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...]

Shifting Fields of Images

Zina Zinchenko (L) and Bobbi Smith in Sadeh21. Photo: Stephanie Berger

Batsheva Dance Company celebrates its 50th anniversary. Fifty years ago in Israel, Baroness Bethsabée (aka Batsheva) de Rothschild (1914-1999) founded the Batsheva Dance Company. Enamored of dance, she had, during her years in New York, studied with Martha Graham and become a patron of her work. Choreography by Graham was initially a part of Batsheva’s repertory and the training of its … [Read more...]

Embedding a Life

Netta Yerushalmy in her Helga and The Three Sailors. Photo: Ian Douglas

Netta Yerushalmy presents Helga and The Three Sailors at Danspace St. Mark's Here are some thoughtful words that dancer Neal Beasley wrote about choreographic logic, especially as it pertains to Netta Yerushalmy’s new Helga and The Three Sailors: “There is a perverse solace in the inability to hold on to anything or make oneself understood. Such is the sweet white lie of dancing: Its beauty … [Read more...]

To American Ballet Theatre: Happy 75th

Marcelo Gomes and Hee Seo in Liam Scarlett's With a Chance of Rain. Photo: Marty Sohl

American Ballet Theatre's fall season begins its 75th anniversary celebration. It’s traditional at anniversary celebrations to raise a glass to the past and speculate optimistically about the future. For American Ballet Theatre, with 80 dancers to be paid (along with the necessary artistic and business-oriented staff members) an excuse for a fund-raising gala is a godsend. Its 2014 and 2015 … [Read more...]