An Important Loss for NY dance

Demoralized by the loss of yet another important outlet for dance coverage, Time Out New York, which has decided to fuse dance with theatre and eliminate the full-page interview by Gia Kourlas that was the highlight of each issue. Kourlas’s extended, insightful, and often revealing weekly interviews with dancers and choreographers were an essential resource for every dance lover and their elimination is a huge loss.

If you feel moved to action, please write to:

Editor-in-Chief Terri White <>, Deputy Editor Carla Sosenko <>, and Managing Editor Ethan LaCroix <> with a CC to

Check out…

Companhia Urbana de Dança, by  Renato Mangolini.
Companhia Urbana de Dança, by Renato Mangolini.

Gia Kourlas’s interview with Sonia Destri, the founder of Companhia Urbana de Dança, a company of young  dancers from Rio currently performing at the Joyce as part of a Brazilian dance festival at the Joyce. And go to the Joyce if you can. Destri’s choreography is strong and spare, and the dancers are wonderful: varied, incredibly direct, and vibrant.

Here’s what I wrote about them in The Faster Times when they came to Fall for Dance in 2010:

“Lastly came Companhia Urbana de Dança, from Brazil, made up of beautiful, wild-haired young men from the rougher neighborhoods of Rio. They performed “ID: entidades,” a suite of deconstructed hip-hop, street-dance, and contemporary- dance miniatures set to an extremely spare electronic score consisting of sounds and the odd driving rhythm. This was no “Bring in ‘da Noise” or “Stomp”-style showcase however, but rather a dark, introspective meditation on the dancers’ ways of moving. Each had his specialty—fast-footwork, isolations, fluid movements of the torso and arms. In between, they ran, clashed, embraced. There was a contained aggression in their movements, but also refinement and a kind of innocence.”

Thoughts on Yasuko Yokoshi’s “Bell” (for DanceTabs)

Kuniya Sawamura and Yasuko Yokoshi. Phoot by Ian Douglas.
Kuniya Sawamura and Yasuko Yokoshi. Phoot by Ian Douglas.

Here‘s my review of Yasuko Yokoshi’s “Bell,” a deconstruction of the Kabuki drama The Maiden at the Dojoji Temple through the lens of Giselle. I’ve been a big fan of Yokoshi’s previous experiments with the pared-down Kabuki style known as Su-odori, but this one just didn’t work. The bits from Dojoji and Giselle never cohered, nor did they inform each other in any meaningful way. The “balletic” elements were woefully inadequate. The Japanese elements, beautifully executed, were given little context. Here’s a short excerpt from DanceTabs:

“Both Kayo Seyama, an older female dancer who performs a lengthy, delicate solo (called Kane no Misaki) toward the end of Bell, and Kuniya Sawamura, a young male dancer/actor who may just be one of the finest character dicers I have seen, are fascinating to watch. The utter control of every millimeter of their bodies and face, the refinement of their movements, the total clarity of the placement of each limb and adjustment of weight within the body, are astounding. To this, Sawamura adds an extraordinarily expressive face that suggests flickers of wit, sadness, irony, fear, pleasure, even naughtiness.”