Dancing the Breaking Point

Jeremy "Jae" Neal (L) and Matthew Baker in Kyle Abraham's The Gettin'. Photo Yi-Chun Wu

Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion premieres new works at New York Live Arts. You can’t really call Kyle Abraham’s rise to fame meteoric. He has been working persistently and imaginatively for around eight years. Yet few young choreographers have garnered as many awards, residencies, fellowships, and commissions as he has in the last five years. The works that Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion is … [Read more...]

Two by Two by Two

Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild in Liam Scarlett's Funérailles. Photo: Paul Kolnik

Three New Ballets premiere at the New York City Ballet's Gala on September 23, 2014 Fashions change more rapidly than dance styles do, so for the New York City Ballet to structure its Fall gala around the theme of “what’s new?” makes a certain marketing sense. The aura of novelty cloaks all. And the green leaves bedecking the balcony overlooking the Lincoln Center Plaza suggested springtime … [Read more...]

A Cat Can Look at a Queen

Jillian Vanstone as Alice and Guillaume Coté is the Knave of Heats in the opening night cast of Christopher Wheeldon's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

The National Ballet of Canada brings Christopher Wheeldon's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to Lincoln Center. “What did you like best, dear?” Were I a child who’d been taken to see the National Ballet of Canada perform Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland at Lincoln Center, I know what I’d answer: “the Cheshire Cat.” The CC is not just a huge, grinning, tiger-striped … [Read more...]

Caution! Dancers Prowling

Hyerin Lee in Grass and Jackals by Saar Harari and Lee Scher. Photo: Jamie Kraus

LeeSaar The Company brings its latest work to Jacob's Pillow, August 20 through 24 I have to believe that titles matter to Lee Scher and Saar Harari, the artistic directors of LeeSaar The Company. Their latest extraordinary piece of choreography is called Grass and Jackals. So I open my mind to tall grass that bends in the wind, lies flat under a hard rain, and can be a good hiding place. … [Read more...]

Comedy and Tragedy Dance a Duet

Doug Elkins's Hapless Bizarre. (L to R): Deborah Lohse, Aaron Mattocks, Cori Marquis, Mark Gindick, Donnell Oakley, Kyle Marshall. Photo: Jamie Kraus

doug elkins choreography, etc. performs a new work and an old one at Jacob's Pillow. So what if you’re a nerd, and the woman you crave is a lot taller than you? Watch her and her bunch of friends; maybe you can pick up a few things that will make them accept you. Perhaps playing the clown will work? Mark Gindick really is a clown (as well as an actor and a dancer), and the clique that he … [Read more...]

A Playwright and a Composer Meet in a Forest

Drew Paramore as Puck in Dell'Arte Opera Ensemble's The Fairy Queen. Photo: Brian E. Long

Christopher Caines directs and choreographs Purcell's Fairy Queen for the Dell'Arte Opera Ensemble. If I had looked carefully at the program for The Fairy Queen before the Dell’Arte Opera Ensemble’s ambitious conflation of Henry Purcell’s opera and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream had begun, I might have been tempted to make a run for it. Here, for example, are the roles that actor … [Read more...]

A Fountain of Music and Love

The Mark Morris Dance Group in Acis and Galatea. Photo: Ken Friedman

Mark Morris directs and choreographs Handel's Acis and Galatea for Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival. It is beguiling to imagine George Frideric Handel’s pastoral opera Acis and Galatea receiving its first performance at the Duke of Chandos’s mansion on the terrace overlooking the gardens and their newly installed fountain. If the part about the terrace were true, guests at this 1718 … [Read more...]

Enter, Pursued by History

John Heginbotham's Chalk and Soot. 
Foreground: Weaver Rhodes (L) and Lindsey Jones. Visible at back (L to R): Shara Worden, Nicholas Cords, Gabriel Kahane. Photo: Jamie Kraus

John Heginbotham premieres his full-evening Chalk and Soot at Jacob's Pillow. No artist can entirely escape history. Unacknowledged, it trails behind him/her. Occasionally it blows around the artist’s ankles, occasioning thoughts. What was that? Where did I get it? Is it something barely remembered or something better chopped off? John Heginbotham doesn’t deny the influences of his years … [Read more...]

Foot Music

Michelle Dorrance in ETM: The Initial Approach. Behind her: Demi Remick and Caleb Teicher. Photo: Christopher Duggan

Dorrance Dance taps out a world premiere at Jacob's Pillow July 16 through 27. These days, we’re all wired. Or wirelessly connected. Sometimes walking down the street, I play a private game called “What would Mozart think?” Would he, for instance, worry that people walking along the street with things in their ears, talking loudly into the air, were lunatics? On the other hand, would he get … [Read more...]

Footloose and Fancy Free

L to R: Daniel Ulbricht, Tyler Angle, Robert Fairchild in Jerome Robbins's Fancy Free. Photo: Christopher Duggan

New York City Ballet's Daniel Ulbricht brings a cadre of his peers to Jacob's Pillow Touring with a small pick-up company of colleagues drawn from a major ballet company must be akin to masterminding a working vacation with your pals. What will you need in the way of costumes and sets and, since you won’t be able to carry live musicians along, well-made CDs? What will you need to do to … [Read more...]