The Animals Within

(L to R) Maggie Thom, Kayvon Pourazar, and Benjamin Asriel in Juliana F. May's Commentary = not thing. Photo: Ian Douglas

Over the years, thoughtful choreographers have turned to nature as a way of thinking about choreography. Isadora Duncan was drawn to wind and wave motion, Martha Graham to the ways in which emotion structures the body, Merce Cunningham to ideas about chance and indeterminacy in nature’s processes. It’s an interesting coincidence that, just recently, two groups—Jennifer Monson/iLAND at the … [Read more...]

Fair Winds from the West

Seth Orza as Balanchine's Apollo with (front to back) Carla Körbes, Maria Chapman, and Lesley Rausch. Photo: Lindsay Thomas

Lincoln Kirstein has written that while the New York State Theater (now the Koch) was under construction, George Balanchine wandered in and saw that the pit would hold no more than 35 musicians. He immediately threatened to withdraw the New York City Ballet as the principal designated tenant. The pit was redesigned to accommodate 70 players. Had Balanchine, to whom music was so important, … [Read more...]

Men at Work

Paul White in The Oracle, by Meryl Tankard and White. Photo: Ian Douglas

Neal Beasley and Bradley Teal Ellis staged their joint appearance on one of Dance New Amsterdam’s SPLICE series more intimately than other choreographers sharing a SPLICE program have done. They took the word “splice” seriously—dividing Ellis’s (american) guilt and Beasley’s every adam belonging to me into three parts, and splicing them into each other in alternating segments. They evidently saw, … [Read more...]

Erotic Geometry

Cristian Laverde König eyes Abby Roesner. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

When I look closely at a broccoli floret, I don’t ponder fractal geometry; I may marvel at images derived from Fibonacci sequences, but I don’t pretend to understand Walsh functions. Choreographer Karole Armitage might consider me an intellectual wimp. Her Three Theories premiered in 2010 at the World Science Festival. Although Armitage’s new Mechanics of the Dance Machine at New York Live Arts … [Read more...]

When An Artist’s Newest Works Are Her Last. . .

(L to R): Stuart Shugg, Nicholas Strafaccia, Neal Beasely, and Samuel Wentz. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

On Thursday, January 31, the second day of the Trisha Brown Dance Company’s season at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, it was announced that Brown, because of health problems, had retired as artistic director of the company she founded over forty years ago, and would choreograph no more dances. Consider these words bordered in black—mourning for the works she might have continued to give … [Read more...]