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"Ascension" Photo Credit Tom Caravaglia "Ascension" Photo Credit Tom Caravaglia

Dancers As Action Heroes

When audiences enter the Park Avenue Armory for STREB: Kiss The Air, they will see a stadium of hardware and obstacles, complete with a pool, zip lines, a rotating 20-foot ladder, and a scaffold tower with three diving platforms. This is the STREB Extreme Action Company’s playground, where dancers fall, crawl, climb, and fly.

New York City Ballet, "Polyphonia" / Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon / Photo: © Paul Kolnik New York City Ballet / photo © Paul Kolnik

REVIEW: Fall for Dance Festival at New York City Center, Program 5

The last curtain of the 2011 Fall For Dance Festival opened on four live musicians and a three platform stage suggesting only one thing: tap. Leading Zoe Ellliot and Kyle Wilder in an upbeat, non-stop sound fest, Maurice Chestnut showcases his exuberance for the form. Immediately it is evident that Chestnut’s tapping is not meant to be secondary, but rather fully integrated into the band as another musician. It is so successful in this instance that I wonder why every band is not considering hiring a tapper to stand beside the drummer. The mood of “Floating” is very much like a casual jam session amongst good friends…

Royal Ballet Flanders, "The Return of Ulysses" / Choreographer: Christian Spuck / Photo: © Johan Persson Royal Ballet Flanders, "The Return of Ulysses" / Choreographer: Christian Spuck / Photo: © Johan Persson

REVIEW: Fall for Dance Festival at New York City Center, Program 4

International perspective keeps us healthy. Last night, in Program 4 of Fall For Dance at New York City Center, all four companies travelled from abroad to perform. The color, energy, and philosophies they brought along with them imbued the Festival with a new flair. If you wanted something different, this was the night to come.

Chunky Move in "Connected" / Photo © Jeff Busby Chunky Move in "Connected" / Photo © Jeff Busby

REVIEW: Chunky Move at The Joyce Theater

Chunky Move’s “Connected,” which opened this evening at the Joyce Theater, is technically about five security guards and a stolen work of art.

But wait, it takes a second to get there.

What we see when we enter the Joyce house is an industrial and yet finely structured sculpture by kinetic sculpture artist Reuben Margolin. Margolin’s creation fills the stage. Its foundation is a wheel, mounted to a metal base, connected to hundreds of fine translucent strings that are threaded through a grid near to the ceiling and finally cascade making a perfect square of lines in the upstage right corner. It is immediately intriguing, even without Chunky’s movers.

The Australian Ballet, 'Gemini' The Australian Ballet, "Gemini" / Choreographer: Glen Tetley / Photo: Lynette Wills & Robert Curran, ©Branco Gaica

REVIEW: Fall for Dance Festival at New York City Center: Program 3

When the Australian Ballet first took the stage in banana yellow unitards, I was thrown off by the choice. However, when Gemini is put in the context of 1973, the year Glen Tetley first created it for the company, it starts to make a whole lot more sense. The piece is a mix of classical and contemporary ballet movement, set to the highly dramatic Symphony No.3 from Hans Werner Henze. There is no question of the athleticism of the two men and two women on stage. They move with force and confidence, flaunting stamina and flexibility. The choreography hovers between intimately human at times and distant and inanimate in the next second. There are many disconnected thoughts; I feel as if in a conversation full of non sequiters.

"Mana" by Vertigo Dance Company | Photo Gadi Dagon "Mana" by Vertigo Dance Company | Photo Gadi Dagon

REVIEW: Fall for Dance Festival at New York City Center, Program 2

Tonight, despite New York’s first snowstorm of the season, die-hard dance fans put on their big coats and poured into New York City Center for the 2nd program of the Fall For Dance Festival.

The curtain opened on Vertigo Dance Company, with a single spotlight on one man in a voluminous, multi-layered grey costume. His body dives and swift, flinging arms are stark against a big white house-shaped backdrop. Before long, he is joined by one, and then a whole village of movers like him. Mana feels ritualistic. The dancers are donned in embellished pedestrian clothing with layer upon layer of fabric; the women wear bright head scarves. As they flock; they share a history and a language.

Screen Shot "i don't believe in outer space" BAM Website "i don't believe in outer space" by William Forsythe, Screen Shot BAM.org

REVIEW: William Forsythe’s “i don’t believe in outer space” at BAM

All the way home from Lafayette Avenue at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House to Washington Heights I have been processing Forsythe. I am swimming in his images, in the sounds of his performers’ voices, in their wild presence, and in the bucket of feelings delivered this evening by “i don’t believe in outer space.”

Steampunk haunted house Steampunk Haunted House

The Elegant Terror of Steampunk

Plenty of haunted houses have blood and guts and monsters, but only one lets nightmares mingle with dance.

Presented by the dance troupe Third Rail Projects, Steampunk Haunted House first appeared in 2009, and this year, it plunges audiences into a dark world inspired by Lewis Carroll and his Alice stories.

Presented by the dance troupe Third Rail Projects, Steampunk Haunted House first appeared in 2009, and this year, it plunges audiences into a dark world inspired by Lewis Carroll and his Alice stories.

Lil Buck, "The Swan" Lil Buck, "The Swan" / Choreographer: Lil Buck / Photo © Erinn Baiano

REVIEW: Fall For Dance Festival at New York City Center: Program 1

It is easy to get cynical about your art when you are in contact with it each day. But tonight at New York City Center’s Fall For Dance Festival, I fell back in love with dance. But it was not just the obvious mushy feelings toward the art coming from the overtly enthusiastic FFD crowd; these were four solid voices, four entertaining works.

Thumbnail Drew Jacoby for Fall for Dance

An Inside Look at Fall for Dance 2011 at NY City Center

This year, tickets to the 8th annual Fall For Dance Festival at the newly renovated New York City Center sold out in four hours. Audiences are ready to see dance. Whether they are avid arts-goers or first-timers to the theater, this week houses will fill as lucky ticket holders are presented with five diverse programs of companies from around the globe. To prepare for the Fall for Dance Festival (and our extensive coverage of it here at DancePulp) I interviewed Executive Director and CEO of City Center, Arlene Shuler and Stanford Makishi, Artistic Advisor for Fall For Dance this year.