Nimbus Dance has returned to The Putney School for a 10th season, and will perform a major new work: Raucous Caucus Tango on Friday.
Set to premiere next month at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Raucous Caucus Tango mashes up political theater, exquisite choreography, passionate Tango music, and bawdy slapstick storytelling. Illustrated by way of a fictional, imagined election, the result is equal parts comedy, tragedy, eulogy, and cry out for democracy in these troubled times.
Leading up to the performance, throughout the week nine dancers from Nimbus Dance have been working with Putney students, teaching master classes and providing valuable insight on the inner workings of a professional dance company and what’s required to become a professional dancer.
This year marks Nimbus Dance’s 10-year anniversary of its partnership with The Putney School. The company has previewed many of their most acclaimed dances at Calder Hall, and collaborates closely with Director of Dance Jessica Batten.
“The Dance Program at the Putney School is excited to continue our long relationship with Nimbus Dance who have brought their incredible, diverse group of artists to our school to perform, teach and choreograph on our students and incubate new work,” Batten said. “I was first exposed to the Putney School when I came here as a company artist with Nimbus, so it is a full circle for me to support their important creative work and keep this fruitful partnership alive over the years. We are eager to present Nimbus’ new work Raucous Caucus Tango with The Putney community this Friday!”
Nimbus Dance professionals work with Putney students during their week-long residency.
The dance is Nimbus Artistic Director, Samuel Pott’s, latest choreographic creation, forged with a notable team of artistic collaborators including 2-time GRAMMY award-winning composer Pedro Giraudo, playwright and New Jersey arts leader Alysia Souder, and Jersey City Poet Laureate-Emeritus and author, Rashad Wright.
Pott also has ties to the Putney community. His mother Jay Goodwin Pott graduated with the Class of ‘62 and his cousin John Byrne Cook with the Class of ‘58.
“How do we share thoughts, ideas and reflections on the recent political situation in this country without taking a turn to more bitterness, siloed criticism, and divisiveness?” Pott questioned recently. “The team involved with Raucous Caucus Tango really questioned what we, especially as artists, could add to the public discourse. At points the whole endeavor seemed pointless — were we trapped like so many others in our own world view?”
The work stands as a powerful satire of our electoral processes that subversively zings political parties (of all stripes), interest groups, and the wrenching and often tragic conflict of hope and idealism versus pragmatism and realpolitik.