See what the critics say...
In Sternberg’s Adaption one clearly sees how one virus or germ can affect or influence the rest of the body. Dancers are spaced equally across the stage until one “molecule” is disturbed and interacts with or alters the response of another until the entire system is in motion. Laura Ann Smyth and Christian Fajardo stand out in this very sophisticated work. It is some of the best choreography that I have seen by Sternberg and it is a dance that should remain in her repertoire. The other cast members included Camille Kappelman, Jun Lee, Alvaro Nunez and Yu Sugisaka, all very strong performers. The music was by Hilary Hahn and Hauschka. Costumes by Diana MacNeil.
“Celtic Raag is a lovely and very tactile duet choreographed by Donna Sternberg, Artistic Director of Donna Sternberg & Dancers. Performed with great affection and attention by Christian Fajardo and Jun Lee, this work stands out like a small gem. It is beautifully choreographed, rehearsed and performed to the wonderful music by violinist/composer Colm O’Riani and Poetry by Sri Lanka born Pireeni Sundaralingam. The vibrant colored costumes are by Diana MacNeil.”
“OK ladies, now let’s get in formation! This brilliant, moving, joyful interdisciplinary collaboration between Doni Silver Simons and Donna Sternberg & Dancers 49 Days: Women Who Count was a perfect success, whether as a visual artist you see your process come to life as a kind of secular prayer circle, or as a dancer you recognize a performance painter’s practice as another articulation of your own vision. Remarkable to be thinking about the spirit, the psyche, the body as working in synchronicity in memory and in society. The room was literally humming. Brava to all involved! So glad I was lucky enough to experience it in person. Thank you.”
“I got to see One Song, Many Dances by Donna Sternberg & Dancers – a brilliant idea, and brilliantly executed. Sternberg commissioned composer Yuval Ron to create a song, and then offered it to four other dance companies as well as her own to create an evening of international texture. The music itself was filled with multicultural sounds, using instruments from all over the world…The artists took on the cultural flavors of belly dance, traditional African, a blend of Spanish and Mexican, and an Indian temple-style of dance. To see the wide variety of expressions all set to the same piece of music opened the concept of interpretation into a long hall of mirrors. The Donna Sternberg company offered the most energetic and powerfully passionate presentation of the theme. The bodies falling to the stage, the lifts, the rhythms: they were inspirational.”
“Donna Sternberg is a dancer’s choreographer. She revels in movement – in exploring all facets of how the human body moves through the various planes, in how it goes from a balletic back attitude to a breakdance move with major attitude. She plays with pacing, in having her dancers swirl onto the floor and then stand with a stillness that holds the audience in a collective gasp. Like choreographer Donald Byrd, who worked with Twyla Tharp among others and in whose company Sternberg danced, her movement is a study of all movement that came before it bundled into an un-self-conscious style that is uniquely her own. Also like Byrd, she’s not content just to study and explore movement. In her dances, Sternberg also explores deeper meanings – big life questions that dance (pun intended) the fine line between the earthly and the divine.”
“Donna Sternberg & Dancers…showcased a company of five dancers…their presentation was excellent! With innovative lifts, floor combinations and unique concepts … this company is worth your attention. The finale section went ‘topless’ with the girl’s backs towards the audience for the entire selection. I was captivated by the possibilities from beginning to end. This was a brand new twist of erotica suspense for me…from conception to completion – and this is a bold new creation of beautiful dance choreography.”
“Donna Sternberg has a talent for recognizing the essence of the complexities of life, defining the core of those complexities and putting it into movement.”
“Sternberg’s five dancers are incredible technicians – bullishly strong with sharp, clean lines; but it was their dramatic presence – all five separately and as a cohesive unit – that made them the stellar performers I saw before me. The evening ended with “The Back of Beauty”, a tour de force featuring all four female dancers, four chairs and colored skirts. The dancers were topless; but with their backs to us as they tangoed with their chairs, it became clear that the most intimate body part was the one undulating and writhing before us (Amanda Adams’ tattoos – not to mention back – didn’t hurt). To Lisbeth Scott and Greg Ellis’ pulsating beat, the dancers acted as temptresses, waving this languid body part in front of us like flags and we bulls in a corrida. The piece provided the perfect climax to this electrifying evening, solidifying Donna Sternberg’s talent as a maker of dances as technically stunning as they are dramatically resonant.”
“In the trees, over benches, facing the sun, on the grass – just a few of the places that Donna Sternberg’s dancers recently could be found dancing at the Palisades Park in Santa Monica. The use of the grounds themselves was highly enjoyable. The dancers moved to five different sections of the park, making the use of existing flora, benches, sculptures and open grass. Moving in and out of the natural surroundings in an outdoor setting made it easy to identify with the botanical themes. Perhaps the most interesting part was watching the faces of random pedestrians passing by while on an afternoon stroll or run. Amusement, surprise and even fascination could be seen. What a great way to connect the public with dance performances. Overall, an engaging piece and one that showcases Donna Sternberg’s strengths in site-based work and scientific themes as inspiration.”