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Smuin Ballet at the Joyce Theatre (Faster Times)

On August 14, I saw the Smuin Ballet at the Joyce. They performed Smuin’s Medea; Trey McIntyre’s Oh, Inverted World, from 2010; and Soon These Two Worlds, by Amy Seiwert (2009). My review for The Faster Times is here.

And here is a short excerpt:

“The best work of the evening, and the one that most suited the dancers, was surely Oh, Inverted World, by Trey McIntyre. There’s a plainspoken-ness to his work that I’ve always found refreshing. His dances draw their tone from the people with whom he collaborates: young, dynamic, normal but conflicted, with the particular vulnerabilities of the young. Inverted World is set to songs by the indie-rock band The Shins; I couldn’t make out the words, but they sounded like just what you would expect, slightly plaintive, energetic expressions of teenage angst and enthusiasm. The dance reflected these feelings perfectly: boys and girls in simplified sports attire, cavorting and pairing up vigorously, their antics tempered by the occasional eruption of awkwardness and misanthropy. As in Rebel Without a Cause, Loneliness and rage lay close to the surface of collegiality and horseplay.”

Dance Heginbotham at Jacob’s Pillow (for DanceTabs)

On August 8, I saw Dance Heginbotham, a new dance company led by John Heginbotham (a longtime member of the Mark Morris Dance Group) at Jacob’s Pilow. You can read my review for DanceTabs here.
And here is a short excerpt:

“Heginbotham has always exhibited a kind of quiet grace onstage, a quality that draws the eye without clamoring for attention. He is comfortable in a dress, never hogs the spotlight, and seems to follow an internal compass, an innate sense of storytelling. These qualities are reflected in his own dances.”

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.”