A few weeks ago, Paloma Herrera and I sat down to talk about her training and career, about moving back to Buenos Aires, and about what she thinks has changed in the world of ballet and in the wider culture. Our chat is now up on the DanceTabs website.
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.
I’m just back from the Ashton festival at Sarasota Ballet, a four-day tribute to the choreographer. Under the directorship of Iain Webb, the company has been undergoing a major expansion over the past few years. By any measure, the festival was a big success, with strong performances, expressive dancing, and a powerful sense of style and common purpose.
And a short excerpt: “The advantage of putting all these ballets on the stage in quick succession is that the audience begins to see all sorts of interconnections and motifs running through the works. Thus, in Monotones II (1965), there is an echo of the slow trio near the beginning of Valses Nobles et Sentimentales, in which a woman is slowly revolved by two men and shown from all angles, the center of a slow-moving planetary system.”
I interviewed the members of the old-time string-band Carolina Chocolate Drops as well as Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild for this piece on Twyla Tharp’s new dance suite set to five of the Drops’ songs.The dance premièred at BAM last week (unfortunately I was out of town). The band has a wonderfully down-home, and yet modern sound, and they’re excellent musicians. Each of them plays several instruments, from fiddle to banjo to various kinds of percussion and jug. Rhiannon Giddens, the informal leader of the group, has a strong, intelligent singing style (she trained as an opera singer). And of course their kind of music is right up Twyla Tharp’s alley.