Imagery And Music Melding Into Movement
By Sylviane Gold January 30, 2004

Good choreography can produce the impression that the dancers are moving within the music, that it is somehow engulfing and propelling them. Donlin Foreman's new work, "Song," gives concrete form to that idea: As it ends, the singers of the New York Choral Society surge forward to surround the six dancers of Buglisi/Foreman Dance, visually melding the music and the movement in a churning, transcendent image.

Transcendent imagery is what Buglisi/Foreman is all about. Opening night at the Joyce on Tuesday was replete with it. In the 10 years since it was founded by four star Martha Graham dancers, Buglisi/Foreman has become one of the city's most reliable dance treasures, returning every winter with a satisfying mix of old and new.
The first of the company's two Joyce programs, which alternate through Sunday, begins with a rambunctious, positively daffy entertainment. Jacqulyn Buglisi's new "Pollen in the Air” is subtitled "A Romantic Scene in the Park," but she's not serious - unless the park she means has a dog run.

Big red balloons float above the stage and white ones roll around on it as the playful dancers, in circuslike costumes, sniff, bite and nuzzle each other to snippets of Beethoven, Schumann and Sibelius. Jennifer Emerson and Walter Cinquinella, and Helen Hansen and Yarden Ronen, are the two couples having frisky, puppyish fun. (Never mind that puppies couldn't pull off the adorable position in which the girl is doubled over the boy's shoulder, allowing them to spank each other.)

The three couples in "Song" are having fun, too. But it's the fun of exploring Foreman's exuberant lifts and melting drops to the floor to Lisa DeSpain's wordless, hymn like cantata. Foreman's idea of having the dancers emerge from the chorus at the beginning and merge with it at the end is rich with meaning and possibility...

The rest of the program includes Buglisi and Foreman (who are married) dancing together in "Sospiri," her emotional duet to the music of Edward Elgar. Terese Capucilli, Beatriz Rodriguez and Virginie Mécène lead the aching choir of “Suspended Women,” Buglisi’s stunning piece to Ravel. A “Mean Ole World” is a sexy, spirited romp Foreman devised to DeSpain’s jazzy score.

BUGLISI/FOREMAN DANCE. Artistic directors, Jacqulyn Buglisi and Donlin Foreman. Program A: Buglisi's "Pollen in the Air" (premiere), music by Schumann, Sibelius and Beethoven; "Sospiri" (1989), music by Elgar, and "Suspended Women," music by Ravel; Foreman's "Song" (world premiere), music by Lisa DeSpain; and "Mean Ole World," music by DeSpain. Seen Tuesday at the Joyce Theater, Eighth Avenue and 19th Street, Manhattan. Playing in repertory with Program B through Sunday.

DANCE REVIEW Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.

Seeking Simplicity Amid Complexity Excerpts
By Pia Catton

Monday, February 2, 2004

The term “artistic director” shows up on the roster of dance companies all the time. But in certain cases, it means a little more than in others. For Jacqulyn Buglisi and Donlin Foreman, co-artistic directors of their 10-year-old company. Buglisi/Foreman Dance, the title is especially rich.

Ms. Buglisi and Mr. Foreman, both former Martha Graham principals, produce dance from a thoroughly expressive, artistic point of view. Watching their works and the performances of their dancers engages more than the eye. They engage your heart and soul – and psyche, too.

…Mr. Foreman’s new work “Song” brings the New York Choral Society on stage; as the choir sings, three couples dance. The work begins with the majority of the singers at the back of the stage, though a few are sprinkled among the dancers…While one couple is reaching up, another is crumpling over, another is lifting, another twisting. All of this activity makes for a tableau of motion that has no real center – like a kaleidoscope breaking an image into numerous pieces.

Meanwhile, the men and women cover every inch of their partners. There is no space between them as they bend and fold over each other. The intensity of the movement is attractive…

…Ms. Buglisi’s new ballet “Rain” was inspired by her trip to the Venezuelan rain forest. As a prelude, musician Glen Velez plays a few measures on the frame drum; it’s almost difficult to believe that the variety of sounds he produces is coming from the hands of one man. When the curtain rises, it reveals a scrim on which beautiful images of the rain forest are projected. The dancers perform behind this scrim… The movement itself has a writhing, tribal feel; there is plenty of arm stretching and curved backs. The partnering here is tense and aggressive; there’s a bit of coercion going on, though the embraces bring passion, not anger, to the work.

