Getting Down With Ailey

(L to R): Renaldo Gardner, Kirven James Boyd, Samuel Lee  Roberts,  Aisha Mitchell, Jamar Roberts, Belen Pereyra, Yannick Lebrun, Hope Boykin, Antonio Douthit. Phot: Paul Kolnik

Imagine a night at City Center watching the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater when the spectators cheer at the curtain calls and applaud certain stunning dancers or sections of a dance, but don’t whoop and holler in the middle of a serious (even reverent) passage. Imagine an evening in which electric high jumps, long balances, and legs kicking the sky are worked into the choreographic fabric and … [Read more...]

About That Nutcracker

A dream wedding: Clara and her Prince (Hee Seo and Cory Sterns). Photo: Gene Schiavone

The Nutcracker in its many manifestations is like an attic toy box into which generations of children have tossed the playthings they’ve grown too old for. Amid the dolls and stuffed animals and fairy tales and toy soldiers are folded longings, nightmares, pre-pubescent thoughts of sex, and fear of growing up. The ballet by Lev Ivanov that premiered in St. Petersburg in December of 1892 has … [Read more...]

What Do You See? Look Again

Paul Dunbar shows his stuff in Untrained. Photo: Julieta Cervantes

The Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Fisher Space in its compact new building is proving to be dazzlingly adaptable. The seating has been configured differently for all four works that I’ve seen there as part of BAM’s 30th Next Wave Festival, and that design, in turn, influences scenic possibilities and alters the audience’s angle of vision and relationship with the performers. Lucy Guerin’s Untrained … [Read more...]

Lie There My Art

Prospero (Eric Beauchesne) regarded by some of the "replicas"  at the end of Kidd Pivot's The Tempest Replica by Crystal Pite. Photo: Geörg Baumann

I don’t think of myself as purist about Shakespeare. I’m fine with Laurence Olivier inserting a line from Christopher Marlowe’s Tamburlaine into his Henry V film and loved David Gordon’s Dancing Henry V.  I’m okay with the 1995 film of Richard III that equates its murderous dynasties with the Third Reich.  I relished a years-ago Shakespeare and Company production of Much Ado About Nothing that was … [Read more...]

Now You Know It, Now You Don’t

(L to R) Silas Riener, Michael Ingle, and Oisín Monaghan in Tere O'Connor's Poem. Photo: Ian Douglas

Tere O’Connor has been making wonderful, inscrutable dances for 20 years, and every one of them that I can remember stirred my mind around. As I watch his new double bill at New York Live Arts, Secret Mary and Poem, my life passes before me. Delete “my;” I’m experiencing life as dancing—with its beauties, its collisions, its planned meetings, and its daily load of non sequiturs that somehow add … [Read more...]