In its first week, the company performs works from its first decade. See my review of two programs here.
The Mark Morris Dance Group is back at BAM after three years, with two mixed bills consisting, for the most part, of new works. You can read my review for DanceTabs here.
You can read my review of the Mariinsky’s all Chopin, all piano triple bill, for DanceTabs, here.
A few thoughts on the Mariinsky’s Cinderella, created for the company by Alexei Ratmansky in 2002.
Alexei Ratmansky’s Nutcracker for American Ballet Theatre is having its last run at the Brooklyn Academy of Music before moving to the west coast next year. For the first time since its premiere in 2010, the theatre is full… Can’t help feeling a pang of loss. It’s a wonderfully imaginative rendition, a great antidote to Balanchine’s pitch-perfect version. Here’s my review of last night’s performance for DanceTabs, with Cory Stearns and Hee Seo in the lead roles.
Last week, the choreographer Jessica Lang presented her new, fully-staged version of Shubert’s song-cycle Die Schöne Müllerin at BAM’s intimate Fishman Space. In it, she takes on the the lyricism of Schubert and the poetry of Wilhelm Müller and gives it physical form. Her eight dancers fill the roles of protagonist, miller’s daughter, huntsman, and, more intriguingly, of the forces of nature and the brook in which the protagonist eventually drowns himself. Lang made a valiant effort; her approach is sensitive, well-informed, and consistently engaging. But the two languages—dance and son—only occasionally spoke to each other with eloquence, bringing about something more than the sum of various parts. Here’s my review, for DanceTabs.
And a longer a piece I wrote for The Nation, on the difficulty of combining vocal music and dance.
The Mikhailovsky Ballet had its New York début this week in Giselle. Opening night was led by a starry cast: Natalia Osipova and Leonid Sarafanov. Here’s my review of that performance, as well as the one at the following matinée, with Anastasia Soboleva and Victor Lebedev as Giselle and Albrecht. Soboleva is a find.
And some background on the company.
Pina Bausch’s Kontakthof comes to BAM this week. It’s five years since Bausch’s death, and the company soldiers on. The piece is about love—what Pina Bausch work isn’t?—and the lengths to which we are willing to go to get it. Humiliation, tenderness, brutality, flirtation: all this is part of Bausch’s amorous vocabulary. This battle takes place in a dance-hall, the kontakthof, or “contact zone.”
You can read a little introduction to Kontakthof I wrote for BAM here.
The mini De Keersmaeker retrospective ended with Elena’s Aria, from 1984, and Bartok/Mikrokosmos, from 1987. Here’s my review, for DanceTabs.
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.