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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.”

That Nureyev Style (The Nation)

A piece from 2007, on that special Nureyev touch. You can link to it here.

And here is a short excerpt:

“What was so special about Nureyev? Americans, especially younger Americans (like myself), are more acquainted with Baryshnikov and his altogether different gifts….His entire body was involved in every movement, whether small or large; more important, as Kavanagh writes, in his dancing “the virtuoso steps were only transitions in an overarching dance picture.” His feather-light jumps, pristine footwork and multiple turns made one gasp, and yet did not call attention to themselves; they simply seemed so easy, so obvious, the logical continuation or culmination of a phrase or an idea. There was an intrinsic purity to his movement that was the opposite of showiness. Understatement was in fact a crucial part of his brilliance….Nureyev was an altogether different kind of dancer. Not that he was not a virtuoso. His jumps were breathtaking, even on video, reaching both enormous elevation and breadth in space but also achieving a heart-stopping slowness. He appeared to hover in midair; he collapsed space. Watching his performances in Giselle and Le Corsaire on video makes me sad not to have been there to see him perform in his prime, when his exceptionally pliant and deep plié allowed him, as Kavanagh puts it, to “rebound in space and sit there, for several seconds.” (Kavanagh’s descriptions of dance reveal a deep affinity for the form–she trained in ballet and has been a dance critic for the Spectator as well as the London editor of both Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. She has the knack for making you “see” what a step looked like.)”