New free Dances For An iPhone app
Dancing Sondheim – a free app compiling seven short dance movies by Richard Daniels using the music of Stephen Sondheim – will be released on Labor Day, September 1, 2014. The new app has been announced by Richard Daniels, Dances For An iPhone creator and the app’s principal choreographer. Dances For An iPhone comes in versions for the iPhone and iPad, and is available through iTunes. The free app will also be available for Android devices soon.
Dancing Sondheim is the fourth installment from Dances For An iPhone, which uses technology as a medium to transmit modern dance to the general public. To date, the free apps have been downloaded 15,000 times in over 100 countries.
Selections from Mr. Sondheim’s celebrated Broadway musicals Sunday in The Park With George, A Little Night Music, Into The Woods, Sweeney Todd and Pacific Overtures set to various recordings – by such musical artists including Cleo Laine, Maria Friedman, Macy Robinson, Patrick Mason and David Starobin – are included in Dancing Sondheim.
The roster of dancers who perform in Dancing Sondheim include Janis Brenner, Carmen de Lavallade, Deborah Jowitt, Robert La Fosse, Brian McGinnis, Rebecca Rigert, Risa Steinberg, Jodie Toogood, Melissa Toogood and Megan Williams. Two more movies are scheduled to be added later in 2014 and will include a new movie duet for Carmen de Lavallade and Martine van Hamel, and a solo movie with Miki Orihara.
The seven selections in Dancing Sondheim are:
– “Children and Art” from Sunday in The Park With George as performed by dancer Carmen de Lavallade. Set to a recording by singer Maria Friedman with Stephen Sondheim on piano, it is choreographed by Richard Daniels. This is a re-release of a movie first in Volume 1, and it has been reedited. It served as the nascent inspiration for this volume with music by Sondheim.
– “Children Will Listen” from Into The Woods as performed by dancers Risa Steinberg, Megan Williams and five-year old Ziva Etta Salan. Set to a recording by singer Macy Robinson, it is choreographed by Richard Daniels.
– “Everyday a Little Death” as performed and spoken by dancer Deborah Jowitt. Movement is choreographed by Richard Daniels.
– “Finishing the Hat” from Sunday in The Park With George as danced by Robert La Fosse. Set to a recording by guitarist David Starobin and singer Patrick Mason, it is choreographed by Richard Daniels.
– “Moon in my Window” as danced by Rebecca Rigert and Brian McGinnis. The piece is performed to an instrumental variation of “Joanna” from Sweeney Todd and is choreographed by Richard Daniels.
– “No One Is Alone” from Into The Woods as danced by Janis Brenner to a recording by Cleo Laine. Movement is choreographed by Richard Daniels with Janis Brenner.
– “Pacific Passages” as danced by sisters Jodie Toogood and Melissa Toogood. Performed to an instrumental selection from Pacific Overtures, it is choreographed by Christopher Caines, the first choreographer invited to collaborate with Mr. Daniels on a movie for Dances For An iPhone.
In its feature coverage of Dances For An iPhone’s 2011 debut, The New York Times wrote, “It is like holding a dance in the palm of your hand.” The Washington Post wrote in 2013 that the app is “a respite in the palm of your hand.”
Richard Daniels’ Dances For An iPhone Volume 1 debuted in 2010, with six dance movies created and choreographed. Created as an artist-in-residence at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in 2009, these movies used an eclectic selection of music by Stephen Sondheim, Gerald Busby, Erwin Schulhoff, Amy Beach, Bill Conti, and text by Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas. Volume 2 (released in 2011, with six dance movies again) used an eclectic mix of music (Busby, Handel, Arvo Part Henry Purcell, and Alexander Scriabin, with text by Richard Daniels). A Scriabin Suite – Volume 3 (2012) used music by Russian composer Alexander Scriabin as the score for seven short dance movies.
A formally-trained dancer, Richard Daniels worked as an arts manager, consultant and producer in the 1980s with dance and theater companies across the U.S. For more information on his Dances For An iPhone project, visit DancesforaniPhone.com.
The selections of Dancing Sondheim were filmed at Chez Bushwick in Brooklyn, Gibney Dance Center and Joyce Soho in NYC. Check out this 30-second clip of “Pacific Passages” from Dancing Sondheim with Jodie Toogood and Melissa Toogood: