How Beautiful Can Age Be?

Mickey Mahar (L) and Miguel Gutierrez in Gutierrez's Age & Beauty Part 1. Photo: Ian Douglas

Miguel Gutierrez's Age & Beauty, Parts 1 and 2, presented during American Realness 2015. I didn’t see Miguel Gutierrez’s Age & Beauty Part 1: Mid-Career Artist/Suicide Note or &:/ when it was first performed as part of the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Instead I saw it in Studio C of Gibney Dance’s Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center (the rescued and handsomely re-conceived former Dance … [Read more...]

From Denmark With Love

Ida Praetorius and Andreas Kaas in the pas deux from The Flower Festival in Genzano. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

Royal Danish Ballet: Principals and Soloists appears at the Joyce Theater, January 13 through 17. Guess what! August Bournonville has a website (bournonville.com). Since he died in 1879 and didn’t expect the many works he choreographed for the Royal Danish Ballet to long survive, he would undoubtedly be gratified to learn that eight of his ballets and a handful of divertissements weathered … [Read more...]

Two Becoming One Remaining Two

06MollyLieber&EleanorSmith_RudeWorld_byBaranova

My introduction to the work of Molly Lieber and Eleanor Smith was a more intimate one than I would have expected. I had missed—my loss—their Beautiful Bone (2012) and Tulip (2013) and trekked to the Chocolate Factory to see the Rude World, with my eyes and mind wide open and my ears pricked. For the third part of this triptych (a co-commission and co-presentation of the Chocolate Factory and … [Read more...]

From California with Gusto

A scene from Barak Marshall's And at midnight, the green bride floated through the village square. Photo: Christopher Duggan

In 2007, two women, Lilian Barbeito, a Juilliard graduate, and Tina Finkelman Berkett, an alumna of the Barnard College’s dance department, founded a contemporary dance ensemble in Los Angeles. What are the chances of that endeavor failing in a balmy city where it takes nerve, courage, and good business sense for a dance company to nose its way out of the prevailing motion picture culture? Iffy at … [Read more...]

Dreams and Journeys, Destination Uncertain

Keely Garfield held captive by Brandin Steffensen (L) and Jordan Morley. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu.

Keely Garfield Dance premieres Wow at St. Mark's Church (a Danspace Project presentation). I’m pretty sure that Keely Garfield does what most of us do: mop the floor, rustle up some dinner, move close to the other person in the bed, tell the kids what they can do and what they shouldn’t do. Garfield, however, is a yoga teacher and a Donna Karan/Urban Zen Integrative Therapist (working in … [Read more...]

Fire and Ice: Both Burn

Rachael McLaren and Marcus Jarrell Willis in Matthew Rushing's Odessa. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performs at New York's City Center. The members of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater have always been able to do practically anything a choreographer might ask of them: thrust their legs astonishingly high, spin like tops, act sassy or sexy, and dance with an ardor that burns across the footlights. But it’s always exciting to see how they … [Read more...]

Life Under the Dome

Alex Springer and in the background, Hollis Bartlett in Dome. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

Doug Varone and Dancers premieres two works at the Joyce Theater. What strikes me first about Doug Varone’s new Dome is the amount of stillness in it. This most musical of choreographers is at home with maelstroms. In his 2004 Castles, which opened his company’s program at the Joyce Theater, architectural and social structures form and dissolve and re-form like elaborate sand castles washed … [Read more...]

What Do You Mean By “Meaning?”

Neil Greenberg's This. (L to R): Mina Nishimura and Molly Lieber. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

Neil Greenberg premieres This at New York Live Arts. Choreographer Neil Greenberg doesn’t like the word “about,” as in, “What is this dance about?” Having been a member of Merce Cunningham’s company between 1979 and 1986 and having read Susan Sontag’s influential 1966 Against Interpretation, he would prefer we not scramble to uncover “meaning” while watching what he puts onstage. The title … [Read more...]

Celebrating 50 Years of Artistry

Meredith Monk in her On Behalf of Nature. Photo: Julieta Cervantes

Meredith Monk's new On Behalf of Nature at the BAM Harvey. “I work in between the cracks, where the voice starts dancing, where the body starts singing, where theater becomes cinema.” Meredith Monk said that in 1981. And although many of us knew her first as a startlingly original downtown 1960s choreographer, she has since composed music that interweaves various modes of performance and … [Read more...]

To Each Her Own With Others

Eleanor Smith in Ivy Baldwin's Oxbow. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

Ivy Baldwin Dance at BAM Fisher and Hilary Easton + Co. at Danspace St. Mark's. Every now and then, I sift through a horde of ancestral photographs, puzzling over how some of the images fit into the structure I call “my family.” Some from the 20th century are impulsive and particular. A solitary child wearing a bib (me) squints at a small birthday cake with two candles on it. Generations … [Read more...]