Swan Problems

Svetlana Zakharova and DAvid Hallberg in hte Bolshoi's "Swan Lake." Photo by Stephanie Berger.
Svetlana Zakharova and DAvid Hallberg in hte Bolshoi’s “Swan Lake.” Photo by Stephanie Berger.

What is it with Swan Lake? There don’t see to be any good ones around. The Bolshoi’s version, currently being performed as part of the Lincoln Center Festival, is no exception. Here’s my review, for DanceTabs. And a short excerpt:

“What the company hasn’t brought this time around is any new choreography. It’s rather a disappointment. Instead, we get three of its most well-worn ballets – Swan Lake, Don Quixote, and Spartacus. It is even more disappointing that the troupe should open its run with a Swan Lake so lackluster that it fails to improve upon the two sub-par Swan Lakes we see here regularly, at ABT and at New York City Ballet.”


Back to Basics–Balanchine “Black and White” at NYCB

Sterling Hyltin in "Symphony in Three Movements." Photo by Paul Kolnik.
Sterling Hyltin in “Symphony in Three Movements.” Photo by Paul Kolnik.

New York City Ballet went back to basics this week with its “Black and White” program. All Balanchine, all modernist ballets performed in pared-down leotards and tights: The Four Temperaments, Episodes, Duo Concertant, and Symphony in Three Movements. Here’s my review of the evening for DanceTabs.

And a short excerpt: “The program, a compilation of modernist ballets set to music by Webern, Hindemith, and Stravinsky that span three decades (1946-1972), is a kind of compendium of the choreographer’s most radical, game-changing esthetic. Its distinctive mix of courtliness, mystery, and eroticism still surprises. Not to mention its musical intelligence, which can make sense of a work as impenetrable – and as seemingly undanceable – as Anton Webern’s pointillist Opus 21 symphony.”

The “Black and White” program repeats on Sept. 28, Oct. 1, Oct. 4, and Oct. 13.

Of Bugs and Men—Arthur Pita’s “Metamorphosis” at the Joyce

Edward Watson in The Metamorphosis. Photo by Tristram Kenton.
Edward Watson in The Metamorphosis. Photo by Tristram Kenton.

Finally, a production that puts contem-porary ballet’s  extreme feats of flexibility to use! Arthur Pita’s “Meta-morphosis,” now playing at the Joyce, is a kind of cross between the rubber-band contortions of Wayne McGregor and the theatrical savvy of Matthew Bourne. And at the heart of it all, an extraordinary performer, Ed Watson, who, for an hour and a half, ties himself into knots to give physical form to the torments of Gregor Samsa, the victimized hero of Kafka’s tale. But in the end, the problem remains; our eye becomes inured to the strangeness and the effect dissipates. Here’s my review for DanceTabs.

I’d love to hear other people’s reactions to the show.