It’s All Wheeldon

Wendy Whelan and Robert Fairchild in Christopher Wheeldon's Les Carillons. Photo: Paul Kolnik

Trying to trace Christopher Wheeldon’s career, you might decide he has a vagabond streak that tugs against a now-and-then yen for stability. As a young dancer and choreographer-in-waiting, he left Britain’s Royal Ballet for the New York City Ballet, became NYCB’s resident choreographer from 2000 to 2008, started Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company while still affiliated with NYCB, pulled out of that in … [Read more...]

Bill T. Jones Takes a Stroll with John Cage

Erick Montes, Jennifer Nugent, and Bill T. Jones in Story/Time. Photo: Paul B. Goode

Artists inevitably reveal themselves in their work, but some do it more overtly than others. Over the course of his career, Bill T. Jones has told us a lot about himself—not only in his choices of subject matter and his wonderfully poetic memoir Last Night on Earth, but while onstage dancing. Watching his solos, we learned about the large family he grew up in—about his mother Estella, his … [Read more...]

Keely Garfield Enters the Forest; She Is Not Alone

Keely Garfield and Anthony Phillips in Garfield's Twin Pines. Photo: Julieta Cervantes

A number of the people rising from their seats and milling around Danspace St. Mark’s after Keely Garfield’s Twin Pines exchange grins and nods and fond remarks along the lines of “That’s Keely for you!” The word “quirky” is heard. Watching a piece by Garfield can be like entering someone’s disheveled home at a bad time and wondering, “What’s been going on here?” Or like entering Garfield’s … [Read more...]

Covering Ground with Cage and Glass

Fenley and Kao fill "100 Vessels."  Photo: Tony Powell

In 2010, Molissa Fenley explored a new path, commissioning a number of artists to design props that could be manipulated by her and two additional dancers. Sometimes the results were striking, sometimes contrived. The newer Credo in Us, shown at Judson Church on January 9, goes way beyond The Prop Dance into a disciplined wildness and playfulness you might not have expected of Fenley—perhaps … [Read more...]

Surviving the Flood

Camacho and His Garden Swan

Somewhere out there, there must be people who, happening on—or dragged to— a contemporary performance, will venture, “but is it dance?”  Others more confident will re-frame the question as an assertion, possibly an outraged one. But anyone regularly attending productions in New York’s forward-looking theaters and the equivalent in Europe will have become accustomed to the wide-armed, eclectic … [Read more...]

Three Women Dancing

Left to right: McAtamney, Hansen, Pierce. Photo: Ian Douglas

Just when you’re blinking into 2012, The Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) schedules a conference in New York, and zillion of companies showcase their work. This year, from January 5 to 9 and beyond, every dance venue in the city hosts performances ranging from whole dances to excerpts. The hoped-for audiences? That would be the presenters. But friends, fans, critics, and the … [Read more...]

In the Garden

Leslie Kraus, Douglas Gillespie, and Bergen Wheeler in Kate Weare's Garden. Photo: Keira Heu-Jwyn Chang

The verdant place that gives Kate Weare’s disastrously beautiful Garden (2011) its name is no Eden. The weeds and brambles that sprout in human relationships flourish here, not quite crowding out the sudden, valiant blooms. Kurt Perschke’s set suggests that something is awry. The stage of the Joyce Theater—where Gotham Arts presented its FOCUS DANCE series of shared programs from January 3 through … [Read more...]

Hail and Farewell

AJ 1 Berger photo, all

In January, 2011, one-and-a-half years after Merce Cunningham died, the second half of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s two-year Legacy Tour began in Hong Kong. It ended at 10:00 P.M. on December 31 in New York. The immense crowd of spectators in the Park Avenue Armory applauded and cheered the dancers for many minutes, as if keeping them onstage, bowing over and over, not only showed them how … [Read more...]