Shining Up the Past

Maya Oguri in James Waring's Eccentric Beauty. Photo: Darial Sneed

New York Theatre Ballet’s name says more about it than its location.  Not often do you see “theatre” spelled that way these days (American Ballet Theatre is one of the exceptions), but once it was the norm. There’s something winningly and intelligently nostalgic about artistic director Diana Byer's choices of repertory for the small company that she founded in 1976. Byer has an unerring eye for … [Read more...]

Giselle, Meet Hanako

Yasuko Yokoshi in Hanako's final transformation. Photo: Ian Douglas

Three barefoot women wearing long, deep-blue tutus; tight, white blouses; and blue stirrup socks confront a visitor. She is spectacularly attired in an embroidered kimono over a red velvet garment that terminates in pantlegs so full that they look like a skirt. Her wig is red and so is her lipstick. She has entered with the tiny, smooth steps of a Japanese Kabuki performer; the women in tutus have … [Read more...]

A Nightmare Turns Fifty

Paul Taylor's Scudorama. Laura Halzak (prone), Michelle Fleet (in air), Jamie Rae Walker (L), Julie Tice (in an earlier cast). Photo: Paul B. Goode

Wishing Happy 50th birthday to a dance like Paul Taylor’s Scudorama mightn’t be a good idea. The cake could blow up in your face. You have to be a bit crazy to love this dance. Made the year after Aureole, which lives on in an indestructible springtime, Scudorama cringes and crawls and hides from view. The current revival dates from 2009. Scudorama’s 1963 premiere at the American Dance Festival … [Read more...]

Face as Fact

L to R: Silas Riener, Cori Kresge, Rashaun Mitchell, and Melissa Toogood in Mitchell's Interface. Photo: Stephanie Berger

I remember years ago attending a evening of solos by an Indian dancer; it could have been Balasaraswati or Ritha Devi, and shortly after that, going to a performance by (maybe) American Ballet Theatre’s Bayadère. My friend and colleague, Marcia B. Siegel also saw both performances. When we spoke later, we both remembered how the familiar classical arm and hand movements of ballet had suddenly … [Read more...]

Heat and Ice

Annika Hyvären (L) and Natasha Lommi in Tero Saarinen's

I regret not having been able to see Carte Blanche, the Norwegian National Dance Company, perform Corps de Walk at the Joyce Theater. In this piece by Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar, the dancers, I read, have whitened hair and wear blue contact lenses. What better illustration of the Nordic mini-festival’s name: Ice Hot? The other participants were the Tero Saarinen Company and  Danish Dance … [Read more...]

Taylor Made

Sean Mahoney and Amy Young in Paul Taylor's Perpetual Dawn. Photo: Paul B. Goode

Can one refer to someone as a perpetual dark horse, or is that a contradiction?  If not, I’d like to apply it to Paul Taylor.  You can never predict what he’ll come up with, or what thumbscrews he’ll apply to his essentially buoyant vocabulary of steps. Among the 21 works on view during the Paul Taylor Dance Company’s three-week season at Lincoln Center, some, such as Speaking in Tongues, are big … [Read more...]

Looking Back, Journeying Forward

Miki Ohara costumed for Martha Graham's Errand into the Maze. Photo: John Deane

The Martha Graham Company, aged 87, is a determined survivor. It has soldiered on past the death of its sole choreographer in 1991, the sale of its 63rd Street building, and a lawsuit over its rights to Graham’s dances. Then, not long after the company took over the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s studios in Westbeth, hurricane Sandy caused flooding in the basement storage space and damaged sets, … [Read more...]