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Life Lessons

Mark Morris Dance Group

Mark Morris Dance Group / James and Martha Duffy Performance Space, Mark Morris Dance Center, Brooklyn, NY / April 3-14, 2013 Jenn and Spencer, being given its world premiere on the opening night of the Mark Morris Dance Group’s run at the company’s studio/theater in Brooklyn, refers to two of the company’s splendid dancers, Jenn Weddel and Spencer Ramirez.  The duet named for and performed by them illustrates the magic a pair of dancers may be capable of and an extraordinary exploration of the duet form. Mark Morris Dance Group’s Jenn … [Read more...]

Ballet’s Sweetheart

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Pacific Northwest Ballet / City Center, NYC / February 13-16, 2013 The Pacific Northwest Ballet, whose home is in Seattle, has just made a rare visit to New York.  It offered two programs, one an acid-test rep of three top-of-the-line Balanchine classics; the other, Jean-Christophe Maillot’s take on Romeo and Juliet, to that Prokofiev score  ballet fans hear far too often.  Evolved by Francia Russell and her husband, Kent Stowell, in the course of the 1970s, the company is one of several groups whose roots lie in Balanchine territory.  Peter … [Read more...]

Preview from Seattle

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Works & Process:  Pacific Northwest Ballet / Guggenheim Museum, NYC / September 9 & 10, 2012 The dance programs in the Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process series, each a 90-minute presentation that shunts between dancing and talking, are viewed, live, two or three times, in the museum’s tiny theater, and telecast simultaneously from sea to shining sea.  Most often, these lecture-dems serve as preludes to a run in New York; in harsher words the company that’s featured is shilling for its upcoming shows.  The tough practicality of … [Read more...]

Five-Alarm “Firebird”

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American Ballet Theatre:  Alexei Ratmansky’s new Firebird / Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NYC / season runs through July 7, 2012 I can’t imagine what Alexei Ratmansky was thinking of in creating his New Look Firebird.  To begin with—and this is the first thing you notice--it‘s dressed for Las Vegas by Galina Solovyeva, with complementary décor (including a sci-fi forest with hints of porn) by Simon Pastukh.  It wrests the fairy-tale narrative that Michel Fokine created for his 1910 L’Oiseau de Feu (in which good, abetted by … [Read more...]

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