Wheeldon’s Alice

I wrote this piece on Christopher Wheeldon’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” for the Times. I must say the ballet looks like great fun, and the score, by Joby Talbot is wonderfully clever. Looking forward to seeing the National Ballet of Canada perform it at the Koch Sept. 9-14.


Random thought…

…upon watching an excerpt of Merce Cunningham’s “Ocean” at the Merce Cunningham Fellowship Workshop this afternoon: I’d forgotten how witty and dramatic Cunningham could be, how much he loved couple dancing, and his capacity for surprise.

Hip-hop life

Companhia Urbana de Dança in Rio. ©Companhia Urbana
Companhia Urbana de Dança in Rio. ©Companhia Urbana

Here is my Times feature on the Brazilian contemporary hip-hop ensemble Companhia Urbana de Dança, a group I’ve really enjoyed seeing ever since they appeared at Fall For Dance a few years ago. They’ll be performing at Jacob’s Pillow next week.

Happy Nymphs and Happy Swains

The final tableau of Mark Morris's Acis and Galatea. Photo by Richard Termine for Lincoln Center.
The final tableau of Mark Morris’s Acis and Galatea. Photo by Richard Termine for Lincoln Center.

As part of the Mostly Mozart Festival, the Mark Morris Dance Group is performing Morris’s production of Handel’s opera “Acis and Galatea,” in which dancers and singers share the same sylvan world onstage. In the pit, Nicholas McGegan conducts the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale. Here’s my review of last night’s performance, for DanceTabs.

A short excerpt:

“Unlike his Dido and Aeneas (1989) and L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (1988), in Acis Morris places the four soloists…onstage among the dancers. The chorus is down below, with the players. (Morris also took this approach in his delightfully zany staging of Purcell’s King Arthur, staged at New York City Opera in 2008.) Here, the singers and dancers share the same world, in relative harmony.”

And a couple of images from the production:


Just like that…

So it turns out that writing is not only fun, but useful! One of the conductors I spoke to for my article on ballet conducting just wrote this to me: “As a result of our talk, you spurred me on to initiate the organization of a ballet conducting assistantship at my university. I have a meeting this Friday with our Dean and hope that he will approve this idea.” Who knew?

Conductors Make the World Go ‘Round

Ever wonder what goes on in the pit while ballerinas leap and spin upon the stage? Well, now you’ll know. I wrote an article about conducting for dance, a subject that has always fascinated me, for the Times. It will appear on Sunday, Aug. 3, in the Arts and Leisure section. (If you receive the weekend paper, you’ll get in on Saturday). Meanwhile, it’s already online.