Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 14th 2015 Contents B54
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt June 14, 2015
pher/teacher Paul Dennis is return-
ing to T&T to perform in another
fundraising concert for his nephew
and fellow dancer, Juan-Pablo Abla
Dennis, who is studying at the Ailey
School in New York.
Generations II will take place at
the Little Carib Theatre on Saturday.
In the first Generations last year,
Paul and Juan-Pablo performed on
the same stage for the first time,
each man doing solos. This year they
will duet together for the first time.
"It's not often that family get to
perform on the same stage, different
generations like this," said Paul, 49,
an assistance professor at the Uni-
versity of Massachusetts Amherst
who had appeared on Teen Talent
in the early 80s before going on to
study at the Julliard School.
"I think the closest that it comes
to is like Venus and Serena Williams,"
said Paul, "sisters playing lawn tennis
on the world stage together, and
there's that type of excitement of
kinship, relationship and family shar-
ing the same event.
"With my nephew and I it is sim-
ilar to that except he's a whole gen-
eration younger than I am," he said.
"It's kinda cool, you know. It's a rar-
The two men will perform Dois
Irmaos, a duet by the late Connecti-
cut-based dancer/choreographer Rob
Kowalski . It will be the first time
the full duet is going to be performed
since Paul did the piece with Kowal-
ski's collaborator Ted Hershey in
1994, four years after Kowalski's
A review in the Hartford Courant
said at the time: "The choreography
explored and exposed male physi-
cality with symmetrical movements
of great beauty. Their partnering was
a study of opposing attitudes rec-
onciled through combative tender-
ness." Hershey died in 1998.
"It's a challenging duet," said Paul,
explaining why he chose it. "It has
a fair amount of lifts and partnering
that isn't easy. So I liked the challenge
of just the physicality of the duet."
"Dois Irmaos" means "two broth-
ers" in Portuguese.
"So the duet itself has a tenderness
and a familiarity in its choreography
that I really admire," said Paul. "To
be doing it with my nephew encom-
passes all of these things in a rela-
tionship that one could have with a
family member: intimacy and ten-
derness, familiarity and rigor. So I
thought it would be an appropriate
duet for us to do."
for his part, calls the piece "a great
manifestation of the relationships
of brothers, uncles, cousins etc."
"Being able to dance with my
uncle for the first time in Trinidad
in a duet is wonderful," he said. "I
feel really blessed to have him as an
example to follow and to be able to
learn from him during the process.
It's really something else."
Paul said he learns from his
nephew as well.
"Our dancing styles are very dif-
ferent," he said. "Although we both
have ballet in our training, his train-
ing right now is more along the Hor-
ton-Graham style of dancing, which
is very angular and shape-based,
whereas mine is the Limón style of
dancing, which is very curving and
rounded and spatially based.
"As I look at him I find that there
are areas of his technique that I could
incorporate, that I could think about,
that I could refine in my own tech-
nique," Paul said.
"He is also a much faster learner
than I am," he added. "His mind is
very, very fast. So he would learn
things much quicker than I tend to.
Not to mention, I'm twice his age.
So it challenges me to work even
harder, literally so I could keep up
As to whether there will be a Gen-
erations III, Paul said: "As long as
every year in the vein of supporting
my nephew for his education. He
has two more years [at Ailey School]
so I could at the very least see anoth-
er two years doing it as a benefit
In addition to the duet, Paul will
perform solo excerpts from Mazurkas
by José Limón; Negro Speaks of
Rivers by Trinidadian-American Pearl
Primus; and Spanish Dance by Daniel
Nagrin, which he also did last year
and which he said was "very suc-
Juan-Pablo will do two solo pieces:
one he choreographed himself which
he used to audition for entry into
the Ailey School and one he calls
"just a bit of tap fun to change the
Little Carib Theatre: 622-4644
US-based dancer Paul Dennis.
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