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...]

New Trails for Traditions

The cast of Pam Tanowitz's Heaven on On Her Head. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

Pam Tanowitz makes her Joyce debut February 4-5 with two premieres. If Pam Tanowitz had been baptized into dance as an infant, Merce Cunningham and George Balanchine would surely have been standing on either side of the font, ready to serve as godfathers. Tanowitz’s choreographic works, like those shown on her recent program at the Joyce Theater, tell no stories. Nor do they seethe with … [Read more...]

Pina Bausch Returns to Juilliard

Fourth-year Juilliard students Kristina Bentz and Bynh Ho in Pina Bausch's Wind von West. Photo: Rosalie O'Connor

Juilliard students appear in premieres by Takehiro Ueyama, Brian Brooks, and Darrell Grand Moultrie, plus a reconstruction of a work by Pina Bausch. Every winter, the Juilliard School presents its dance students in four new works. All its dance students.  Although—since some pieces are double cast—you might have to attend two performances to see every single talented dancer on stage. This … [Read more...]

Just What Are We Celebrating?

Linda Celeste Sims devours  Jamar Roberts in Lift. Photo: Paul Kolnik

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater premieres Aszure Barton's Lift at City Center. Any choreographer invited to make a piece for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater must come to the first rehearsal with both elation and trepidation. The Ailey dancers are like racehorses—sleek, swift, eager, ablaze with temperament.  What can you feed them?  How do you groom them?  Are you up to the … [Read more...]

How Many Lines to Cross?

Gina Gibney's Dividing Line. (L to R, front to back): Zachary Leigh Denison, Amy Miller, Javier Baca, Natsuki Arai, Jennifer McQuiston Lott, Jake Bone. Photo: Julieta Cervantes

Gina Gibney Dance premieres Dividing Line at Florence Gould Hall. November 14-16. Gina Gibney is a force on the New York dance scene. The force behind Gibney Dance Community Action, a program that stages workshops (over 500 annually) for survivors of domestic violence . The force behind the Gibney Dance Center at 19th Street and Broadway, where Barbara Matera’s immense theatrical costume … [Read more...]

Good News from Rochester

Vitalio Jeune in Norwood Pennewell's Gin. Photo: John Schlia

Garth Fagan Dance brings two new works to the Joyce Theater, November 12 through 17. Why is it that I always want to begin writing about Garth Fagan’s Rochester-based company by hymning the dancers? Maybe because he evidently feels the same way about them that I do. His Prelude (1981, revised 1983), which opens one of the group’s two programs at the Joyce, introduces them to us—old-timers … [Read more...]

Light into Darkness, Darkness to Light

(Foreground, L to R): Aron Bolm, David Hernandez, Chrysa Parkinson, Sandy Williams, and Marius Peterson in Cesena. Photo: Stephanie Berger

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker's Rosas and graindelavoix perform in En Atendant and Cesena. I wish that I had been in Avignon in July of 2010. Then I could have seen Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s En Atendant performed in the ancient Cloister of the Celestines, and, a week later, her companion piece, Cesena, in the Court of Honor, an amphitheater attached to the Papal Palace.  Both were performed … [Read more...]

Entering the Forsythean Maze

William Forsythe's Sider. (L to R): Yasutake Shimaji, Cyril Baldy, Josh Johnson. Photo: Julieta Cervantes

William Forsythe brings his 2011 Sider to the Brooklyn Academy of Music.   When you watch a recent work by William Forsythe, you may find yourself responding to it on two levels. Sitting in the Brooklyn Academy of Music to watch his 2011 Sider (part of BAM’s 2013 Next Wave Festival), you take in what the dancers are doing (say moving large rectangles of corrugated cardboard around), … [Read more...]

Tides Beyond Ebb and Flow

Clifton Brown and Nicole Corea in the pose that opens Lar Lubovitch's Vez. Photo: Phyllis McCabe

The Lar Lubovitch Dance Company celebrates its 45th anniversary. Permit me to be fanciful about why Lar Lubovitch chose to devote the first half of the first of two programs his company is presenting at the Joyce to three duets (not a decision I would have recommended). However, Lubovitch founded the group that bears his name 45 years ago, and ever since, he has been showing us how … [Read more...]

Restless Creature

Wendy Whelan in Joshua Beamish's Waltz Epoca. Photo: Christopher Duggan

Wendy Whelan’s “Restless Creature,” duets choreographed by Kyle Abraham, Joshua Beamish, Brian Brooks, and Alejandro Cerrudo. At Jacob’s Pillow, August 14-17. Ballet dancers tend to have short careers onstage. If they retire at around 36 (as they often do), they’ve spent as many years training to dance as they have performing. Some stay in the field as teachers, choreographers, and company … [Read more...]