A scene from Jody Oberfelderís Dido & Aeneas

Photo: Jillian Patterson

Jody Oberfelder Dance Projects,
Orchestra of St. Lukeís, and the
LaGuardia HS Senior Chorus
Present Dido and Aeneas

LaGuardia Performing Arts High School
New York City
March 19, 2008

A Review

Jody Oberfelder takes big risks. She took on an enormous one on March 19, collaborating with Orchestra of St. Lukeís and the LaGuardia HS Senior Chorus on a production of Henry Purcellís opera Dido and Aeneas. Oberfelder substituted her own scenario for the Roman poet Virgilís original and Purcellís edit, situating the ill-fated lovers in todayís celebrity culture. Instead of ending the drama with Didoís death (Virgil) or downfall (Purcell), Oberfelderís Dido lives on to discover her own heroic nature.

While orchestra and vocal soloists were dressed in formal concert black, members of Jody Oberfelder Dance Projects held center stage in contemporary street/sport pastels. Their vocabulary was athletic, infused with contact improv and capoeira moves. Papparazzi appeared occasionally to remind us of celebrity culture, but characterizations of Dido and Aeneas were indistinct. If Jody Oberfelder Dance Projects didnít quite stand up to the sublime orchestral and vocal music, the dance reached high. That is why we love Oberfelder.

—Claudia Gitelman, March 22, 2008

See also New York Times review