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The Stamping Ground (Excerpt) – Tina Croll

September 28, 2009

One arm extends from the back left wing of the stage. A woman in a black dress slowly walks out and is holding the hand of another arm extending from within the wing. One at a time, person after person emerges all holding hands. The stage begins to fill with 16 bodies wearing black and circling under a cool white light.

Credit: Hiroyuki Ito for the New York Times

Credit: Hiroyuki Ito for the New York Times

The piece continues and not a single dancer leaves the stage. They walk together, run together, follow each other and separate and although they move quickly, forced into a small space, their feet are always on the same step and they are completely aware of the other dancers around them. In a line, they walk forward and backward at different paces and distances creating an image of individual cogs moving within a larger system.  But the image is not that of a machine. As the dancers move they are looking at each other, they are smiling and enjoying themselves. As they swirl around in their own space, arms opening and closing, it is clear that they are enjoying each other’s company. In the program, Tina Croll notes that it is subtitled with the Sanskrit saying ‘Sanghe Shakti Kalau Yuge’ which is to mean ‘In this dark age strength is in unity.’ She goes on to include that ‘the piece shows [her] vision of the power in gathering people together to help and support one another in this difficult time.’ It was definitely a coming together of people and the spaces they created were very interesting to watch.

This dance was also performed at the FringeNYC 2009. You can find another perspective (for the Aug. 16th performance) by Gia Kourlas here in the New York Times.

How did you feel about the number of people on the stage?

Did you feel the ‘coming together’ and ‘support’ that Tina was trying to portray?

What other dances have you seen with 16+ people in them? Was this one similar or not?

Have you ever danced in close proximity to a large number of people at a club? Did you enjoy it?

Find out what Tina is up to at her website,, and her project, From the Horse’s Mouth,

American Dance Guild Performance Festival
September 12th, 2009 (Evening Performance)
Manhattan Movement & Arts Center
New York City, New York

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