Guess who was on the radio recently?

ME!!!! With the esteemed Claudia La Rocco of the New York Times. The details: Program was Soundcheck, on the NPR station in New York, WNYC, 93.9 on your FM dial. The topic under discussion was gigantic: the future of ballet, no less. And because this was dance, which no one wants to hear about for long, we covered it in 15 minutes! UPDATE post-show: Here's as close to a link as I can figure out … [Read more...]

Ballet is TOO sophisticated! Is NOT!

Two readers respond to the previous post, in which a few of us worry over why opera has more cultural cache than the dance that shares the same stages. Natalia, from St. Louis, offers a midwestern perspective on why ballet and opera productions of the classics don't compare: You wrote, In the ballets that take over the big stages during opera's off season, on the other hand, the spectacle is the … [Read more...]

Why does opera get the crowds and ballet doesn’t? Part Two

Last week, Tonya Plank (aka Swan Lake Samba Girl) wanted to know why people clamor for opera, but not so much for ballet. She wrote: Everything at the opera seems to sell out months and months and MONTHS in advance! I haven't been able to get an affordable ticket to ANYTHING! Which leads me to: why is the opera so much more popular than ballet? I feel that all kinds of people -- young, old, … [Read more...]

Go: Doug Varone’s “Dense Terrain”

This just in from Eva: Forget the Macaulay mauling [in the New York Times]! Go to the BAM Harvey and see Doug Varone and Dancers in "Dense Terrain"--a deeply layered, multidimensional piece of dance theater; indeed, so dense and visceral your skin will crawl and you'll fight for breath. And isn't that everything dance should be? Fantastic dancers. Interesting and ultimately touching score by … [Read more...]

GO: American Ballet Theatre’s “The Sleeping Beauty”

So remember when I was complaining about New York City Ballet artistic director Peter Martins' "The Sleeping Beauty"--how he didn't make an adequate distinction between the eternal world of the fairies and the temporal world of the court? And how the prince could use some emotional beefing up, and the summarily deleted violin solo could do the job? ("Incredible music!" Balanchine called it, and … [Read more...]

Tonya Plank: Why do my friends clamor for opera, but not ballet?

Editor's note: I received this thought-provoking comment-- about how Mark Morris' "Orfeo" at the Met had sold out--from my co-blogger Swan Lake Samba Girl (AKA Tonya Plank) more than a week ago. It has inspired lots of thoughts --and I kept waiting to have a moment to respond. But I haven't had a moment, so here's Tonya, and next week, I'll add something--and you will, too, perhaps? (What I've … [Read more...]

GO: Keo Woolford in “I Land”

This just in from Eva: A dancer friend of mine tells me she thinks Keo Woolford (of the autobiographical one-man show, "I Land") is a John Leguizamo wannabe. I can see some of that, but the brilliantly talented Woolford has far more charm and opens a window onto an experience and perspective that is less familiar to us. My friend and I agree on one thing: It would be great to see more of his … [Read more...]

Go: Mark Morris directing Gluck’s “Orfeo ed Euridice” at the Met

Even far up in the gallery would be worth it--Morris and team have used the height of the Met so that you will be less far away than usual, at least! Here's my Newsday review. To readers who have come via my friend Terry Teachout, welcome! As I write on dance and don't know diddly about opera, I relied on him to help me figure out how to prepare for this review. He was a wonderful, gracious … [Read more...]

Wise Words

In the ongoing discussion (aka beating of breasts) about what counts as a valid review, this just in from a choreographer: Critiques are palatable when they feel like they are coming from a place of expertise, passion, and discernment. Isn't that lovely? A good starting point, I think, even if "expertise," "passion," and "discernment" mean slightly different things to each of us--and we want them … [Read more...]