ADFJ's been advocating (or agitating) for going to ADF for years and I've been admittedly reluctant. We did go a few years ago (I honestly can't remember the dance company we saw) and I just really didn't enjoy the performance (I could appreciate the physicality of it, but it was sorta like sitting through a 2 hour Phillip Glass symphony - it's realy only fun for about 10 minutes and after that at best you're admiring the math but not much else). But we looked at the schedule and got tickets for Saturday night at Page for the Martha Graham company's performance followed by Lar Lubovich.
The first piece that the Graham troupe did was an excerpt from a 1936 piece that I frankly didn't get, although that might have been from seeing it out of the larger context. But the other two pieces, including her landmark "Lamentations", were quite wonderful!
The eye-opener for me, though, was the performace after the intermission of Lar Lubovich's company - it was much more human and, well, fun! The main word that came to mind afterwards was "exuberant" - apparently I wasn't the only one positively affected by them as they received a standing ovation and a number of curtain calls from what I would assume is a fairly dance-savvy crowd since the ADF has been in Durham for 30 years now. One of the things that I liked about it was the company itself - they looked like people (some short, some tall, some willowy, some muscular). Definitely worth a look!
A word about Page Auditorium - I've only been in the building three times and I've got to say that I'll think hard before I go back. I saw the Psychedelic Furs there many many years ago from the back of the balcony and the sound was horrible. This time we were on the front row of the balcony (where one assumes one will have plenty of legroom) and in fact we had to sit with our legs off to the side. It was uncomfortable enough that I had trouble really getting into parts of the performance. Wouldn't hurt if someone from Duke came over to Chapel Hill and checked out the renovations that were recently done to Memorial Auditorium - I think Page could use a similar upgrade.