There is one moment in which the images and dance marry seamlessly: On the scrim is one giant drop of water that swells and falls slowly from the top of the screen while a small group of dancers moves with slow, careful strokes. One couple stands close together, facing one another, with raised arms that fall and bend as gently as the drop of water…

Mr. Foreman’s “Cascade” had its New York premiere at the Joyce…The seven dancers cavort joyously in modern movements that are rounded out with ballet vocabulary – a sort of modern dance version of Balanchine’s “Apollo.” Only here Apollo is one of many young gods, cheerfully frolicking around a hillside. The movement looks inspired by images of dancers on Grecian urns; the group links arms or runs together, looking to each other as if to confirm the sense of brimming delight…its mood is infectious…

“Pollen in the Air,” a premiere by Ms. Buglisi, is a silly little romp that can make you smile even if you don’t share her sense of humor. Like naughty children in a park, the dancers pop balloons on each other and blow their noses on their skirts. It’s a light, harmless antidote to some of the more serious pieces.

Across the two programs presented at the Joyce were some of the best pieces in the Buglisi/Foreman repertory: “Suspended Women” and “Requiem,” both by Ms. Buglisi, and “Mean Ole World” by Mr. Foreman. All of these pieces hold out an idea – women’s lives, tragedy, and jazzy fun, respectively – then mine that idea in glorious variety. “Requiem” – with its women who stand and move with heart-breaking slowness, like sorrowful statues coming to life to mourn man’s hubris – is an utterly beautiful soul-stirring work of dance…


By Marian Horosko

Just now, Jacqulyn Buglisi and Donlin Foreman don’t want to talk about their ten years as director/choreographers of the Buglisi/Foreman Dance Company or their international reputation. Or about their eighteen magnificently trained dancers, some of whom are also in the present Graham Company. Or their rave reviews from every major critic (“stunning, extravagant and beautiful,” The New York Times), or their tours in Europe, Australia, India, and Scotland. They want to share their deepest thoughts about dance. They have flown straight but far beyond the chrysalis of the Martha Graham Contemporary Dance Company from which they emerged. “Martha instilled in us,” they say in one voice, “the need to continue to continue. We are always, in dance, living in the moment and living in the future. But we are ourselves, in this place and at this time. Full of the experiences of our past, yet not in imitation of it.”

Past experiences for Foreman come from 1977 to 1994 in the Graham and Eliot Feld companies, where he discovered his lyricism in movement through music. As poet, philosopher, teacher, Donlin respects the “collective unconscious that runs through all humanity. Archetypes. Myths. Those things are part of the human experience and are present in all of us. It is the root of our strength, but it did not come from Martha. It came from mankind. It takes a desire to touch the heart of the collective unconscious. It is our desire. It is that same lineage that moves forward through us. You can inherit a legacy, be part of it, learn from it, without imitating it. That’s what we do.”



Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute

Bulletin, November 2004

Experience the technical excellence and unparalleled dramatic power of Buglisi/Foreman Dance at 8 p.m. on Saturday, November 6 at Wellin Hall on the Hamilton College campus. The theatrical appeal of their diverse repertory and dramatic intensity has won this company many invitations to prestigious international venues and dance series. Founded in 1994 by Jacqulyn Buglisi and Donlin Foreman with Terese Capucilli and Christine Dakin, this distinguished quartet, who danced together as principal artists with Martha Graham for two decades, now broaden the boundaries of their great legacy. With a company of 12 dancers they have defined a new dynamic lyricism and developed a richly diverse and expressive repertory that is unique, accessible and vibrant, communicating through dance “deep matters of the heart.”

They have inherited a theatrical mastery of lighting, costumes and stage space, a way of making us feel that each dance is an encounter with destiny— The New York Times

This performance is made possible, in part, by the New York State DanceForce, a state-wide consortium of choreographers, arts organizations, presenters and educators. The New York State DanceForce receives major sponsorship from the New York State Council o the Arts and Altria. Additional support is provided by JPMorgan Chase and the National Endowment for the Arts. Administered by Dance Theater Workshop and Dancspace Project, DanceForce programs include artist residencies, community outreach activities and dance programming that link artists and communities across New York State .


