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KISSING COUSINS

Susan Marshall & Company / BAM Harvey Theater, New York City / October 21-25, 2003 In our current climate of branding, dance concerts must have titles. The choreographer Susan Marshall, already branded as a genius by her copping a MacArthur Fellowship 2000, slyly called her latest program, part of BAM’s Next Wave series, Sleeping Beauty and Other Stories. The words on both sides of the (pointedly unitalicized) “and” are simply the names of her two newest works. The first is one of the finest efforts of her career. Like the landmark … [Read more...]

STAR TREK

First Sight: The Performance An extraordinary dancer doesn't need to be discovered. He's apparent. I had my first, startling, sight of Danny Tidwell last spring in one of the Guggenheim Museum’s show-and-tell Works & Process programs. The subject of the evening was ballet competitions. American Ballet Theatre, which harbors many a medalist, sent a bunch of them out to perform their winning numbers and then, without pause for breath, to chat about the competition phenomenon with John Meehan. Meehan heads the ABT Studio Company—a dozen … [Read more...]

SNAKE EYES

Merce Cunningham Dance Company / BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, New York City / October 14-18, 2003 Dancing usually hangs out with music—and with good reason. Think rhythmic, structural, and atmospheric support. Think Tchaikovsky-Petipa; think Stravinsky-Balanchine. Merce Cunningham, celebrating the 50th anniversary of his company at BAM this week, was a pioneer in disconnecting the two arts, inviting them to exist in the same place and time yet avoid co-dependency. With avant-garde practitioners like John Cage, Cunningham evolved the … [Read more...]

OZU MOVES

"Yasujiro Ozu: A Centennial Celebration" / Film Society of Lincoln Center, Walter Reade Theater, NYC / October 4 - November 5, 2003 Dance aficionados as well as film connoisseurs will be drawn to the Walter Reade Theater for the Film Society of Lincoln Center's "Yasujiro Ozu: A Centennial Celebration," October 4 - November 5. The lure for the dance crowd? The iconic director's insight into movement and his rendition - always sensitive and frequently sublime - of feelings that lie past the reach of words. Those just glancingly acquainted … [Read more...]

BACK STORY

This week's performances of Ballett Frankfurt at the Brooklyn Academy of Music mark a critical stage in the career of William Forsythe, who has shaped the company according to his singular aesthetic. I've invited the dance writer Roslyn Sulcas, our New York expert on Forsythe, to provide some background. Here is her report: William Forsythe has been quietly enlarging the world of classical dance over the last two decades. Born in New York, and trained at the Joffrey Ballet School, Forsythe moved to Germany in his early twenties to join the … [Read more...]

AFTER THE FACT

Ballett Frankfurt / BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, NYC / September 30 - October 5, 2003 I wish I liked William Forsythe's work more. After Ballett Frankfurt's opening night at BAM, I felt an inch closer to appreciating it - as the enthusiastic audience, peppered with dance-world celebrities, clearly did. But no more than an inch. Yes, the vocabulary is inventive (if narrow). The pictorial sense at work is superb. The Forsythe-groomed dancers perform with extravagant energy and commitment. But the dances seem to be telling the same story … [Read more...]

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