Robbins Celebration at City Ballet: Exclusive interviews with Baryshnikov, Wendy Whelan, and Damian Woetzel on the man and his dances

Natalia Makarova rehearsing "Other Dances" with Jerome Robbins for "Dance in America." The NYC Ballet fetes Robbins' work through June 29. (Photo by Brownie Harris for WNET/13, 1980.) Here's my tiny story for Newsday on the huge Robbins Celebration at New York City Ballet, followed by Q&As with Baryshnikov and City Ballet principals Damian Woetzel and Wendy Whelan that didn't make the cut. … [Read more...]

GO: Akram Khan and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s “zero degrees”

About a decade ago, the London-born choreographer Akram Khan and his Bangladeshi cousin were boarding a train from India to Bangladesh when police confiscated their passports and wouldn't return them until Khan's cousin slipped them some money. Then the cousins found a dead man in their carriage. Khan moved to help the man's distraught wife, but his cousin told him to stay put. "They'll just … [Read more...]

GO: Miami City Ballet on Long Island

It's worth the trip, believe me. Founded and directed by former New York City Ballet star Edward Villella, the troupe's fluency--its capacity to energize the whole stage--is an essential quality of Balanchine, their mainstay, that sometimes gets tamped down. MCB will be performing three of his works at Tilles Center on Long Island. It'll also be interesting to see what they do with Tharp's "In the … [Read more...]

GO: The Kirov does Forsythe (with UPDATE)

Forsythe's style looks different here than on his own company--not so in your face but also implacable, whiplash yet static--and maybe that's why I liked it so much. The Kirov dancers are exceptional at switching styles, probably because they've been trained so solidly in a single school that they know what a style is. Still, they bring to Forsythe a softness and slipperiness--as if we've entered … [Read more...]

GO: Nrityagram Dance Ensemble

...in case you have yet to catch this phenomenal odissi ensemble on their U.S. tour, their performance at the Wang Theater of the Stony Brook University campus in Long Island on Sunday is your last chance. In a Newsday preview from this Sunday's paper, I discuss how the all-female ensemble has "extended an ancient tradition without stretching it thin." No mean feat. Here's the story:  BY … [Read more...]

Foreign report: My friend Andy on the Kirov’s Fokine program

I'm under the gun, so won't be able to report on the Kirov's fantastic Fokine program. But my friend Andy Podell, a playwright who loves the ballet, went this afternoon, and sent me this wonderful response when I asked via email how it was. I've put my interjections in brackets and italics. I saw a somewhat different cast earlier in the week. Here's Andy: It was great. Very strange audience … [Read more...]

Olesia Novikova: check her out

...in the Kirov's three-week season at City Center. As top shade in "La Bayadere" last night (led by doll-like Alina Somova), she moved with the wind at her back, like a prisoner of Dante's Inferno, the weight of memory and hope flying away from her. Until she appeared, most everything had been so studied. Tonight, she leads in a tidbit from "Raymonda" (what's with these tidbits? Would have much … [Read more...]