The Mohawk Valley Dance partnership is a consortium of three community partners; Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Hamilton College and the Central New York Community Arts Council Arts in Education Institute, organizations dedicated to the advancement of an understanding of dance across a broad spectrum of the community, inspiring people to make dance a meaningful part of their lives. For tickets, contacts the Performing arts ticket office at 797-0055 or (800) 754-0797.


Bellingham Weekly

“Girl’s Night Out”

May 1-8, 2003, Bellingham, Washington
Saturday night found me at WWU’s Performing Arts Center for the Buglisi/Foreman Dance Company’s breathtaking presentation of contemporary theatrical dance. Buglisi and Foreman, who were principal dancers with Martha Graham’s company for 20 years, brought both chills and laughter to the surface as the choreography and composition of the different pieces made it oh-so-obvious that artistic freedom is alive and well from New York City to Bellingham. Rich, detailed costumes, taut bodies in motion, spectacular lighting and the astonishing talents of two world-class choreographers made for an evening of pure viewing pleasure.
_Amy Kepferle


Boston Herald

DANCE REVIEW; A high pointe for Pillow:

By Theodore Bale. Jul 28, 2003. pg. 030

Nacho Duato's Compania Nacional de Danza 2 and Buglisi/Foreman Dance at Jacob's Pillow
Dance Festival, Saturday.

The legacy of the modern tradition as it continues to unfold in Europe and America was the featured theme this past weekend at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Becket. Three different shows proved how astonishing it is to observe the artistic seeds, planted decades ago by master choreographers such as Jiri Kylian and Martha Graham, blooming in the present with such passion and precision.

At the Doris Duke Theater, Buglisi/Foreman Dance asserted the tradition of Graham's forceful technique without shaking the death rattle of American modernism, an admirable feat. …the performers are glorious. "Suite: Arms Around Me" and "Lisa D." (the latter danced to a radiant score for string quartet by Lisa DeSpain) were the most imaginative and inspired.

The Charlotte Observer

Program showcases dance diversity
By Meg Freeman Whalen
Special to the Observer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The N.C. Dance Theatre marketed this season's "Innovative Works" program as "unique, unbound, up close." Thursday night's performance in the intimate Booth Playhouse certainly lived up to the ad.
With eight dances that ranged from gritty to goofy, elegant to erotic, the program showcased the diverse talents of the dancers and choreographers.

Salvatore Aiello's "The Afternoon of a Faun" opened the show. Set to Debussy's impressionist music, the ballet floats in that dim place between dreaming and wakefulness, as a faun is seduced by nymphs in gossamer gowns.
Uri Sands was a mesmerizing faun, combining quick, animal movements with languorous sensuality. The lovely long-haired nymphs glowed in the rich golden light, sometimes shyly erotic, sometimes boldly so.
After such serious attraction, Heather Maloy's "Couch Potatoes," the story of the overpowering allure of a couch, was inanely funny. Choreographed for two men and a woman (a hilarious Kati Hanlon Mayo), this piece could have been subtitled "50 ways to use your sofa." A hideous couch became a balance beam, a springboard – even a ship – on which the dancers lounged, lunged and belly-flopped.

Several works explored the push and pull between couples, most beautifully Donlin Foreman's "So I May Say," a duet danced by Sands and Traci Gilchrest. In this lovely work, the dancers often move in unison, requiring exquisite technique. Sands and Gilchrest were perfectly matched. Their movements were so well synchronized that there was no doubt that the two characters belonged together, in spite of periodic antagonism.

