Catching up

This time of year, it’s hard to keep up with the goings-on in the dance world (particularly ballet). Here is a round-up of recent performances and news:

Evgenia Obraztsova in <I>Romeo and Juliet</I>.<br />© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)
Evgenia Obraztsova in Romeo and Juliet. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor.

1. Herman Cornejo and Evgenia Obraztsova performed a touching rendition of Romeo and Juliet at the Met. It was Obraztsova’s début with the company—here’s hoping this new partnership will blossom in coming seasons. Here is a link to my review, for DanceTabs.
Herman Cornejo at the same performance. Photo by Gene Schiavone.


2. New York Theatre Ballet, alias “the little company that could,” held its first season in the sanctuary at St. Mark’s Church, its new home. On the program were works by Frederick Ashton, Richard Alston, David Parker, Antony Tudor, and the young choreographer Gemma Bond. The space fits the company beautifully, and the inclusion of live music (piano and voice) made all the difference. Here’s a link to my review, for DanceTabs.

New York Theatre Ballet in Anthony Tudor's Dark Elegies.© Yi-Chun Wu. (Click image for larger version)
New York Theatre Ballet in Anthony Tudor’s Dark Elegies. Photo by Yi-Chun Wu.

3. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater closed out the season with a Rennie Harris’s moving Exodus (new this season), Robert Battle’s No Longer Silent (a company première), and, of course Revelations. Here’s my review, for DanceTabs.

4. And finally, Julie Kent gave her final performance with ABT, a finely-etched portrait of Juliet in the well-loved Kenneth MacMillan production. As always with this thinking ballerina, every detail was beautifully distinct. It is difficult to imagine works like A Month in the Country without her.

Julie Kent, the soul of simplicity, as always. Photo by me.
Julie Kent, the soul of simplicity, as always. Photo by yours truly.


Magnolia Pictures Picks up “Ballet 422” and other good news…

It’s just been announced that Magnolia Pictures has just acquired “Ballet 422,” Jody Lee Lipes’ film about the creation of Justin Peck’s 2013 ballet Paz de la Jolla. And it bloody well should—it’s a really great film about the hard work, talent, and focus that goes into making art. And one of the best dance films I’ve seen, better even, I would argue, than Frederick Wiseman’s La Danse. Here’s what I wrote about “Ballet 422” when I saw it at the Tribeca Film Festival a couple of weeks ago.

And in other good news, New York Theatre Ballet, which was recently threatened with eviction from its home of over thirty years at the parish house of the Madison Avenue Baptist Church, has found a new home at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, on the Lower East Side. And next February, the company will perform at New York Live Arts. A new chapter begins.

Small, but Still Kicking, but for How Long?: New York Theatre Ballet

IMG_5910A much-loved New York institution, New York Theatre Ballet, and its related school—not to mention the Dokoudovsky conservatory of ballet downstairs—are facing an uncertain future as their landlord, a church, sells off the parish house in which they have been housed for over thirty years. If they go, another little bit of New York’s character goes with them.  Last week I trudged up the five floors of the run-down but still beautiful building and watched a class for 8 and 9 year-olds. I wrote a little piece about it for the New Yorker’s culture blog.