Morris, the Night, and the Music

Fox attacks Cock, all react. Photo: Stephanie Berger

When it comes to selecting music to spark choreography, Mark Morris is an omnivore. He gives loving, uncondescending attention to popular songs like George Gershwin’s “Someone to Watch Over Me,” Jerome Kern’s “Two Little Bluebirds, or (once) Yoko Ono’s “Dogtown,” as well as digging into scores by Bach, Stravinsky, Schumann and other musical giants. To Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, … [Read more...]

Forty Years of Magical Thinking

Building a Bower: Les Yeux et l'âme. Photo: Deen van Meer

Labels like “ordinary” and “everyday” have often been pasted onto Trisha Brown’s movement, especially when someone is alluding to her early work as a member of the iconoclastic Judson Dance Theater. But when has anything she’s ever made been ordinary? Walking may be ordinary, but getting a dancer (to whom she was married at the time) to walk down the side of a very tall building is not your usual … [Read more...]

Being Together

Jodi Melnick and David Neumann in "July." Photo: Cherylynn Tsushima

  When is a shadow not a shadow?  That’s one of the mysteries of Jodi Melnick’s solo Fanfare(2009). Wearing a little black dress, her red hair fiery in Joe Levasseur’s lighting, Melnick inhabits a world within the Doris Duke Studio Theater at Jacob’s Pillow that’s otherwise all black and white, darkness and gleaming silver. Burt Barr’s set design consists of two double fans set on … [Read more...]

What Shape Are You In?

Jonah Bokaer in his "Recess,"  Photo: Cherylynn Tsushima

Is Jonah Bokaer 30 yet? During the silent beginning of his solo Recess, a woman in the audience of Jacob’s Pillow’s Doris Duke Studio Theater whispered to her companion “he’s so young!” He may look like a tall, self-possessed boy, but he has accomplished as much or more than many 40-year-old performer-choreographers. He spent eight years dancing in Merce Cunningham’s company; picked up a degree in … [Read more...]

To Hell and Back

Herakles (Pete Simpson rescuing Alkestis (Tymberly Canale), Photo: Christopher Duggan

To be and not to be.  That is a different question. It hovers above Big Dance Theater’s The Supernatural Wife, Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar’s absorbing re-envisioning of the myth behind Euripedes’ Alkestis. Already seen in Europe and appearing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’ Next Wave Festival in November, the work’s U.S. premiere took place in Jacob’s Pillow’s Doris Duke Studio Theater from … [Read more...]

Korean Dancing: Ancient and Very New

Jinyuk Ryu (L.) and Insoo Lee in Lee’s Modern Feelings Photo: Christopher Duggan

Fifteen years ago, I decided that the Korean salpuri was one of the world’s great dances. For some time, smitten by a performance in an early black and white film, I had corralled graduate students from Korea to perform a salpurifor the dance history class I taught. They managed it with varying degrees of skill and spirituality. Then, in 1996, in Seoul, I saw a version of this solo (which derives … [Read more...]