Dancers perform as Adam and Eve. Photo by Brenda Abdelmesih

Adam Danced

The legend of Adam's Dance was performed by the Creative Outlet Dance Theater of Brooklyn at the 2015 New York Encounter. Music was composed by Jonathan Fields and dance was choreographed by Jamel Gaines.
Emily Ronan

Saturday night was the premier of an original composition and ballet produced for the New York Encounter. The composer, Jonathan Fields, took the stage to introduce his work, but instead of simply presenting the title of the piece and beginning right away, he started by explaining the story that led up to the completion of his work: the legend of Adam’s dance, his inspiration from his daughter, and his collaboration with the choreographer, dancers, and musicians.

He told us how the character of Adam had wounded himself through his great sin against God, and how it only brought him “deeper into his grave” as time went on. When, thousands of years later, Jesus’ blood seeped into the ground and touched Adam’s grave, he was able to feel his deep humility, which made him dance for joy.

Jonathan Fields. Photo by Brenda Abdelmesih

When the music began Adam, not having disobeyed God yet, entered in an innocent white costume. The slow beginning along with the reaching of the dancer gave one the feeling of new life, and curiosity. Eve and Adam performed a playful pas-de-deux, while the bells symbolizing humanity (as was mentioned in the program) played jollily behind the music.

The partnering soon warped into a seductive dance, portraying the strong feelings in the temptations of Eve and Adam. Eve becomes ashamed of herself for his and her sin, and runs way from Adam. This was followed by a heart-wrenching section of music that very accurately gave the sensation of shame, regret, and longing for forgiveness.

When the music picked up again, the dancers entered in, surprisingly, costumed in tank tops and jeans. They each did their own improvisation, expressing their own type of style within the realm of modern dance: a little hip hop, some cool turns and cartwheels, and a balletic finesse.

Dancers from the Creative Outlet Dance Theater of Brooklyn. Photo by Brenda Abdelmesih

As another section of an instrumental began it was followed by the dancers reentering the stage dressed in black, almost provocative, dresses and shirts. Through its jazzy music and, once again, seductive dancing, this we saw the drama of temptation and the confusion of being lost in your own sin. The palpable tension during Adam’s solo (as if his sin had truly held him back) was punctuated by sudden bursts of total control that seemed to convey Adam’s desire for happiness.

When the dancers reentered, clad once again in their white gowns from the beginning, the musicians picked up speed. The joy of their dance and music was not only spread to Adam, but to the whole audience. Jonathan himself looked like a dancer with his exaggerated and precise movements that not only created, but also flowed perfectly with the intensifying music.

Dancers from the Creative Outlet Dance Theater of Brooklyn. Photo by Brenda Abdelmesih

As the dancers gave it their all for the final section, a forgiven Adam re-entered the stage and, despite his sin, was accepted by the others in the dance. The entire work culminated in a fast-paced, heart-racing, and joyous dance with everyone sharing in the same movements, expressing the powerful witness of a community that, undoubtedly, gave birth to the beauty of this spectacular show.