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DARK DAYS

Summer used to be the season of doldrums in the dance world. Not so anymore on the New York dance scene, though this is clearly contrary to nature. We need a rest before the jam-packed fall season. We need a laid back stretch of time in which we watch dancing, if at all, in the country, where—at Jacob’s Pillow, for instance—its intensity is relieved by greenery, picnics, desultory antiquing, indolence. But no. This summer, as in several summers past, there was unremitting action in town. And this year some of it came from choreographers … [Read more...]

Pilar Rioja

At 70, the Spanish dancer Pilar Rioja has a figure women half her age might envy and, more important, a carriage that comes from decades of embodying pride in all its guises: joyous, disdainful, enraged, malevolent, erotic, and undaunted by grief. Village Voice 08/27/03 … [Read more...]

Young, Dressed Up, And Dancing

This article originally appeared in Tutu Revue. Years and years ago, I asked Bill Carter -- a demi-caractère dancer with American Ballet Theatre, a flamenco dancer manqué, and one of the most soulful artists I've ever known -- if his vocation had already been evident in his childhood. "Oh, yes," he reminisced, "I was always dressing up and waving scarves around." Since that conversation, having raised a dancing child, who now has a dance-mad little daughter of her own, I've met with much evidence that there's a profound connection, especially … [Read more...]

The Ballerina — A Swan Song?

This article originally appeared in Tutu Revue. Every spring, America's two grandest classical ballet companies play a long annual season -- most of May and June -- opposite each other at Lincoln Center. American Ballet Theatre holds forth at the Metropolitan Opera House, while the New York City Ballet dances at the New York State Theater. The repertories of the two troupes are dazzling, in terms of both quantity and quality. NYCB is the repository of the work of George Balanchine, the giant of twentieth-century choreographers. ABT features … [Read more...]

JUST ASKING: MORE ANSWERS

SEEING THINGS invited dancers and dance aficionados (as well as mere pedestrians) to respond to this question: Some would say that dancing is the cruelest profession, all but guaranteeing grueling work, physical pain, poverty, and heartbreak. Yet the field has always been rich in aspirants willing to dedicate their lives to the art. Why? The first group of responses was posted July 28th. Here is a second group. METTE-IDA KIRK writes:Dance and music are among the most beautiful gifts humanity has been given. And when the dancer experiences … [Read more...]

SUMMER SESSION

Mark Morris Dance Group, Mostly Mozart Festival / New York State Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC / August 4-6, 2003 Adding dance to Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival for the second year in a row, the Mark Morris Dance Group performed four works from its repertory—nothing new, but most of it pretty damned wonderful. Of the two chamber-scaled pieces presented, the 1992 “Bedtime,” set to Schubert songs, can’t possibly be called minor. Its first section, a lullaby, is so simple in its material, so understated in its means, and so poignant in … [Read more...]

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