On Saturday night, Misty Copeland had her New York début as the Cowgirl in Agnes de Mille’s “Rodeo.” She was fantastic: funny, relaxed, charming, touching. A natural comedienne. It was a side of her dancing I’d never seen, a brilliant bit of casting against type. (Copeland is usually cast in either more contemporary work, or classical variations, or parts that highlight her natural glamour.) But last Saturday she threw herself into De Mille’s dopey character heart and soul, and brought the audience along for the ride.
The end of American Ballet Theatre’s spring season brought a trio of farewell performances for the soloists Sascha Radetsky, Yuriko Kajiya, and Jared Matthews. Each led a cast of Coppélia; two were débuts. Quietly, Joseph Gorak also débuted this week as Franz. Recently promoted to soloist, Gorak is a young danseur noble in the making. So it goes in ballet, an art for the young, ambitious, and blindly devoted. Here’s my review for DanceTabs.
Here’s my interview with Susan Jones, a ballet mistress at American Ballet Theatre in charge of the corps de ballet. Jones joined ABT in 1970 and stayed for nine years. In that time, she danced every corps role in the rep, plus Lizzie in Fall River Legend, Cowgirl in Rodeo, and a few other choice parts that suited her dramatic side. She quickly showed a skill for remembering steps, which became handy when working with Twyla Tharp on Push Comes to Shove. Baryshnikov made her a ballet mistress, and she never left. This fall, she is re-staging Tharp’s Bach Partita, which hasn’t been done for almost thirty years.
…In which the Mark Morris Dance Group steals the show…
The company performed two programs, separated by a concert for toy piano (at dusk). It was an exciting evening of dance. Here’s a link to my review, for DanceTabs.
And here is a short excerpt:
“As always, Morris’s ability to shape the sounds coming from the pit through a combined language of gesture and seemingly simple movement is a constant source of surprise and almost primal satisfaction. Why does the swishing of a hand set to a two-note figure in the strings or a carving of the air to a line of melody feel so right? Who knows.”