Two intense large-group works demonstrated excellent collaboration among the company: Jason Jacobs' "Flow Form" (a new work) and Alonzo King's "Tango." Both sizzle, but the smoky, sultry "Tango" appears this weekend only. Don't miss this sexy and invigorating piece.
Innovative Works

N.C. Dance Theatre presents eight works.
When: 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday and April 11-12; 7:30 p.m. April 10
Where: Booth Playhouse, N.C. Performing Arts Center
Tickets: $17-$26
Details: (704) 372-1000;

The Dallas Morning News

Review: Dance Salad tosses modern touch into ballet mix
Excess is the main feast when talent from four continents congregates

By MARGARET PUTNAM / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News

HOUSTON – For someone inclined to gluttony, Cullen Theater was the place to be Thursday. Dance Salad Festival 2003 was a feast of talent from four continents that included dance companies seldom or never seen in the United States. Ballet dominated, but except for a pointe shoe or two and Ben Stevenson's lyrical suite from Fountain of Tears for the National Ballet of China, the style was essentially modern.

Throttled energy surged and waned in Buglisi/Forman Dance's Requiem, set to Gabriel Faure's music. Five women in extravagant draperies rose and dropped from their stools, occasionally whipping their dresses. Baroque formality and grace captured another time. Houston Chronicle April 18, 2003

'Dance Salad' ingredients touch hearts and minds
Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle

Dance Salad producer Nancy Henderek has outdone herself this year. In three nights, she's packing in glimpses of as many companies as you're likely to see at monthlong festivals on the East Coast. Thursday's Wortham Theater Center opening offered six U.S. and three Houston premieres. Henderek curates the show like a gallery director, piecing bits of evening-length works – typically pas de deux – into "new" suites. This works better with some dances than others if you don't read the program. The current crop bears her signature preference for stark, unrelenting modernism. More comic relief might have made me forget the show was three hours long, but that's like complaining about too many eggs in one's Easter basket. While there wasn't a thematic thread, it was a big night for limbs. Quaking hands were like exclamation points in Memphis, Pointless Pastures, Requiem and Sigue – variously representing frustration, confusion and anger. There were more than a few intentionally sickled feet, suggesting vulnerability. But there were also exquisitely pointed and arched feet punctuating the jaw-dropping extensions of super-human dancers.

There was so much spectacular dancing, it's impossible to pick favorites. Among the strongest lingering images is the memory of five Buglisi/Foreman Dance Company figures – stylistic descendants of Martha Graham – in Jacqulyn Buglisi's Requiem. Poised atop boxes in shafts of gold light that recalled the dusty, morning-after dawn of New York's Ground Zero, they moved mostly in stunningly powerful unison. They raised their arms like a row of mourning Liberties and tested the air below with searching feet.


The Trenton Times

Top-notch dance ‘pardner’ rounded up for youth program
Martha Graham alumnus Donlin Foreman readies for a friendly showdown at this week’s performance with the Trenton Education Dance Institute.
By Anne Levin

Trenton, NJ Sunday, May 18, 2003
Donlin Foreman never knows what kind of role he’ll be playing when he appears on stage with children of the National Dance Institute. But each time founder Jacques d’Amboise calls on him to join the cast, he’s ready.
“I just do what he tells me,” says Foreman, known in dance circles as longtime lead dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company and co-founder, with his wife Jacqulyn Buglisi, of Buglisi/Foreman Dance. “For almost 10 years, I have done many token adult characters with NDI. It’s a lot of fun and I’m always happy to do it.”
Thursday, Foreman will join in when the Trenton branch of NDI, known as TEDI Dance (Trenton Educational Dance Institute), appears in its annual performance at the War Memorial’s Patriots Theater. “We’ve Got Mail,” which stars local students, is a free program that will begin at 7 p.m. (No more tickets were available at press time.)

For Foreman, who is also on the faculty of Barnard College and teaches at the Julliard School, working with NDI is an opportunity to let loose and have fun…

“What I always loved about working with him (d’Amboise, the former New York City Ballet star who founded NDI) is that I could think in cartoon terms, whereas in Martha’s work I was always doing these really heavy archetypes like Oedipus and Jason. So here, my imagination would just fly into the characterish end of it.”

Foreman plans to reprise one of his NDI roles in this week’s performance. When first asked to appear in NDI in a production called “The Shooting of Dan McGrew,” he immediately thought of a big cowboy hat he’d seen.
“I started to work with the makeup,” he recalls. “I wanted big eyebrows and a big, black mustache and a foam-rubber hat. All of a sudden I looked into the mirror and it was Yosemite Sam.”

