writers on dancing

The DanceView Times, Washington, D.C. edition

       Volume 2, Number 8  February 23, 2004         An online supplement to DanceView magazine

A Powerful Depiction of Poverty and Despair

Les Sublimes
Compagnie Hendrik van der Zee
Festival of France, Kennedy Center
Eisenhower Theater
Washington, D.C.
Feb. 19-21, 2004

by Lisa Traiger
copyright 2004 by Lisa Traiger
published 23 February 2004

In 1904, when Pablo Picasso painted "Les Saltimbanques," he captured a world-weary sense of isolation. That evocation has become a hallmark of the malaise infiltrating contemporary society. Picasso's saltimbanques are circus people: a tall harlequin, a fat clown in a red suit, a young girl in a tutu, a bare-chested teenage boy, a younger boy and a seated woman in an oddly perched hat. (The large canvas hangs in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.) They're not a family in the traditional sense, but they're bound together even in their despair, their isolation. They stare out at us from Picasso's barren no-man's-land landscape telling of the psychological separation of lives lived on the fringes of society.

Guy Alloucherie, artistic director of Compagnie Hendrick van der Zee, has gathered 11 21st century saltimbanques into his 85-minute work, Les Sublimes, an intriguing entry in the month-long Festival of France presented by the Kennedy Center. Compagnie Hendrick is a collection of eclectic performers, some circus-trained acrobats, one a trapezist, another an expert in Chinese pole, maneuvering his body on a single vertical pole. There's a self-taught juggler and dancer; another trained as a mason before running away to join the circus. Then there is a classically trained ballerina, for good measure, and several actors. It's not your typical dance company, in the least. At the show's end, as they bow, these mismatched bodies and oddly drawn together personalities, recall the cast and demeanor of Picasso's circus people, his saltimbanques.
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What's On This Week

February 25-29
Hamburg Ballet

Performing at the Kennedy Center for the first time, the Hamburg Ballet presents Nijinsky – a ballet which examines the life and mystery of the legendary artist.
February 25 through 29 at 7:30 p.m.
February 28 and 29 at 1:30 p.m.
Opera House
Kennedy Center

February 26 and 27
Batsheva Dance Company

Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company returns to the Kennedy Center with the evening-length Deca Dance. It consists of eight dances by artistic director Ohad Naharin.
February 26 and 27 at 8 p.m.
Eisenhower Theater
Kennedy Center

February 27 and 28
Making Dances/Taking Chances: C. Voltaire

Maryland MFA candidate Zoltan Nagy addresses feminism, expressionism, religion and materialism, animus and anima in this new full-length work.
February 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Robert and Arlene Kogod Studio Theatre
Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
University of Maryland is easy to visit.
Route 193 (University Blvd.) and Stadium Drive

February 27 and 28
Choreographer’s Showcase

Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Arts and Cultural Heritage Division, presents works selected by nationally known adjudicators.
February 27 and 28 at 8 p.m.
Dance Theatre
Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
University of Maryland is easy to visit.
Route 193 (University Blvd.) and Stadium Drive

February 28 and 29
Ronald K. Brown/Evidence

Jazz singer Nina Simone is the inspiration for Ronald K. Brown’s new work Come Ye. The work is a co-commission and co-presentation by Dance Place with the National Performance Network, Washington Performing Arts Society, George Mason University Department of Dance and Hayti Heritage Center (Durham, NC). Supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
February 28 at 8 p.m. and February 29 at 4 p.m.
Dance Place
3225 8th St., NE

—Liz Bartolomeo



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This weeks' articles


Mindy  Aloff's Letter from New York

The Balanchine Celebration
New York City Ballet:
A Veteran and a Raw Recruit
by Mindy Aloff

Heart and Soul
by Mary Cargill

Kid Stuff
Cas Public's If You Go Down To the Woods Today
by Susan Reiter

San Francisco Ballet:
New Wheeldon (Rush)
by Rita Felciano

New Tomasson (7 For Eight)
by Paul Parish

Possokhov's New Firebird for OBT
by Rita Felciano

Moscow Festival Ballet and Scott Wells
by Paul Parish

Hamburg Ballet's Nijinsky:
Nijinsky—Lost in the Chaos
by Clare Croft

NijinskyMadness and Metaphor
by Alexandra Tomalonis

Nijinsky and the Ballets Russes
by George Jackson

Batsheva: Breaking Down Walls
by Lisa Traiger

Ronald K. Brown/Evidence
by Clare Croft

Choreographers Showcase
by Tehreema Mitha

Zoltan Nagy
by George Jackson






Clare Croft
George Jackson
Jean Battey Lewis
Sali Ann Kriegsman
Tehreema Mitha

Alexandra Tomalonis (Editor)
Lisa Traiger


The Autumn DanceView is out:

New York City Ballet's Spring 2003 season reviewed by Gia Kourlas

An interview with the Kirov Ballet's Daria Pavlenko by Marc Haegeman

Reviews of San Francisco Ballet (by Rita Felciano) and Paris Opera Ballet (by Carol Pardo)

The ballet tradition at the Metropolitan Opera (by Elaine Machleder)

Reports from London (Jane Simpson) and the Bay Area (Rita Felciano).

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