Follow that Brook at your Peril!

Laura Mead as The Girl and Milan Misko as The Hunter in Jessica Lang's The Wanderer. Photo: Takao Ao Komaru

Jessica Lang Dance in The Wanderer at Jacob's Pillow July 29-August 9. Die schöne Mullerin, a suite of Romantic-era poems by Wilhelm Müller, set to ravishing music by his friend Franz Schubert, conjures up visions of a mystical natural world in which a swift-moving brook urges a wandering miller to follow its course—one that brings him to a mill. What does this rushing water have in mind? … [Read more...]

A Small Ballet Ensemble Looks on the Bright Side

Teresa Reichlen and Amar Ramasar in Jerome Robbins's In the Night. Photo: Christopher Duggan

Daniel Ulbricht has a mission in life that goes beyond being a buoyant, dramatically expressive principal dancer with the New York City Ballet. Forming and re-forming Daniel Ulbricht & Stars of American Ballet in NYCB’s off-season enables him to bring first-rate dancers to communities around the country. The group he brought to Jacob’s Pillow this summer for its second appearance there numbers … [Read more...]

The Dancers You Need to Love

Maurus Gauthier in Eric Gauthier's Ballet 101. Photo: Christopher Duggan

Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart Comes to Jacob's Pillow. Only nine of the fourteen members of Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart were on hand when this Germany-based company made its United States debut at Jacob’s Pillow this July, and only once during its program (in Cayetano Soto’s (2014) Malasangre) did more than three people appear onstage at the … [Read more...]

Shirley MacLaine, Meet Omar Sharif

Aghast: Big Dance Theater in Alan Smithee Directed this Play: Triple Feature. (L to R): Cynthia Hopkins, Elizabeth DeMent, Tymberly Canale, Kourtney Rutheford, Aaron Mattocks, and Chris Giarmo. Photo: Christopher Duggan

Every time I see a work by Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar of Big Dance Theater, I wish I could’ve been a fly on the wall while they were dreaming it up (although, since the collaborators are married, brainstorming gusts may happen erratically, at any hour of the day or night). Their constructions are so intricately layered, their often highly dissimilar ingredients stirred together so startlingly … [Read more...]

Dance Builds Its Own Worlds

Stuart Singer and Melissa Toogood in Broken Story (wherein there is no ecstasy. Photo: Cory Weaver

Pam Tanowitz Dance and the FLUX Quartet opens Bard SummerSpace 2105. The featured composer at Bard SummerScape 2015 is Carlos Chavez (1899-1979), and in July and August, the 26th annual Bard Music Festival will devote its performances and symposia to him and his contemporaries. On June 27, Summerscape opened at Bard College in Anandale-on-Hudson with a taste of his music. Choreographer Pam … [Read more...]

Wandering Ballet Forests of Love and Death

Titania (Sarah Lamb) and Oberon (Steven McRae) reconciled. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

England's Royal Ballet performs in New York June 23-28. Felix Mendelssohn wasn’t yet eighteen when he wrote his Overture to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He’d only just read the play that year (1826) in German translation; it must have excited him mightily. He was over thirty when he combined the overture with incidental music to accompany a performance of Shakespeare’s … [Read more...]

Chamber Ballet in a Church

Elena Zahlmann and Jeffrey Kazin in David Parker's Two Timing. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

New York Theatre Ballet presents classics and new works at St. Mark's. A year ago, New York Theatre Ballet was forced out of its longtime home in the Murray Hill neighborhood, and founder-director Diana Byer was distraught (do I need to discuss the insane prices in Manhattan real estate?). The outcome was a happy one; the company has relocated its studio to the second floor space in St. … [Read more...]

Two Dancers and a Radio Host Walk into a Bar. . .

Anna Bass (L) and Monica Bill Barnes giving their all in Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host. Photo: Nancy Palmieri

Ira Glass of "This American Life" collaborates with Monica Bill Barnes & Company. It’s an unlikely combination: Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host. Yet Ira Glass, the creator and voice of public radio’s Radio’s This American Life and Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass of Monica Bill Barnes & Company have been performing this show on and off since 2013. The three turn out to … [Read more...]

Cedar Lake’s Last Stand

Cedar Lake's Matthew Rich in Richard Siegal's My Generation. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in its final season. The news that Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet was folding came in March. The entries on the company’s Facebook page seethe with shock, sorrow, and profound disappointment from those who cherish Cedar Lake’s dancers. And those dancers were rightly cheered at their farewell performances at BAM. What … [Read more...]

The Beautiful Complications of Simplicity

Brian Brooks's Torrent. Foreground: Haylee Nichele and Jeff Sykes. At back (L to R): Daniel Ching and Dean Biosca. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

Brian Brooks Moving Company brings new and old works to the Joyce Theater If I were asked to put choreographer Brian Brooks into a category, I’d have to coin a term: maximinimalist. His works are economical in terms of material and/or structure, but enriched into expressiveness by the ways in which he builds them. Take his 2010 Motor, which made an unexpected appearance on Brian Brooks … [Read more...]