A native of Salt Lake City, Foreman danced at the University of Utah with Ballet West before coming to New York and joining the Graham Company in 1977. He and Buglisi, who have a teenaged son,
were with the company for 20 years, working closely with the choreographer for 15 of those years. Graham died in 1991.
“The reason for being there was Martha,” he says. “Jackie and I both felt we were apprenticed to a master craftsman. So that inspired us and it keeps us working now when things are rough and tough.”
Notorious for her genius and artistic temperament, Graham was a monumental personality Foreman feels privileged to have known…

After Graham died, Foreman and Buglisi stayed with the company for a few years before leaving to form their own company with fellow Graham alumni Christine Dakin and Terese Capucilli. Buglisi/Foreman Dance has won favorable notices in New York and on tour.

“The starting point, which we got from Martha, is mainly the gravity and physicality,” says Foreman, who choreographs a lot of repertory…

Dancers in the company range from 24 to “fiftyish,” says Foreman, “and all in between. That’s the remarkable thing about it. It’s very unusual in that way, and it creates a full palate for the interpretation of these works.
“We have former Graham dancers, but in the past few years have brought in dancers from other arenas, too, and they are taking over the thrust of the work now. We will always work with these (Graham) people at different times, but the thrust of the company now is really the individuals we’ve trained and worked with.”

These works and the estate of Martha Graham have been the subject of much recent turmoil…
Foreman is happy to be removed from the fray but pleased to see his former company back on its feet.
“I’m really glad for them. But you can’t be involved in a thing like that that is so consuming. I knew all these (Graham) works like the inside of myself. So my job was to move on and find the inside of this work I’m doing now, and that’s not so easy.”

“We’ve Got Mail” is something else altogether, a professionally choreographed performance that gives Trenton school students a chance to take part in a professional production from start to finish. The objective is as much to instill a sense of discipline as to provide an artistic experience.


9 Nov. 2002
The other nights as I watched Ice Theatre of New York at Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers, I recalled how I used to think dancing on ice is swoopy or jazzy to soupy or peppy music with acrobatics thrown in. Ice Theatre of New York kept changing my mind. With ballerina Katherine Healy, who knows the classics deeply, and David Liu, Nijinsky on ice, they are also focused on young choreographers like Jacqulyn Buglisi, who's made the finest new modern dance in the past ten years. Buglisi's given them a contemplation for a man and a woman about belonging to each other that's based on a poem by John Donne. Ice Theatre of New York has one more performance, tonight at 7. Run put on your coat and dash to Sky Rink, Pier 62 at 23rd Street and the Hudson River. And that's the story on THE WORLD OF DANCE. This is Francis Mason.

23 Nov. 2002
The program Purchase Dance Corps put on last weekend at Purchase College was so good I went back to see it again; you could see why important choreographers want to work with these dancers. Nicolo Fonte, a Purchase graduate who’s been working in Europe, gave us a wow of a curtain raiser to Benjamin Britten’s “Simple Symphony.” Fonte knows instinctively how movement can fulfill and extend good music. I hope he sticks around; we need that talent everywhere. Sean Curran’s new ballet “The Saxophone Dances,” a collaboration with American Ballet Theater’s Studio Company, caught the blues and gave us high notes. In between these two new works the Purchase Dance Corps gave us Jacqulyn Buglisi’s “Suspended Women,” a masterpiece about women caught in time, fulfilled and unfulfilled. And that’s the story on The World of Dance. This is Francis Mason.

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October 24, 2002 Vol. 29, No. 43; $1.00

Eloquence without words

Buglisi/Foreman Dance graces Kaatsbaan

Throwing these bodies voice-like through the passions of man and woman, our movements become to the eyes what words are to the ears.

These lines by Donlin Foreman are from the credo of the prestigious Buglisi/Foreman Dance Company, founded in 1994 by Jacqulyn Buglisi and Donlin Foreman. The husband and wife team, who danced together for two decades with Martha Graham, have been presenting their original choreography for seven seasons in New York City, most recently at the Joyce Theater. Described as “theatrical dance,” two superb performances were held this past weekend at Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in Tivoli, over across the Hudson. For those who missed them or want to see more, the company will present a different program at Kaatsbaan on November 2 and 3.

