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.

https://i2.wp.com/cvj1llwqcyay0evy.zippykid.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/gs-herman-cornejo-happy-jump_1000.jpg
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.

 

Anne Teresa de Keermaeker’s Mean Girls

The Lincoln Center Festival is presenting a retrospective of the Belgian choreographer’s early works. Last night, I saw her Rosas Danst Rosas, a dance that has been canonized as one of the milestones of contemporary choreography. The film version, by Thierry de Mey, has been viewed and imitated thousands of times, including, most recently, by  Beyoncé. To me, the dance has a distinctly “mean girls” vibe—four adolescents, stuck in a kind of  study-hall purgatory.  Here’s my review of the piece, for DanceTabs.

 

Photo by Herman Sorgeloos
Photo by Herman Sorgeloos

Dancing in the Dark

Members of Rosas and Graindelavoix in "Cesena." Photo by Stephanie Berger.
Members of Rosas and Graindelavoix in “Cesena.” Photo by Stephanie Berger.

Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker’s Rosas company performed her diptych, En Atendant and Cesena, over the weekend at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The works are a collaboration with the early music ensemble Graindelavoix. In them, De Keersmaeker explores connection between breath and singing and movement. The results are stirring, even spiritual. Here’s my review for DanceTabs. And a short excerpt:

“For all that, the experience of watching En Atendant and Cesena was not an arid one. Instead, the two works managed to build an ascetic aura, like witnessing (or even taking part in) a kind of monastic ritual….The Howard Gilman Opera House was filled with the thrilling polyphonies of a fourteenth-century musical style known as ars subtilior, “the subtle art”….In ars subtilior the voices interweave, creating exciting patterns that never quite settle into a single tonality. With their repetitions, feints, and rhythmic shifts, these pre-Renaissance songs seem to have no beginning, no end. And De Keersmaeker’s dance feels the same.”