Valentino red, Balanchine light and dark

Valentino's costumes for the fall gala (puffy and ridiculous mainly, making the beautiful women dancers look bulbous and encased and their fine, pointe-clad feet resemble hooves) may have generated the buzz for New York City Ballet this season, but the real excitement was, thankfully, the dances: three programs of pure Balanchine-Stravinsky, the last two of which continue until Sunday. … [Read more...]

Time, space, and outer space

With the Whitney Biennial's embrace of dance for the first time this spring, with commissions to choreographers Sarah Michelson and Michael Clark, and MoMA following suit next month with some sweet day, a curated series of postmodern premieres, it's fitting that fall began with works that also merged the disciplines. Here's a chunk of my review for the Financial Times of Jason Somma … [Read more...]

From Russia with love: 1950s Bollywood

August's week-long, free, outdoor Downtown Dance Festival has closed every year for the last five with the Indo-American Arts Council's increasingly popular, adventurously curated Erasing Borders show, which combines classical Indian dance with an Indian hybrid-- this year, mid-century Bollywood by way of the Russian provinces. Here's a bit from my Financial Times review of a month ago: The … [Read more...]

Indie ballet

From my Financial Times review of the Smuin Ballet, at the Joyce a month ago:  Trey McIntyre, whose own troupe is now the toast of Boise, has finally found a form for his whimsical, wide open, very American imagination. Taking its title and music from the Portland band The Shins, Oh, Inverted World is ballet's answer to indie rock - The Shins' kind, in which sweet, strummed melodies support … [Read more...]

Fringe of the Fringe: what gets left out of even the most unorthodox corner of the art form

Perhaps dance (of the non So You Think You Can Dance variety, anyway) is already too much on the fringe to make much use of a Fringe festival. This year, in any case, the only thing that distinguished the dance offerings I saw at the New York Fringe from what you might get at, say, the downstairs theatre at the Ailey building was that they were worse: either off-- like rotten vegetables, … [Read more...]