The program I attended included five dance works, four of them choreographed by Foreman and one by Buglisi. Although the two-hour program, which had two intermissions, was longer than usual for dance, I savored every moment of it. My only wish was that I didn’t have to take notes. I didn’t want to tear my eyes away from the stage. I also didn’t want to try and verbalize what was being described so eloquently without words. But that’s my job, and this performance was definitely one of the times I was grateful to have it.

The absolute highlight of the program was Buglisi’s Requiem, a truly gorgeous and memorable work that was premiered in New York City just this year. Exquisite costumes designed by Buglisi and A. Christina Giannini play an integral role in this piece performed by five women to music by Gabriel Faure. The dancers wear flowing satin
gowns with drapery emphasizing their hips and long trains. Each gown is unique, with an emphasis on shades of gold and green. The flowing trains and drapery become capes towards the end and are then discarded in what appears to be a gesture of freedom. Throughout this work, the beauty of the women’s bare backs adds to their statuesque quality. Moving slowly and deliberately on wooden pedestals, their trains hiding the woods, the dancers are imbued with goddess-like stature. There is a definite Baroque painterly quality to this work, orginially inspired by 17th century Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi. After 9/11, Buglisi’s Requiem evolved to reflect this sensitive time.

The first four works on the program were all quite somber and intense. A romantic pas-de-deux, titled From Pent-Up, Aching Rivers, was danced to music by Sergei Rachmaninoff and narrated by Clair Bloom reading Walt Whitman’s poem of the same name. Suite; Arms Around Me was dedicated to friends lost to AIDS and time. Dancers in this three-part suite wore street clothes, heightening the reality and relevance of their movements. Martine van Hamel, who commissioned this work for New Amsterdam Ballet, joined the company in the third part. Prelude, a solo danced to music by Gerald Finzi, was the next to last piece in the program.

The mood turned upbeat at the end as the masterful ensemble strutted its stuff in Mean Ole World. Lisa DeSpain’s jazzy blues score started out slow and sensuous and picked up speed and steam as it went along. This highly entertaining work got downright playful towards the end. The audience cheered its approval during the company’s curtain call. Holding hands, the ten dancers took their bow by spreading their legs and resting their heads on each other’s rear ends.

For locals who prefer not to travel into New York to see professional dance or for weekenders who need a break from the city’s hustle and bustle, Kaatsbaan is a blessing. Simply driving into the beautiful pastoral facility, on 153 rural acres, generates a feeling of serenity. The performance space couldn’t be more ideal – comfortable tiered seating, a dance floor the size of the Metropolitan Opera House stage, and state of the art lighting and sound equipment. Tickets are expensive for the Hudson Valley: $30 for adults, $15 for children. But another performance by Buglisi/Foreman Dance will be well worth the price of admission. Reservations can be made by calling 845-757-5106.++


The Chautauquan Daily

August 3, 2001

Crowd Applauds Diamond's New Production
by Mizzette Fuenzalida


It was an evening of firsts.

…Resident choreographer Mark Diamond's Chautauqua premiere, Ophelia's Lament, received thunderous applause from a standing room only audience. The new choreography presented by Donlin Foreman and Terese Capucilli of A man and a woman sit next to each other… was another outstanding ballet premiere for Chautauqua.

…It was a toss-up between Diamond and Foreman. Both are modern pieces, premieres, and part of larger pieces that will be performed later in the year. It was a joy to be part of ballet history here at Chautauqua.

A man and a woman sit next to each other… was set to the music of George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff and his pupil Thomas Alexandrovitch de Hartmann. Donlin Foreman and Terese Capucilli of the Buglisi/Foreman Dance Company were formidable and graceful in their presentation.

A solo piano carried the entire musical portion, which allowed the dancers to be as expressive as they wanted to be. The most electrifying part was the minor sections when they slowed down to a crawl and kept constant physical contact with each other. The continuous touch and twine technique was superb. It was as if we were watching sculpture in motion as their choreography allowed specific visual spacing.

Outstretched arms against a dark background and spot lighting enhanced our visual connection and we began to become part of the dancers.


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