writers on dancing

The DanceView Times, New York edition

       An online supplement to DanceView magazine

Letter from New York

29 September 2003.
By Mindy Aloff
copyright Mindy Aloff

Psychologically probing, physically exacting, unpredictably conjoined with their musical scores, frequently dependent for full effect on sets and costumes that are constructed with consummate delicacy—the ballets of Antony Tudor can be as challenging to revive and produce as the classical dance spectacles of Asia. Since Tudor’s death, in 1987, one rarely finds them on the boards, even at American Ballet Theatre, the choreographer’s home company in the U.S. for nearly a half century. For a while, the principal curator of Tudor’s work was Sallie Wilson, one of his most trusted dancers at A.B.T. Wilson is no longer working with that company; instead, her revivals, along with one or two by Diana Byer, can be found at the little, impecunious yet high-minded New York Theatre Ballet, which Byer directs and which, last spring, put on a fascinating all-Tudor program at the Florence Gould Hall of the Alliance-Française. Its performance detail—especially in Tudor’s signature work, Jardin aux Lilas—stopped the breath. No other current American production I’ve seen of this plangent hommage to the Edwardian era of Tudor’s parents even remotely approaches the richness and exactitude of the characterizations by the N.Y.T.B. Still, as Tobi Tobias observed in the Village Voice, a Tudor ballet requires not only great coaching but also great dancers to unfold its full wonders; and despite the loveliness of their performances, the artists of N.Y.T.B. were not freed as theatrical presences by their accuracy: they simply do not offer the Olympian stamina and virtuosity of their colleagues at A.B.T. or, historically, at the New York City Ballet. (Tudor brought several works to N.Y.C.B. in the 1950s and early ‘60s, including Jardin aux Lilas, restaged there as Lilac Garden. However, N.Y.C.B. has not revived them in decades and seems unlikely to try.)

We're just getting started!  Mindy Aloff's Letter from New York will be an (almost) weekly feature, and this fall we've planned reviews of:

Susan Marshall
The National Ballet of Cuba
Margie Gillis
Merce Cunningham
ABT at City Center
Wendy Rogers
Suzanne Farrell Ballet
Yuriko's reconstruction of Celebration, staged Yuriko's daughter, Susan Kikuchi and coached by Yuriko) at Barnard College
Maria Benitez at the Joyce; Dec. 9:
Marie Chouinard at the Joyce; Dec. 10:
Mansaku Nomura at the Japan Society
and the New York City  Ballet's Balanchine Celebration!

stay tuned.....


The season is just getting underway, and we'll be bringing you reviews of all kinds of dance in New York, keeping a special eye on the Balanchine Centennial Celebration at New York City Ballet (and related events around the city) as well as covering performances from The Kitchen to The Met.

Our lead critic is Mindy Aloff, who has written regularly for The New Republic, The New Yorker, and The Nation, among many other publications, and is currently book review editor for DanceView. (A few of her past pieces are also on our main DanceView website, in An Archive of Dance Writing.)

Aloff's Letter from New York will be a (nearly) weekly feature. Other writers, familiar to readers of DanceView as well as other publications, will contribute pieces as well. We can't possibly review every performance in New York, and we're not going to try, but we can promise to bring you interesting, thoughtful commentary on dance in Manhattan, and occasionally elsewhere.



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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






Mindy Aloff
Dale Brauner
Mary Cargill
Nancy Dalva
Gia Kourlas
Gay Morris
Susan Reiter
Alexandra Tomalonis(Editor)
Meital Waibsnaider
Leigh Witchel
David Vaughan


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).

DanceView is available by subscription ONLY. Don't miss it. It's a good read.  Black and white, 48 pages, no ads. Subscribe today!

DanceView is published quarterly (January, April, July and October) in Washington, D.C. Address all correspondence to:

P.O. Box 34435
Washington, D.C. 20043


Copyright ©2003 by by DanceView
last updated on October 7, 2003