Highlights of the past week: Rocio Molina, new kind of flamenco diva, as well as NYCB’s glorious return to Balanchine and glassy imitation of Robbins gems (updated Sunday night, 2/21)

Posts here in the next six weeks are going to be pretty barebones: links to stuff Foot contributor Paul Parish and I have written elsewhere, sans photos or anything, for now. (I may gussy them up later.)

But in case you just want to head direct to go, the Financial Times allows you about an article a day, which is certainly enough for the dance offerings (by me and the glorious Clement Crisp). You just have to register, and it’s free. I write for them about once or twice a week, depending on space and openings.

Here’s the Financial Times website’s theater and dance page.

Here’s its weekday arts page.

Paul writes pretty much every week for the Bay Area’s gay weekly, B.A.R.

Here, for example, is a taste of his astounding review of Christopher Wheeldon’s latest for San Francisco Ballet, Ghosts, as well as a whole panoply of Balanchine miracles:

What do we mean when we say something is a classic? Aside from the throwaway slang sense, “classic” means it’s something that you’d want to see or hear again, because there was more there than you could get the first time. If you still think it’s a classic after the third time, it’s because you’re still sensing ways it coheres that make it answerable and speak to you from an even deeper level, as if it knew you in return.

Wheeldon can give you that feeling. He can let the dancers’ weight pour down through the body into the floor (which was developed by postmodern contact-improv dancers) and make it into an oceanic spectacle. Ghosts might be showing us the Wreck of the Titanic in extreme slow motion. Waves of dancers pour across the stage, sometimes sliding down onto their backs, receiving the weight of another dancer as if the impetus came from beyond themselves. The corps dominates the ballet to the point where it seems an organism, though there is a gorgeous, melting pas de deux (danced ravishingly by Yuan Yuan Tan and Damian Smith) and a very vivid trio dominated by the diva Sofiane Sylve, who alone of all the dancers seems to be fighting for control, and even at the end seems to be swimming as if on a dolphin’s back to safety as the curtain comes down on the whole doomed world.

For the whole amazing review, click here.

You can check Paul out on a regular basis here, on the BAR arts page. I don’t think they archive things, so you pretty much have to visit within the week. The paper comes out on Thursdays.

And, if you don’t know about this resource already, one of the best dance links services, for Britain and the States, is the UK’s Ballet.co reviews database, since the late 1990s. You can check by name of work or company or country or just browse each day. Both Paul and I tend to get linked there.

Ballet Talk also has a links page, and though it only does ballet and there is no fancy search engine, it does do features, which Ballet.co doesn’t do much of.


From me this week:

A review of the opening night of the New York Flamenco Festival, in which one Rocio Molina, age 25, blew me away–and the art form wide open.

–A review of a Balanchine double hitter at City Ballet that demonstrates inspired curation. The ballets are interesting together and Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 resonates beautifully with Peter Martins’s Swan Lake, which the company danced last week.

[NEW, Sunday] A review of Robbins favorites Dances at a Gathering and West Side Story Suite, excerpts from the musical set by the choreographer in 1995. I didn’t have room to mention it in my review, but the suite is worth catching for Andrew Veyette alone, who captures the loose, menacing cool of 1950s street thugs like it were his home turf.
(Not that I really know what boys in the ‘hood were like then, but I’ve watched my James Dean flicks.)

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