Juilliard Dance Tackles Masterworks

Tiare Keeno and Jeffery Duffy in Martha Graham's Dark Meadow. Photo: Rosalie O'Connor

Martha Graham's Dark Meadow and Merce Cunningham's Biped are performed by Juilliard students. Every Spring, Juilliard’s dance students pass through a compelling ordeal and emerge as artists just beginning to come into full bloom. The ordeal is really an awakening. A work by a major choreographer is auditioned for, learned, rehearsed, and performed. The dancers come to understand how great … [Read more...]

Opening the Door, Inviting Visitors In

Laura Halzack in Paul Taylor's Diggity, with Alex Katz's dogs. Photo: Whitney Browne

Paul Taylor's American Modern Dance Lincoln Center season invites other companies to share programs with Taylor's works. Beginning in the late 1920s, American choreographers, especially those pioneering what came to be called modern dance, built companies around themselves that featured their own works only. In the past decade and this one, we have seen a variety of ways in which … [Read more...]

Paul’s Worlds

Michael Trusnovec and Eran Bugge in Paul Taylor's Esplanade. Photo: Paul B. Goode

Paul Taylor's American Modern Dance is inaugurated at Lincoln Center (March 11-29). Programming Paul Taylor’s new-to-New-York Sea Lark between his profoundly beautiful Arden Court (1981) and the equally gorgeous Esplanade (1975) during the Taylor company’s Lincoln Center season seems hardly fair to a piece that has little more in mind than a beach romp. You almost want to inquire, “Who let … [Read more...]

Martha Graham and her Heritage

Lloyd Knight and opening night guest artist, ABT's Misty Copeland in At Summer's Full, a rendition of elements from Graham's Letter to the World. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

The Martha Graham Dance Company brings new and old works to the Joyce. I only recently realized that Martha Graham must have been choreographing her evening-length Clytemnestra and Embattled Garden at more or less the same time. Both premiered during her company’s 1958 season. Perhaps she needed a respite from the marital quarrels, passions, and jealousies that precipitated the Trojan War. … [Read more...]

The New in the Old, The Old in the New

Daniel Fetecua Soto and Elise Drew Leon in Sean Curran's Nocturnes for Ancestors. Photo Joseph Schembri

The Limon Dance Company performs at the Joyce; Miki Orihara debuts a solo program. It was several days after I saw the Limón Dance Company at the Joyce Theater that I suddenly discerned subtle connections among the four works on the program that artistic director Carla Maxwell put together for the company’s 68th anniversary—two by company founder José Limón (1908-1972) and two new works, … [Read more...]

Up and Coming Meet the Masters

Daphne Fernberger (L) and Lorrin Brubaker in Lar Lubovitch's Concerto Six Twenty-Two. Photo: Rosalie O'Connor

Juilliard Dance presents works by Tharp, Lubovitch, and Feld. Suzanne Beahrs Dance performs at Danspace. I count Twyla Tharp’s Baker’s Dozen among the world’s great dances. When I saw it in 1979, performed by her marvelous company, I thought I’d die of pleasure. How could I not hustle uptown to see Juilliard Dance’s annual challenge to its super-talented students, when Baker’s Dozen was … [Read more...]

The Many Faces of Spring

Martha Graham's Appalachian Spring. Foreground: Abdiel Jacobsen and Blackely White-McGuire. At back (L to R): Katherine Crockett. Charlotte Landreau, Xiaochuan Xie, Tamisha Guy, Ying Xin. Photo: Costas

The Martha Graham Dance Company celebrates Appalachian Spring's 70th with a new work by Nacho Duato. Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring was first performed in October of 1944 in the Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress on a not very large stage intended for chamber music concerts. Its back and side walls with working doors would have made it awkward for the eight dancers to make … [Read more...]

Taylor’s Treasure Trove

Sean Mahoney and Jamie Rae Walker in Paul Taylor's American Dreamer. Photo: Tom Caravaglia

The Paul Taylor Dance Company celebrates its 60th anniversary, March 11-22. Paul Taylor made his first piece of choreography 60 years ago and went on to create 139 more. Some are among the most beautiful or the funniest or the most terrifying dances you will ever see. His company is performing twenty-one of them, plus two new ones, during its two-week 60th anniversary season at Lincoln … [Read more...]

Another Rite

Martha Graham's Rite of Spring. Abdiel Jacobsen (L) and Lloyd Mayor lift Xiaochuan Xie as the Chosen One. The Shaman (Ben Schultz) watches. Photo: Charles Eilber, courtesy of the Martha Graham Dance Company.

The Martha Graham Dance Company dances The Rite of Spring and Nacho Duato's Rust at Jacob’s Pillow, August 21-25. I like to imagine that at least once a month this year, somewhere in the world, a dance company and/or an orchestra has been thundering away at Igor Stravinsky’s masterpiece Le Sacre du Printemps, Obviously, I’m no statistician, but it does seem that, in 2013, the centenary of … [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...]