Wandering Down Memory Lane

Esther Balfe in I don't believe in outer space. Photo: Julieta Cervantes

William Forsythe is an innovator. I doubt that fact is even up for debate among those who adore his work, those who loathe it, and those who simply scratch their heads over it. His post post-Balanchine ballets, his installations, his recent theater pieces, and his 2004 computer app, Improvisation Technologies: A Tool for the Analytical Dance Eye, have influenced choreographers, performers, … [Read more...]

Bloodless Bacchanale

Frances Chiaverini in Luca Veggetti's Bacchae (outdoor shot). Photo: Kyle Froman

How does a choreographer tell a story in dance without telling a story? This question hangs over Luca Veggetti’s take on Euripides’ The Bacchae for Morphoses. The company co-founded by Christopher Wheeldon and Lourdes Lopez has, since Wheeldon’s departure, reconfigured itself as a pick-up ensemble whose profile changes yearly with a new resident artistic director and new dancers. Veggetti’s … [Read more...]

Two Companies: East from Houston, North from D.C.

Houston Ballet (Melissa Hough, front) in Jorma Elo's One/end/One. Photo: Amitava Sarkar

In successive October weeks, two ballet companies with very dissimilar identities and agendas appeared at the Joyce Theater. The Houston Ballet is composed of over 50 dancers. It also boasts a handsome, beyond-spacious new building in its hometown (price: a surprisingly modest $46,600,00) that’s connected by a bridge to the Wortham Theater Center, where the company and the Houston Grand Opera … [Read more...]

Life as Brushstrokes on a Page

Chou Chang-Ning (L.) and Yu Chien Hung. Photo: Jack Vartoogian

Eighteen or so men and women stand motionless, spaced out on a slanting white floor with one truncated corner. All of them wear long, full, white skirts made of a translucent fabric. The men are bare-chested, while the women wear flesh-colored tops. But wait! Are they motionless? As a drawn-out, piercing sound breaks the silence, you’re suddenly aware of shifts in the dancers’ bodies. These shifts … [Read more...]

Bearing the Past, Traveling On

Mille Lundt spinning through time. Photo: Ian Douglas

Some people aver that dance and politics don’t mix well. Others claim that dancing is inevitably political in some sense—yielding or countering dominant views about gender, power, race,  or identity that may be inscribed on the body. Occasionally, a choreographer wants to speak out, to raise awareness and awaken consciences through dance. In his or her own way. When Jane Comfort dealt with the … [Read more...]

Crossing the Line

Jeremy Wade and Possible Converts. Photo: Doro Tuch

The photo above is of Heather Kravas, but not Heather Kravas as she appears in her Kassidy Chism. That Kravas wears a little black dress and reddish pink high-top sneakers. Her lipstick is red and so are her fingernails, but she walks with small steps like a well-behaved little girl. Start trembling now. Kravas shared the program at Danspace Saint Mark’s—October 6 through 8—with Jeremy Wade, … [Read more...]

“But if the cause be not good. . .”

King Henry's Troops. Photo: Paula Court

When David Gordon first presented his Dancing Henry Five in 2004, his reasons for choosing that particular Shakespeare play on which to wreak inspired havoc were obvious. In both England’s invasion of France in 1415 and the United States’ 2003 invasion of Iraq, the justification was flawed, and the evidence supporting it flimsy. Also, just as Prince Hal, a rowdy pub crawler, reformed with a … [Read more...]

How Do You Define “Object”?

Jennifer Lacey and Wally Cardona in Tool Is Loot. Photo: Paula Court

Some choreographers devote a lot of creative energy to finding a great new way to lift a leg (or a partner), or maybe split unison into counterpoint. Wally Cardona and Jennifer Lacey?  Not so much. Undertaking alone—he in New York, she in Paris — the research that led to their joint project, Tool Is Loot (at the Kitchen September 22 through 24 and September 29 through October 1), they sought … [Read more...]

Now You Want It, Now You Don’t

Awash in Possessions: Joanne Kotze and Edmond Russo. Photo: © Marc Ohrem Leclef

  “Where’d you get that?  I must have one!”  Must?  Try “crave,” “desire.” And once you’ve acquired whatever it is, does your love of it grow or subside? When you take it out of the closet or down from the shelf after two years and realize that you haven’t used it or worn it for almost that long, do you get rid of it? Or do you fall in love all over again? Mindless acquisition is … [Read more...]