For a year and a half, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet has performed almost everywhere but New York City. But from May 15-27 they are back at the Joyce Theater with two programs. They’ll feature six pieces by six different choreographers, five NYC premieres, and one world premiere. Ana-Maria Lucaciu, one…
Ballet has always held itself in a different genre, treasuring technique and choreographic innovation within that aesthetically clean framework. Prestigious visionaries like George Balanchine and Jiří Kylián found their own unique ways of transforming the classical to the contemporary, historically breaking new ground and allowing a next generation of creativity to progress and discover new ways to enrapture audiences. One of the national dance companies of the Netherlands, Introdans was met with high expectations for their US debut at the Joyce Theater. Ballet desperately needs new flag-bearers. The result this week was disappointing in its transparency.
Roel Voorintholt, artistic director of Introdans, opened with Heavenly, featuring divinity-themed revivals from three different choreographers. The first work, Fünf Gedichte (five poems), was choreographed by Nils Christe and premiered in 1996.
It was 1983 when Igal Perry first opened the Peridance Capezio Center and began a ballet company, the Peridance Ensemble. Since it’s formation, Perry’s ensemble has performed 50 works around the world and has seen very active seasons and some less rigorous. This coming weekend, 29 years later, the company…
First Position is a documentary tracking young ballet dancers in competition for the the annual Youth America Grand Prix. Outsiders of the dance world often marvel at the discipline, commitment and sheer tenacity of those trying to be professionals in the business. Dancers however, never think twice about what it…
Ballet Hispanico holds a great luxury in their diverse and vibrant company members. Known for a colorful blending of classical and contemporary vocabularies with the grounded and passionate traditions of Latin dance, the company moves to further stretch boundaries with the works presented in their current season. The key to success for the evolving company lies in presenting their dancers as the athletic movers they are without losing the subtlety that draws audiences in. This balance was achieved to various degrees in program A of their current Joyce season.
In 2008, American Ballet Theater star, Ángel Corella , stepped beyond the role of dancer and added Artistic Director to his resume. Now four years later, Barcelona Ballet (formerly Corella Ballet) will gain Corella’s full-time devotion when he retires from his principal role at ABT at the end of this season.
In its second visit to New York City Center, the newly renamed company looked to merge the worlds of classical ballet and traditional Spanish dance in the world premiere of Pálpito (Spanish for “hunch”). A lengthy program note tells us of “a main character who is trying to free himself from the strings that have bound him to his former role of a dancer,” naturally played by Corella who will say goodbye to American Ballet Theatre this June. But before the ballet begins, I can’t help but to worry how the dramatically written synopsis will unfurl onstage.
In the world of film, slow motion is a no-brainer for building tension. Where slowing footage with a mouse click is simple, real people performing slow motion rarely reads as realistic and is difficult to sustain. These considerations do not strike fear but rather interest for choreographers Jiří Kylián and Michael…
Sylvie Guillem presents something of a conundrum for dance criticism. Typically, it’s possible to separate the dancer from the dance — to distinguish the merits of the choreography itself, from how the dancer executes it and brings it to life.
The 47-year-old Guillem has performed so many roles and styles over her long career that this would seem to be an easy task. And yet, watching her inhabit tailor-made works in “6000 Miles Away,” it was hard to imagine anyone else performing them — for she is one of those rare artists whose instrument alone expands the boundaries of what dance can express.
In the program recently staged by The Joyce at Lincoln Center, Sylvie’s instrument was in the hands of William Forsythe and Mats Ek, from whom the ballerina commissioned two original works to flank an excerpt from Jiří Kylián’s explosive “27’52”.”
For both Forsythe and Ek, classical ballet provides as much a foundation as a subject for artistic commentary. That is about where the similarities between the two choreographers end, however. Whereas Forsythe’s steely “Rearray” puts Guillem’s exceptional technique under a microscope, Ek gives it a back seat in “Bye” — a work that, best it can, portrays Sylvie as a normal human being.
A projected wall of leaves ripples in the wind on stage and I can already sense the visual mastery at work in zoe | juniper’s New York Premiere of A Crack in Everything at New York Live Arts. The house lights dim and we are welcomed to a peculiar new realm, where dancers in patches of gold perform behind a giant glass wall on the front of the stage. Zoe Scofield’s powerful movement vocabulary owns the stage behind the protective layer in front of us. It’s an interesting new angle to see the fourth wall constructed physically. As the show continues, it becomes increasingly clear that the audience’s perspective will remain in constant flux and rarely visit the comfort zone.
Many loyal dance-goers often focus their attention on performances within Manhattan and Brooklyn. But Montclair State University’s unique series Peak Performances gives us more than one reason to consider a short bus or train ride to Jersey.
This past weekend, I traveled to the Alexander Kasser Theater to see the US Premiere of Gardenia, a collaboration between Alain Platel, the artistic director of Les Ballets C de la B, theater director Frank van Laecke–both influenced by renowned Belgian playwright Vanessa Van Durme. Gardenia is more abstract theater piece than dance. But a close look reveals that movement is certainly at the core of this tale of transgender performers and their closing cabaret club. Platel’s trained eye for space, gesture and physicality brings a richness to a story that would be quite difficult to convey only in dialogue.