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.
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…
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.
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.