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The Apprentice Experience at ABT (Playbill)

In May, I interviewed a few young dancers at ABT about their experiences as apprentices with the company, for Playbill. You can see the piece here.

And here is a short excerpt:

“During the spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House, ABT performs eight evening-length ballets over the course of seven weeks, often rehearsing one ballet while performing another. There is simply not enough time to be running after wayward swans. “Time is precious, and we never have enough of it.”

La Bayadère, Paris Opera Ballet, or The Triumph of Form (DanceTabs)

In early March, I went to Paris to see the Paris Opéra Ballet perform La Bayadère at the Opéra Bastille. You can read my review for DanceTabs here.

And here is a short excerpt:

“Dorothée Gilbert, as Gamzatti, was excellent, both in her dancing and in her acting. In her scene with Nikiya, Gilbert’s fiery temperament, intermixed with confusion and hurt pride, brought to story to life. In this version Gilbert and Dupont come to blows, scratch at each other, even roll around on the floor. For a moment, the two were no longer a princess and a dancing girl, but two beautiful women fighting over a man. Gilbert looked like she might tear one of Dupont’s eyes out.”

Nrityagram Explores Odissi and Kandyan Dance (DanceTabs)

In March, the excellent Indian dance ensemble came to New York with a fascinating program that combined the classical dance forms odissi (from Eastern India) and Kandyan Dance (from Sri Lanka). You can read my review, for DanceTabs, here.
Here’s a short excerpt:
“Surupa Sen performed a mime solo in which she acted out a jealous scene between Krishna and Radha, followed by Krishna’s guilty plea for forgiveness, all based on a twelfth century poem. As she mimed the words “you are the universe…the limpid crescent moon resting in your hair,” her eyes softened, her fingers traced the delicate line of the moon, and then shimmered around her body. She seemed to emanate light.”

Ashton’s “The Dream,” a Petulant Masterpiece (The Faster Times)

American Ballet Theatre performed “The Dream” during its spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House. You can read my review for The Faster Times here.

And here is a short excerpt:

“Herman Cornejo’s Puck defies description. It goes without saying that he spends most of his time in the air, but what is even more striking is the way he creates shapes while he’s there–that is to say, with the same vividness and definition he might display if he were on the ground. Not only that, he lives in the music, which makes it all look effortless and twice as magical. He doesn’t overplay the role, or go for laughs, and manages to look both like a magical creature and like himself. He’s simply breathtaking.”

Ronald K. Brown, or The Pleasure of Dance (The Faster Times)

Ronald K. Brown’s company, Evidence, performed at the Joyce in early July. You can read my review for the The Faster Times here.

Here’s a short excerpt:

“When asked about his sources of inspiration, Brown speaks of compassion, love and the human spirit. All notions that make me squirm when applied to dance. How does one approach such lofty ideals without bludgeoning the audience? Somehow, Brown pulls it off. I left the Joyce feeling, well, elated, buoyed by the afterglow produced by people sharing the pleasure of dancing together.”

Trisha Brown at the Armory (The Faster Times)

On July, the Trisha Brown Dance Company performed a reconstruction of “Astral Converted” (1991) at the Park Avenue Armory in New York. My review, for The Faster Times, is here.

And here is an excerpt:

“About halfway, a kind of impatience set in, a feeling that the dance might last forever, or at least until the dancers collapsed from exhaustion. The reactions of the public are mixed. Some seem transfixed, others begin to lose the battle with weariness.”

Ángel Corella Bids Adieu; Isabella Boylston Dances her First Swan (DanceTabs)

On June 27, the loveable Ángel Corella took his last bow with American Ballet Theatre, after a final “Swan Lake,” with Paloma Herrera as his partner. The following day, the young soloist Isabella Boylston had her début in the same ballet. I reviewed both performances here.
A short excerpt:

“By the final scene, the man underneath was beginning to supplant the character. Corella’s final embrace of Odette was that of a loving brother and partner: “I’ll miss you so much!” he was telling Herrera, the woman. His parting leap was no spectacular swan dive, but a simple exit, over the cliff and into his new life. He knew it was time to go, and he did with the grace and modesty for which he is loved.”

Paris Opera Ballet Presents its Wares (DanceTabs)

In July, the Paris Opéra Ballet came to NY, where it offered three programs, including one in which it presented three works from the twentieth century: Serge Lifars’s Suite en Blanc, Roland Petit’s L’Arlesienne, and, most fun, Maurice Béjart’s Bolero. You can read my DanceTabs review here.

And here is a short excerpt:

“No-one knows how to whip an audience into a lather quite like Béjart. His Boléro is a triumph of erotic kitsch, a lap dance in the guise of high art. At the center of the stage stands a red table, upon which a shirtless man pulses his legs forward and back, while slowly raising his arms, hands like cobra heads, then rubs his chest and thighs, staring out at the audience suggestively all the while. He puts his hand under his chin, as if blowing kisses, frames his crotch with his palms, pulses his bare and increasingly sweaty chest. Who can resist?”

Paris Opera’s Giselle (DanceTabs)

In July, the Paris Opéra Ballet came to NY, where it presented three programs, including Giselle. You can link to my DanceTabs review here.

And here is a short excerpt:

“The costumes, realized by Claudie Gastine, are also beautiful, especially those for the wilis. Sumptuous, full, long skirts with layer upon layer of tulle so light it could fly off by itself; soft, ruched bodices with puffy sleeves and deep décolletés exposing miles of soft white flesh, tiny diaphanous wings and crowns of flowers for the hair. The arrival of the wilis takes one’s breath away.”