Flight of Icarus Choreography: Alexander Westerman

I choreographed this dance work in 1989 as a protest piece to directly confront and stir-up a typical “dance is/should be pretty” audience. “Flight of Icarus” was created in direct response to the United States Senate defunding of The National Endowment for the Arts in 1990. Sadly it’s 28 years later and the NEA is yet again under attack.

The budget outline submitted by president trump on March 16, 2017, to Congress would eliminate all funding for the NEA.

REVIEW (Tammy Lynch, The Ithacan February 14th, 1991)
If the success of a socially conscious Dance Unlimited’ explores unconventional elements of dance work is its ability to make the audience think, dance composition student Alexander Westerman’s “Flight of Icarus” triumphs.

“Icarus” based on Greek mythology, examines an artist’s search for truth and freedom of expression. In the myth, Icarus and his father are held captive in Greece. They build wings of feathers and wax to soar to freedom , but when Icarus flies too close to the sun, his wings melt and he plummets to his death. Like Icarus, Westerman’s artist searches for freedom, only to be crushed at the height of his understanding by ignorance and hate. The piece is, overall, haunting and effective. It is, at times, difficult to watch, yet impossible to turn away. “Flight of Icarus” demonstrates the ability and power of dance to inform, teach and entertain.

Choreography: Alexander Westerman
Composer: Joshua Winget
Filmed live: Ithaca College December 7th, 1989


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