the danceview times
writers on dancing

 Volume 4, Number 3  January 23, 2006    The weekly online supplement to DanceView magazine

Showcase of Surprises

9th Annual Japanese Contemporary Dance Showcase
Japan Society
New York, NY
January 21, 2006

by Tom Phillips
copyright ©2006 by Tom Phillips

For nine years now, the annual Japanese Contemporary Dance Showcase at Japan Society has been a stunning cross-section of work by artists little known or completely new to the west.  The last few of these eye-opening galas have been curated by Yoko Shioya, performing arts director for Japan Society, who spends much of her year scouring the world  looking for new Japanese artists. Asked recently what her main criterion was for bringing something to New York, she said: “I have to be surprised.”  Once again this year, she succeeded in surprising herself, and us.  
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In Their Own World

“Conjunto di NERO”
Emio Greco/PC
Joyce Theater
New York, NY
January 17, 2006

by Susan Reiter
copyright ©2006 by Susan Reiter
Between the darkness, the shapeless fuzzy black costumes, and the insistent, slippery movement, “Conjunto di NERO” conspired to minimize any notion of human contact and communication. Six busy, purposeful dancers functioned within a shrouded otherworldly locale, seemingly propelled by a strange inner momentum or sent charging across the limited visible space. When, midway through, a woman actually stopped long enough to look boldly out at the audience, it was a shock to have an acknowledgement of our presence, so enclosed and encoded were the proceedings.
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A Cacaphony of Notions

"Swan Lake"
The National Ballet of Canada
Opera House, The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts
Washington, DC, USA
January 19, 2006

by Alexandra Tomalonis
copyright ©2006 by Alexandra Tomalonis

Occasionally in these troubled times, friends will read the news, sigh and say, “Maybe it’s time to move to Canada.” A tempting thought. But, then, they haven’t seen the National Ballet of Canada's “Swan Lake.” The production, by former Artistic Director James Kudelka, was the sole ballet in repertory for a week's worth of performances by NBoC last week. It was billed as a traditional version and the photographs the company provided do catch the odd minute or two when the production recalls "Swan Lake," but aside from the music, of course, the characters' names and the general scheme of the acts, the production has been rechoreographed (Kudelka even messes with the usually sacrosanct Ivanov second act) and the story is obscured by a proliferation of notions. The result is a "Swan Lake" that is sadly unmagical.
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"Swan Lake"
The National Ballet of Canada
Opera House, The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts
Washington, DC, USA
Wednesday, January 18, 2006

by George Jackson

copyright ©2006 by George Jackson

Odette, the royal maiden transformed into a swan, dances stiffly and with a constricted line whereas Siegfried, the prince who wants to come to her rescue, moves pliantly and on an expansive scale. At first it seemed the particular performers' doings but after seeing three different sets of principals, it dawned on me that's how James Kudelka wants it in his version of "Swan Lake". Similarly for characterizations. Kudelka's Odette is as much a tool of Rothbart, harbinger of doom, as Odile, her double. Both women seem remote, Odette as the perpetual victim and Odile as the persistent tease. Siegfried makes a more immediate impact. Yet, despite the generous stretch and plush landings in his dancing, he either broods or is up-tight and in both states appears to be a vain boy.
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Mindy Aloff
Dale Brauner
Mary Cargill
Nancy Dalva
Rita Felciano
Marc Haegeman
George Jackson
Eva Kistrup
Alan M. Kriegsman
Sali Ann Kriegsman
Alexander Meinertz
Gay Morris
Ann Murphy
Paul Parish
John Percival
Tom Phillips
Naima Prevots
Susan Reiter
Lisa Rinehart
Charlotte Shoemaker
Jane Simpson
Alexandra Tomalonis (Editor)
Lisa Traiger
Kathrine Sorley Walker
Leigh Witchel
David Vaughan


The Autumn Issue of DanceView is OUT!
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Review of the Bolshoi Ballet's Met Season by Mary Cargill.

Robert Greskovic reviews several new DVD releases.

A chapter from Alexander Meinertz's forthcoming biography of Vera Volkova (dealing with Volkova at Sadler's Wells during the War)

Interviews with Sonja Rodriquez and Heather Ogden (National Ballet of Canada), by Denise Sum

Paul Taylor at the Guggenheim, by Nancy Dalva

Reports from London (Jane Simpson) and San Francisco (Rita Fellciano).

This site is the online supplement to DanceView, a quarterly review of dance published since 1979.

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last updated on January 16, 2006