A Ballerina Moves On

Whelan and Tyler Angle in By Two, With and From, by Christopher Wheeldon and Alexei Ratmansky. Photo: Paul Kolnik

Wendy Whelan retires from the New York City Ballet after thirty fertile years. In 2008, Nikolaj Hübbe was leaving his position as a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet to become the artistic director of the Royal Danish Ballet, where he had gotten his start. At a cocktail reception in his honor thrown at the Danish Consulate, someone asked him which ballerina he would miss … [Read more...]

What is it about Sunshine?

Anthony Bryant and Rachelle Rafailedes in Justin Peck's Murder Ballads. Photo: Julieta Cervantes

The L.A. Dance Project comes to BAM with works by Justin Peck, William Forsythe, and company founder-director Benjamin Millepied. What is it about Los Angeles that attracts artists? Even before the 1940s, many European musicians and writers fleeing the Nazis zipped right through culturally confident New York and joined the émigré filmmakers who settled on the west coast. Maybe it was the … [Read more...]

Quiet Flowering

(L to R): Maggie Thom, Jodi Melnick,and Emmagrace Skove-Eppes in Melnick's Moment Marigold. Photo: Ian Douglas

Jodi Melnick presents a trio, Moment Marigold, at BAM Fisher. When is a theme not a theme? When is a person not a persona? Jodi Melnick raises these questions in a brief program essay about her new Moment Marigold. She also noted that she begins the choreographic process by working in a studio by herself, letting movement ideas emerge. Creating this work, which premiered at BAM Fisher, she … [Read more...]

Cool Breeze from the West

Alejandro Cerrudo's Memory Glow. PNB dancers: Elizabeth Murphy (L), Leah Merchant, and Raphaël Bouchard. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

Pacific Northewest Ballet performs works by Wheeldon, Cerrudo, and Peck in New York. There are forty-three dancers in Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet. Unless I’ve miscounted, only nineteen appeared in the company’s season at the Joyce Theater, and the most people to appear in any of the three ballets shown was a dozen. Artistic director Peter Boal’s choice of works to bring to New York … [Read more...]

Everybody, Fall for Dance!

Laurel Lynch and Billy Smith in Mark Morris's Words. Photo: Ani Collier

The Fall for Dance Festival returns to New York's City Center Theater, October 8-19. It’s time to Fall for Dance again. The so-named City Center Festival now in its eleventh year continues its admirable message to expose New Yorkers and visitors to a wide range of dance companies via adroitly mixed bills. For $15 a ticket, spectators can explore territory that’s new to them. You’re a fan … [Read more...]

Choreographers Get Their Feet Wet

Paul Matteson and Sara Hook in their Bored House Guests. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

The Soaking Wet Festival at New York's West End Theater, October 2-5. Bored house guests. What does that mean to you? Unearthing the jigsaw puzzle because it’s raining and you can’t take them to the beach? The duet Bored House Guests, dreamed up and performed by Sara Hook and Paul Matteson as part of the Soaking Wet Festival, blasts open any of the usual images. Is the “house” in fact a … [Read more...]

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...]