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Archives for December 2007

Guardian Angel

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater / Masazumi Chaya 35th Anniversary Celebration / New York City Center, NYC / December 18, 2007 Masazumi Chaya, Associate Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Photo by Andrew Eccles. I recall him vividly as a dancer. He was a powerhouse, but a deeply self-contained one, such as one sees in traditional Asian martial arts. This force never got in the way of lyricism when it was required--or sheer hi-jinks for that matter. He always seemed intent about something, be it the joy or anger or grief … [Read more...]

Slaves to Books: Personal Indulgences No. 5

Bookwormish-ness runs in our family. Over the generations it has seized the soul of my mother, me, my daughter, and my daughter's elder daughter, to name just the female victims. For example, whenever I take the subway with my young granddaughters--which is often, and often from one end of Manhattan to the other--I read aloud to them. Nearby passengers listen, smiling. Occasionally one of them says, "I remember that book from when I was a child." There is nothing like a book. Nothing. People complain about standing in that endless line at … [Read more...]

Two’s Company

NOTE: This essay was written some five years ago--intended for posting on The Dance Insider in the "Vignettes" series I was writing there. My editor advised against going public with it, since it made me sound ungrateful toward the companies who issue press seats in pairs and might alienate readers who did not enjoy press-ticket privileges. I took his advice. This week, the twinned postings of my friend and colleague Eva Yaa Asantewaa and my ArtsJournal colleague Apollinaire Scherr persuaded me to offer it belatedly. Since the rewards of … [Read more...]

Thierree’s Magic Tricks Charm at BAM; Alvin Ailey

This article originally appeared in the Culture section of Bloomberg News on December 7, 2007. Satchie Noro swings from ropes while performing in "Au Revoir Parapluie," directed by James Thierree, at the BAM Harvey Theater in New York on Dec. 4, 2007. Performances will continue through Dec. 16. Photographer: Julieta Cervantes/BAM via Bloomberg News Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- A woman in crimson hangs upside down in a tangle of thick ropes, later soaring through the air in a white nightgown, like Peter Pan's Wendy. An acrobatically inclined man is … [Read more...]

Bejart’s Spandex `Firebird’ Gets Demure With Ailey

This article originally appeared in the Culture section of Bloomberg News on December 4, 2007. Clifton Brown from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater rehearses for Maurice Bejart's "Firebird" in New York on Aug. 21, 2007. Performances of the show will continue at the New York City Center through Dec. 31. Photographer: Eduardo Patino/Alvin Ailey Dance Theater via Bloomberg News Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Seeing the late Maurice Bejart's ``Firebird,'' the centerpiece of the gala that opened the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's five-week … [Read more...]

Thinking About “The Nutcracker”

New York City Ballet: George Balanchine's The Nutcracker / New York State Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC / November 23 - December 30, 2007. Marie and the tree from New York City Ballet's The Nutcracker by George Balanchine. Photo by Paul Kolnik. The Nutcracker--in George Balanchine's version for the New York City Ballet, the most skillful, intuitive, and moving that I've ever seen--is an essay in contrasts, both physical and social. The full article appeared in Voice of Dance ( on November 28, 2007. To read it, … [Read more...]

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