Archive for the ‘The Torn Tutu’ Category

Lion Hearts: Batsheva’s Young Ensemble

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

When the dancers took their bows at the end of the 85-minute work on opening night (September 27), they received a standing ovation. In “Decadance”, the performers are the main event; their individuality is the subject, and the audience championed them.

Read the rest of this article »

Wanted: Artistic Director of a Ballet Company

Monday, September 21st, 2015

Two mid-size ballet companies in North America are in search of artistic directors. Gradimir Pankov is leaving his post at Les Grands Ballets Canadiens of Montreal after 15 years. John McFall is departing Atlanta Ballet after 20 years. In comparison to the majority of the 140-odd ballet troupes across the North American continent, which have minimal seasons and only a handful of dancers, Les Grands and Atlanta employ between 20 and 30 dancers and commission in-demand choreographers for their seasons and tours. So, what is required to helm a ballet company?

Read the rest of this article »

All in the Family: Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance Company

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

The dance company founded by Paul Taylor in 1954 returned for their annual season (March 10-29) to the former New York State Theater, but it returned under a different name: Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance Company. This is significant. New to the company’s title are the words American and Modern. Taylor, now 84 years old and considered the surviving grand master of American modern dance, appears to be concerned about the health of his chosen genre. With his company’s new title comes a new mission: to present works by other choreographers, both young and old, who are perceived to be part of the American modern dance family tree.

Read the rest of this article »

The Solo Dance Act: Nederlands Dance Theater 2

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Perhaps we are returning to the era of dance as a solo act. That’s what I was thinking while watching the 16-member Nederlands Dans Theater 2. In three of the four works presented at the Joyce Theater on February 7, the ensemble dances devolved into a series of solos. This trend occurred for no apparent reason. Insiders know, however, that it’s a lot easier to make solos than group choreography

Read the rest of this article »

Justin Peck’s New Graffiti Ballet

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

Peck’s Heatscape video promo doesn’t express bohemian culture as much as it reveals the corporatization of culture, marketed to young people in spaces owned by real estate titans. Let’s hope Peck’s actual ballet doesn’t fumble so drastically into contested urban spaces, where art and big business are meeting. Let’s hope Heatscape is just a hot dance.

Read the rest of this article »

A 25th Anniversary Tour for Wim Vandekeybus

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

In the 1980s, Punk Rock, Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner,” and Mike Tyson’s boxing championships made the ear-splitting, the nocturnal, and the hard-hitting de rigueur. Contemporary dance followed, becoming faster, more brazen and muscular. When the Belgian Wim Vandekeybus arrived on the scene with his first work, “What the Body Does Not Remember” (1987), New York Times dance critic Anna Kisselgoff began her review with these six slamming words: “Tough, brutal, playful, ironic and terrific.” And so it was with great anticipation that I attended, at Madrid’s Teatros de Canal on November 23, the reprisal of the dance, which is making a two-year world tour in celebration of its 25th anniversary.

Read the rest of this article »

The Mesmerizing Underworld of Rocío Molina

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Splash. From atop a cantering horse, the avant-garde flamenco artist Rocío Molina plunges into a dark river. This opening film sequence that precedes the live dance work Bosque Ardora (Ardor in the Woods) was seen November 7 at Teatros del Canal, the host of the 2014 Madrid International Dance Festival. Molina’s descent into a dark river is symbolic of her descent into the underworld of the psyche. There, the thirty-year-old choreographer embodies female archetypes: the goddess (Artemis of the hunt), the vixen (in which she wears a fox mask), and the modern day victim (who is physically punished by high-heel stilettos). Molina never settles too long into one vision, and thus never becomes trapped by female, cultural stereotypes. Molina outfoxes preconceptions: she is a petite, brown-haired beauty; she performs like a chameleon giantess.

Read the rest of this article »

The Beauty of Nature (Trained and Untrained): A Schumacher Ballet Film

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Helene Davis, of Helene Davis PR, was good enough to send this short film, featuring Ashley Laracey and Harrison Coll in an excerpt from Dear and Blackbirds by Troy Schumacher. The excerpt appears to be shot in Colorado, or thereabouts… Ah, mountains, prairie and dark cumulous clouds. The statuesque dancers’ serious yet delicate interchanges mysteriously harmonize with the monumental landscape.

Read the rest of this article »

Ballet Goes to Broadway, Again

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

The blogosphere is alive with news about the current forays of New York City ballet principal dancers Robert Fairchild, Megan Fairchild, and Tyler Peck into Broadway.

Read the rest of this article »

Dance as a Luxury Product: the Post 9/11 Environment

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

The Slovak National Dance Congress 2014 recently asked me to speak about the state of New York City dance. Since I’ve been living in New York City on and off since 1979, I felt up to the task. In the following slides (which have been converted into a movie), I tease out the changes that have occurred for New York City concert dancers following 9/11. What I found most striking (and dismaying) in my research was that the U.S. capital of Terpsichore is increasingly recognizing dancers and dance organizations not as the obvious—as artists and art groups—but as brands for luxury consumption.

Read the rest of this article »