Decadance Vs. The Firebird: A Hip-Hop Ballet

Genre: Dance
Choreographed by: Jennifer Weber
Directed by: Jennifer Weber
Danced by: Angela Crain, Wendy Garofoli, LaShonna Holloway, Taeko Koji, Cat Manturuk, Tomoko Onozawa, Bianca Soto, Keely Wright. Beats: Aphasia. Vocals: MC Linzee.
Running time: One hour
Web site:

The magnificently talented Jennifer Weber reimagines Stravinsky's Firebird ballet as a local narrative about an inner-city girl who, when helped by the Firebird, is able to fend for herself and succeed. But forget the story. This mash-up (that's DJ-speak for mixing disparate genres of music, and in this case, schools of dance) is all about the dance-off. The fantastic music (spun by an NYU med student) provides a quality beat to which the all-female cast twitches, jolts, pops-and-locks, and shakes their bodies in ways superior to that of a tech-enhanced Missy Elliott. Clad in sequined sashes, Nikes, rolled-up cargo pants and trucker hats, the girls are savvy in a street-cool way, and the three primary dancers, Tomoko Onozawa, Taeko Koji and Keely Wright (the Firebird) are particularly impressive. The show's only weakness is the MC, a superfluous commentator who comes in from the wings rapping unintelligibly and ineffectually into a mike.—Denise Penny

Where: MAP Penthouse Theater
When: Mon, Aug 16 at 8:45 p.m.; Wed, Aug 18 at 5 p.m.; Thu, Aug 19 at 3 p.m.; Fri, Aug 20 at 7:15 p.m.; Sat, Aug 21 at 4 p.m.; Sun, Aug 22 at 2 p.m.

Published August 23, 2004