Walk, Do Not Dance!

Randy Castillo (L) and Julia Carnicer of the Lyon Opera Ballet in ni fleurs, ni ford-mustang. Photo: Stephanie Berger

The Lyon Opera Ballet brings Christian Rizzo's ni fleurs, ni ford-mustang to BAM. The stage lights are dimming slowly— so slowly that we spectators can barely pin down the moment when we can no longer see the clump of seven dancers, covered head to toe in gleaming black outfits, wriggling and jouncing around. Nor can we be sure when the lights are truly out. There’s a nervous pause before … [Read more...]

À LA FRANÇAIS AND THEN SOME

Alain Buffard's Baron Samedi. David Thomson (seated), watched by (L to R) Will Rawls, Dorothée Munyaneza, Nadia Beugré and Olivier Normand. Photo: Ian Douglas

DANSE: A French-American Festival of Performance and Ideas opens with a work by Alain Buffard. The French in America! I do not speak of the emigrating 17th-century Huguenots, or of Alexis de Tocqueville, who journeyed around the U.S. in the 19th-century and said wise things about it. Je ne parle pas de croissants, ni de boeuf bourgignon. Dior? Pouf! Bidets? They never caught on. No, I … [Read more...]

Help, I’m Breaking Up!

Alvaro Dule and Anna Nowak in Wayne McGregor's Atomos. Photo: Ravi Deepres

Wayne McGregor/Random Dance brings Atomos to Peak Performances at Montclair State's Alexander Kasser Theater. Wayne McGregor wants it both ways, and I don’t blame him. This virtuoso dancemaker— resident choreographer at Britain’s Royal Ballet, the director of Wayne McGregor/Random Dance, and a been-around whose works grace the repertories of numerous companies—wants us to look at his dances … [Read more...]

Three by Three by Three

(L to R:) Eleanor Bauer, Rebecka Stillman, and Cecilia Eliceche in Bauer's Midday and Eternity (the time piece). Photo: Ian Douglas

Eleanor Bauer brings her work from Brussels to Manhattan. Who are these three women? We potential audience members have been milling around in the Abrons Art Center lobby, chatting and wondering when the doors to the theater will open, and when they do, we enter a zone of empyrean mystery. The women in Eleanor Bauer’s Midday and Eternity (the time piece) sit in a row at the front of the … [Read more...]

Ending in Darkness

Maëlle Desclaux outlined in Philippe Saire's Black Out. Photo: Philippe Weisbrodt

Compagnie Philippe Saire brings Black Out to LaMama Black Out, a creation by Philippe Saire, mates choreography with visual art in ways calculated to disturb us. He is frank about his mission, describing Black Out as “A work that contemplates the randomness of mortality in a world of genocide, disease, epidemics, and senseless violence.” In it, three collaborating members of Compagnie … [Read more...]

The Beat Goes On

Ginette Laurin's La Vie Qui Bat. Foreground: Caroline Laurin-Beaucage and Louis-Elyan Martin. At back, L to R: Wen-Shuan Hang, Audrey Bergeron, and Geneviève Boulet. Photo: Karli Cadel.

O Vertigo Danse of Montreal and the Société de Musique Contemporaine du Québec perform Ginette Laurin’s La Vie Qui Bat and Steve Reich’s Drumming at Jacob’s Pillow. There are two performances happening simultaneously on the stage of Jacob’s Pillow’s Ted Shawn Theatre, but I can only see one of them and a tantalizing smidgen of the other. The one I can see is Ginette Laurin’s La Vie Qui Bat … [Read more...]

Here and Now with Hip-Hop

Patricia Noworol Dance Theater in ?Culture. On chair: Patrick Williams Seebacher. On ladder: Noworol. Photo: Aeric Meredith Goujon

Patricia Noworol strategizes culture and arts politics via hip-hop. Decades ago, some writers considered that ballet was on its way to becoming an international language, despite its obvious roots in western European courts, culture, and dance forms. Other people raised the issue of cultural imperialism. Hip-hop—emerging from American city streets, its roots tangling back to Africa—has … [Read more...]

Heat and Ice

Annika Hyvären (L) and Natasha Lommi in Tero Saarinen's

I regret not having been able to see Carte Blanche, the Norwegian National Dance Company, perform Corps de Walk at the Joyce Theater. In this piece by Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar, the dancers, I read, have whitened hair and wear blue contact lenses. What better illustration of the Nordic mini-festival’s name: Ice Hot? The other participants were the Tero Saarinen Company and  Danish Dance … [Read more...]

A Pas de Deux and a Society in Chaos

Raimund Hoghe. A sash becomes a hat. Photo: Julieta Cervantes

  Dance doesn’t happen in a vacuum. One evening, I’m at the Baryshnikov Arts Center’s Howard Gilman Space—glancing from time to time at the night city glowing outside two big windows, listening to some rich recorded music, and watching a delicately intense, sometimes barely moving dance by two people that traverses two hours without intermission.  The next night I’m in another theater … [Read more...]

Out of Africa

Nora Chipaumire in her Miriam. Photo: Julieta Cervantes

In the not-so-distant past, white explorers, colonizers, missionaries, and historians referred to Africa as “the dark continent” or dramatized it as “darkest Africa.”  They may have been alluding to the skin color of most of its native inhabitants, but certainly to their own inability (and unwillingness) to understand its customs and lore. Over two September weeks, at two different New York … [Read more...]