Looking Back, Forging Ahead

The Emperor Jones, Daniel Fetecua Soto  (red pants) amid his memories. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

A man in a fancy military jacket—gold epaulettes and all—sits slumped on an outsized throne. Six men creep in warily, circle him, bow mockingly, jump about, seem to confer. The man doesn’t move. This is how José Limón’s The Emperor Jones begins. Limón choreographed the dance, based on Eugene O’Neill’s play of the same, in 1956, to a turbulent commissioned score by Heitor Villa-Lobos. The décor and … [Read more...]

Two Companies: East from Houston, North from D.C.

Houston Ballet (Melissa Hough, front) in Jorma Elo's One/end/One. Photo: Amitava Sarkar

In successive October weeks, two ballet companies with very dissimilar identities and agendas appeared at the Joyce Theater. The Houston Ballet is composed of over 50 dancers. It also boasts a handsome, beyond-spacious new building in its hometown (price: a surprisingly modest $46,600,00) that’s connected by a bridge to the Wortham Theater Center, where the company and the Houston Grand Opera … [Read more...]