Willem Dafoe and Mikhail Baryshnikov in  Robert Wilson's "The Old Woman." Photo by Lucie Jansch.
Willem Dafoe and Mikhail Baryshnikov in Robert Wilson’s “The Old Woman.” Photo by Lucie Jansch.

Just saw “The Old Woman” at BAM, a folie-à-deux (Baryshnikov + Willem Dafoe) directed by that jolly old minimalist Bob Wilson. Here’s my review for DanceTabs. It’s showing at BAM through June 29.

Dance Theatre of Harlem, Year Two

Davon Doane and Ashley Murphy in Past-Carry-Forward. Photo by Rachel Neville.
Davon Doane and Ashley Murphy in Past-Carry-Forward. Photo by Rachel Neville.

Dance Theatre of Harlem is currently wrapping up its second season since its return under the steady leadership of Virginia Johnson. (You can read more about here here, in this long and wide-ranging interview from last year.)

Like last year, the dancers’ warmth and directness are a pleasure. Ashley Murphy is a knockout. Chrystyn Fentroy radiates joy. But the dancing is still uneven, and especially in the more classical works, it shows some strain, some sloppiness. Then there is the question of repertory, which Johnson is molding with an eye to the company’s history and identity. It’s a difficult job. You can read more about the season here, in my review for DanceTabs. Here’s a short excerpt:

“The opening and closing of Gloria are explosions of joy, in which toe-heel taps and shimmying shoulders feel organic, like part of a misa criolla. Several passages leave vivid after-images, as when Ashley Murphy hovers in profile, her strong feet shimmering like hummingbird wings. As she bends forward or arches toward the sky, she alternates between atonement and elation.”

Breaking the Waves (Review of Martha Graham’s Fall and Recover Gala, for DanceTabs)

Blakeley White-McGuire (and her extraordinary dress) in "Imperial Gesture." Photo by Charles Eilber.
Blakeley White-McGuire (and her extraordinary dress) in “Imperial Gesture.” Photo by Charles Eilber.

Here’s my review of the Martha Graham Fall and Recovery Gala, which included the restored version of Imperial Gesture, an intriguing excerpt from Canticle for Innocent Comedians, a new work by Luca Veggetti, and an excerpt of a work-in-progress by Duato.

And a short excerpt:

“Even more than with other choreographers, the costumes and sets are essential elements of Graham’s dance imagination. Think of Martha’s stretchy sack-dress in Lamentation, or the prickly metal tree-dress by Noguchi in Cave of the Heart. They are extensions of the dancers’ bodies, and of Graham’s Jungian world-view. Even more, they color our perception of the movement. A contraction of the pelvis looks quite different in a leotard than it does in a floor-length cape-dress.”

Any thoughts on the current Graham season?