'Prophets of Funk' Takes the Audience Higher with Rhythm

By Carter, Alice T | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 2, 2011 | Go to article overview

'Prophets of Funk' Takes the Audience Higher with Rhythm


Carter, Alice T, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


David Dorfman Dance brought the sounds, the moves and the funk of the '70s to the Byham Theater on Saturday.

A presentation of Pittsburgh Dance Council, Dorfman's latest work, "Prophets of Funk," uses the music of Sly and the Family Stone to celebrate that group's sounds and populist social philosophy.

The pre-curtain announcements advised audience members to stow their 8-tracks beneath their seats and exhorted them: "Don't sit back. Don't relax. Please enjoy."

And enjoy they did.

A mixed audience of people old enough to have experienced the music group first-hand, as well as a large vocal contingent of student from CAPA and Point Park University, responded with cheers and applause.

Conceived and directed by Dorfman, with choreography and text that created by company collaboration, the one-hour evening was an upbeat, energetic exhibition of athleticism and humor.

The performance moved almost seamlessly through a series of Family Stone songs, including "Higher," "If You Want Me To Stay" and "Let Me Hear It From You." This one-hour performance was a showcase of spirited, acrobatic moves -- arms swaying overhead, high kicks and big turns and leaps and abundant humor.

Dorfman opens the show, appearing as the hapless, uncoordinated, rhythm-challenged guy whose attempts at cool funk become a visual running joke.

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