance that alternates between coiled energy and the freedom to leap like the wind. Accompanied by throbbing dissonances or by delicate flute melodies in music by Edgard Varèse (selected after the dance was already a fact), it seems unlike a hymn of praise. Instead, “Odes” re-creates a world haunted by nature’s mysteries. In this open landscape, the gods might reach out any time to snatch their prey.
Recalling ancient terrors, Anna Sokolow transforms Greek myth into modern dance
The Star-Ledger, November 12, 2011
The Joyce SoHo seems too small a theater to contain the talent of the late Anna Sokolow (1910-2000), one of America’s most critically acclaimed choreographers. Her wonderfully expressive dances deserve a grander showcase. … The current engagement, which opened on Thursday, may surprise those who only know “Rooms,” Sokolow’s notoriously grim study of urban alienation. This program shows another side of her offering wit and lyricism, and passions stirred to majesty.
Anna Sokolow Ensemble formed to honor choreographer
The Star-Ledger, April 28, 2010
For the venerable Anna Sokolow, … art wasn’t an understated or passive act, but something meant to be a reflection and a comment on contemporary life. In a program celebrating her centennial from Sokolow Theater/Dance Ensemble, which opened on Thursday night at the Joyce SoHo, that expressive nature was on display.
Birthday Party With Mexican Flair
The New York Times, April 23, 2010
Sokolow‘s dances were like a balm. … like “Opus Jazz,” “Session for Six” is a rhapsodic display of youth and vitality. To see both performed on the same program would be heaven.
Saluting a Change Agent and a Maverick of Dance
The New York Times, September 15, 2008
Sokolow, who died in 2000, was primarily a tough chronicler of unfashionable misery. But she is lucky that longtime company members are knowledgeable and passionate enough to try to keep her work alive. And so it was possible, in a performance by Jim May’s Sokolow Theater/Dance Ensemble on Sunday night at the Merce Cunningham Studio, to savor how fresh her dance can look today.
Works Not New, but Right for the Time
The New York Times, April 22, 2008
Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble keeps Anna Sokolow’s legacy, described by critic Walter Sorell as “theater danced and danced theater,” alive.
Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble
Dance Magazine, July 2006
Miss Sokolow’s great gift, however, is for the distilled image, and she is anything but a creator of poster art. Feeling is at the heart of her work, and the emotion infused into her dancers is meant to carry straight to the viewer. More often than not, she is on target and she hits deep.
Sokolow Takes a Bow for 50 Years
The New York Times, January 20, 1991