Dance Builds Its Own Worlds

Stuart Singer and Melissa Toogood in Broken Story (wherein there is no ecstasy. Photo: Cory Weaver

Pam Tanowitz Dance and the FLUX Quartet opens Bard SummerSpace 2105. The featured composer at Bard SummerScape 2015 is Carlos Chavez (1899-1979), and in July and August, the 26th annual Bard Music Festival will devote its performances and symposia to him and his contemporaries. On June 27, Summerscape opened at Bard College in Anandale-on-Hudson with a taste of his music. Choreographer Pam … [Read more...]

Wandering Ballet Forests of Love and Death

Titania (Sarah Lamb) and Oberon (Steven McRae) reconciled. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

England's Royal Ballet performs in New York June 23-28. Felix Mendelssohn wasn’t yet eighteen when he wrote his Overture to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He’d only just read the play that year (1826) in German translation; it must have excited him mightily. He was over thirty when he combined the overture with incidental music to accompany a performance of Shakespeare’s … [Read more...]

Chamber Ballet in a Church

Elena Zahlmann and Jeffrey Kazin in David Parker's Two Timing. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

New York Theatre Ballet presents classics and new works at St. Mark's. A year ago, New York Theatre Ballet was forced out of its longtime home in the Murray Hill neighborhood, and founder-director Diana Byer was distraught (do I need to discuss the insane prices in Manhattan real estate?). The outcome was a happy one; the company has relocated its studio to the second floor space in St. … [Read more...]

Two Dancers and a Radio Host Walk into a Bar. . .

Anna Bass (L) and Monica Bill Barnes giving their all in Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host. Photo: Nancy Palmieri

Ira Glass of "This American Life" collaborates with Monica Bill Barnes & Company. It’s an unlikely combination: Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host. Yet Ira Glass, the creator and voice of public radio’s Radio’s This American Life and Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass of Monica Bill Barnes & Company have been performing this show on and off since 2013. The three turn out to … [Read more...]

Cedar Lake’s Last Stand

Cedar Lake's Matthew Rich in Richard Siegal's My Generation. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in its final season. The news that Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet was folding came in March. The entries on the company’s Facebook page seethe with shock, sorrow, and profound disappointment from those who cherish Cedar Lake’s dancers. And those dancers were rightly cheered at their farewell performances at BAM. What … [Read more...]

The Beautiful Complications of Simplicity

Brian Brooks's Torrent. Foreground: Haylee Nichele and Jeff Sykes. At back (L to R): Daniel Ching and Dean Biosca. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

Brian Brooks Moving Company brings new and old works to the Joyce Theater If I were asked to put choreographer Brian Brooks into a category, I’d have to coin a term: maximinimalist. His works are economical in terms of material and/or structure, but enriched into expressiveness by the ways in which he builds them. Take his 2010 Motor, which made an unexpected appearance on Brian Brooks … [Read more...]

The Sleeping Beauty Wakes Up

Sarah Lane and Herman Cornejo in the wedding pas de deux of The Sleeping Beauty Act III. Photo: Rosalie O'Connor

Alexei Ratmansky brings an 1890 ballet to new life for American Ballet theatre. American Ballet Theatre is no stranger to The Sleeping Beauty. As Ballet Theatre, the new company in town in 1941, the dancers performed Princess Aurora, Anton Dolin’s mash-up of elements from the Prologue and Act III of Marius Petipa’s 1890 masterwork. ABT presented its first full-length version in 1976, its … [Read more...]

Moves at LaMaMa

Jane Comfort's Altiplano
(L to R): Gabrielle Revlock (hidden, Ellen Smith Ahern, Petra van Noort, Darrin Wright, Sean Donovan, Javier Perez, Leslie Cuyjet.
Photo: Lim Jinyoui

Jane Comfort and Company and Jon Kinzel present new works. Jane Comfort is a master teller of tales—not straight linear narratives, but dances that bristle with content—often social and/or political, often involving spoken text. She has always ingeniously layered and juxtaposed elements and viewpoints that might strike anyone else as incompatible and made them ignite one another. Her 1988 … [Read more...]

Against the Wall

(L to R): Melissa Toogood, Marc Mann, and Dylan Crossman in Kimberly Bartosik's 
Marc Mann in Kimberly Bartosik's Ecsteriority 4 (Part 2). Photo: Ryutaro Mishima

Kimberly Bartosik and Dylan Crossman share a program in a confined space. Kimberly Bartosik, Dylan Crossman, and Melissa Toogood all danced in Merce Cunningham’s company—Bartosik for nine years a few decades ago, Crossman and Toogood in the company that was finally disbanded in 2011. What perhaps should not surprise us is the emotional resonance and implications of drama that imbue the … [Read more...]

Piaf Lives!

Christine Andreas and Pascal Rioult in Street Singer. Photo: Paul B. Goode

Pascal Rioult celebrates the centennial of Edith Piaf's birth in a nightclub setting. To get myself in the mood to write about Pascal Rioult’s Street Singer, a work celebrating what would have been Edith Piaf’s hundredth birthday, I dug up a relic from my family’s past: a 10-inch LP from the 1940s, Chansons Parisiennes (it had cost three dollars) and listened to Piaf sing “La Vie en Rose” (by … [Read more...]