an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me | Advertise | Follow me:

Archives for 2011

City Center’s Makeover

New York City Center Opening Night Gala / New York City Center, NYC / October 25, 2011 City Center renovated, view from house left Photo: © Aislinn Weidele / Ennead Architects Last night's celebration of the renovation and restoration of the New York City Center assured the theater's aficionados of dance, music, and drama that they would still be spared having to "walk a mile for a camel." Before it became an arts center "for the people" (meaning affordable), the building, called the Mecca Temple, was a center for the Ancient Arabic … [Read more...]

Message to Readers

As E.B. White's famous mouse observed, "There are always so many worth-while things going on in New York at night." Beginning OCT 25, I'll be in a different theater every night for nearly a week and still miss performances I consider must-sees. I plan to write a brief review of each event that will post shortly after its performance. I won't have time to send the usual e-alert on each posting to my subscribers, but hope all my readers will have a look at SEEING THINGS on a daily basis, starting OCT 26. … [Read more...]

The Farrell Dilemma

Suzanne Farrell Ballet / Joyce Theater, NYC / October 19-23, 2011 Suzanne Farrell Photo: Paul Kolnik The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, named for the transcendent dancer who was George Balanchine's last muse, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Ironically, after a decade of generously favorable response to the group's work, some observers are questioning the wisdom of the enterprise's very existence. Sarah Kaufman, the Washington Post's Pulitzer Prize-winning dance critic, sums up the situation clearly in her review of the troupe's … [Read more...]

Don’t Go Near the Water

New York City Ballet: Ocean's Kingdom / David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC / September 22, 24, 25, 27, 29 Much touted in advance, New York City Ballet's just-premiered $800,000 Ocean's Kingdom is a once-in-a-lifetime (please, god) collaboration by Paul McCartney (first a Beatle, now a knight) and Peter Martins (first a superb dancer, now a company director, a choreographer, and a Danish knight to boot). Pas de Deux No. 1: Paul McCartney and Peter Martins, creators of Ocean's Kingdom for New York City Ballet Photo: Paul … [Read more...]

Bournonville Remembers

To the reader: The essay below, on the ballet school scene from August Bournonville's Konservatoriet (The Conservatory), was commissioned by the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark. It first appeared, translated into Danish by Lise Kaiser, in the Royal Danish Ballet's illustrated program in Spring 2011. The original English version appears here for the first time with the gracious permission of the Royal Theatre. August Bournonville (1805-1879)--dancer and choreographer, instructor and artistic director--gave the Royal Danish Ballet a … [Read more...]

Fox Tale

Mark Morris Dance Group / Rose Theater, Lincoln Center / August 18-20, 2011 Who does Mark Morris think he is, Bronislava Nijinska? George Balanchine? These superlative choreographers are among the several who preceded him in providing the choreography for Igor Stravinsky's foxy music-and-dance entertainment, Renard. Nijinska was the first to do so, in 1922, for Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. Balanchine choreographed the first American production in 1947 for Ballet Society, a forerunner of New York City Ballet. Last week Morris brought … [Read more...]

Interim Report

Dear Readers, My next posting on SEEING THINGS will cover the NYC premiere of Mark Morris's new Renard (to Stravinsky's score for a small-scale opera-ballet) at the David H. Kohn Theatre, Lincoln Center, August 18-20. The performances are part of the Mostly Mozart Festival. The program will include two other Morris works, which I've written about earlier, Socrates and Festival Dance. After Labor Day, as the fall season gets underway, I'll resume more frequent posting. Best, tt … [Read more...]

Russian Unorthodox

Mariinsky Ballet / Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NYC / July 11 - 16, 2011 A Is for Arabesque: The Mariinsky Ballet's Yekaterina Kondaurova in the title role of Alexei Ratmansky's Anna Karenina Photo: Natasha Razina When New York's dance fans heard "The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!" they were duly aroused to fever pitch by the news. As part of this summer's Lincoln Center Festival, the Mariinsky Ballet (having officially gone back to its birth name) arrived at the Metropolitan Opera House for a week. … [Read more...]

Deborah Jowitt

I'm delighted to welcome Deborah Jowitt and her blog, DanceBeat, to the small but ardent cluster of dance writers at ArtsJournal. As many readers who have followed Deborah's writing--some of us for decades--know, her love for our subject is warm, her knowledge deep, her penetration keen, and her writing style distinctive. From my own earliest days at our trade, I learned from her. From our proximity on AJ, I expect I will learn still more. … [Read more...]

Alina Cojocaru at ABT

American Ballet Theatre: Alina Cojocaru / Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NYC / MAY 16 - July 9, 2011 She's a darling, Alina Cojocaru--petite, pretty (without being pert or saccharine), fragile-looking as a waif. Her secret, which, of course, she reveals almost immediately after her entrance on stage, is a technical proficiency that would impress you even if her appealing personality--that joy that's always slightly tinged with sorrow--hadn't already captivated you. Cojocaru, who has just completed a third guest stint with … [Read more...]

an ArtsJournal blog