writers on dancing

The DanceView Times, New York edition

      Volume 1, Number 11 December 8, 2003            An online supplement to DanceView magazine

Letter from New York

8 December 2003.
Copyright ©2003 by Mindy Aloff

The Dance Theatre of Dušan Týnek—a 30 year-old native of Czechoslovakia who studied with Aileen Pasloff at Bard, was a scholarship student at the Cunningham Studio, and has performed for many choreographers, including Lucinda Childs—put on several concerts this week at The Kitchen. The program featured three works, all from 2002 and 2003. Charge, being given its world première, is a Childs-like setting for a soloist and a corps of six to Philip Glass’s 1987 violin concerto: costumed like party crackers by A. Christina Giannini in shades of pale blue, the dancers elaborate a complicated architectural analysis of the music while dutifully acknowledging the steady pulse-patter that drives it. One sees wonderful images—as when the soloist (Eden Mazer) runs backward toward a line of bodies that breaks in half just as she reaches its center. The dance means to be spellbinding, though, and is merely hypnotic. If the only works on the program had been Charge and the 2002 Wardrobe Spectre—a dance-theater satire to Carl Maria von Weber’s Invitation to the Dance, for the veteran soloist Richard Daniels and six invitees, whom he loads up with mismatched garments that he plucks from a laundry pile in order to hammer home a point about, as I understood it, the erotic equation between layers of clothing and layers of fantasy—I’d have left thinking Týnek a talent to watch and waited to see more before telling you about him.
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past Letters from New York

Tudor, Forsythe and New Works at the New Skirball

ABT Studio Company
Skirball Center
New York, NY
December 5, 2003

By Susan Reiter
Copyright © 2003 by Susan Reiter

In recent seasons, attending a performance by American Ballet Theatre's 12-member "second" troupe has provided (among many other pleasures) an early glimpse of the next generation of brilliant, memorable ABT male dancers. Within the past few years, one could discover the very young Herman Cornejo, Craig Salstein and Danny Tidwell—all of whom moved swiftly, and authoritatively, into the ABT ranks.

The Studio Company's most recent New York season—its first at the attractive, recently opened Skirball Center on the NYU campus—showcased an engaging ensemble rather than drawing attention to any individual dancer in quite the same way. Ten of the twelve are new since the troupe last performed in New York in April; several of them came through ABT's thriving Summer Intensive program, and several of them had made a notable impression at its culminating performance in July.
read review

Two Musicals Where The Dancing Matters

Music by Jerome Kern; Lyrics by Dorothy Fields and others; Book by Jeffrey Hatcher
Directed by Michael Greif; Choreographed by Jerry Mitchell
Broadhurst Theater
New York, NY
December 3, 2003

Music by Leonard Bernstein; Lyrics by Betty Comden & Adolph Green; Book by Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov
Directed and Choreographed by Kathleen Marshall
Al Hirschfeld Theater
New York, NY
December 4, 2003

By Susan Reiter
copyright © 2003 by Susan Reiter

On Broadway these days you can find recent musicals celebrating the gaudy excesses of the 1980s (Taboo, The Boy from Oz) or bouncing on the exuberant beat of pre-Beatles rock & roll (Hairspray, Little Shop of Horrors). But if you want a show where dance really provides the highlights, you need to travel back to the 1930s, where the action of these two new arrivals takes place.

Set in 1936, Never Gonna Dance is based on the Astaire-Rogers film Swing Time, and has two dancers as its central characters, as well as scenes set at a dancing school and an "amateur" dance competition. Its two leading performers, both veterans of Broadway dance ensembles, were cast for their dancing strengths. All of its music is by Jerome Kern: the score includes five of the six songs heard in Swing Time, plus 12 additional songs from other shows and films. This approach, of creating a "new" period musical from existing songs, is similar to that used for the two Gershwin-scored musicals My One and Only and Crazy for You.

While it is set in 1935, Wonderful Town has a score that was written—during a now-legendary month-long creative whirlwind—in late 1952 by three fun-loving collaborators looking back fondly at a period when they were in their late teens. It has a great Leonard Bernstein score that bridges the youthful ingenuity and sass of On the Town (1944) and the deeper and bolder innovations of West Side Story (1957).
read review



What's On This Week?

December 7-January 4
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

The company takes up residence in New York for a month to celebrate its 45 years of existence. The season features new productions of Judith Jamison's tribute to Alvin Ailey, Hymn, and Donald McKayle's Rainbow Round My Shoulder. Four new ballets will be added to the company's repertory: Bounty Verses by Dwight Rhoden, Footprints by Jennifer Muller, Heart Song by Alonzo King, and Juba by Robert Battle. Ailey's masterpiece, Revelations, also will be programmed, along with other repertory favorites.

December 8
Movement Research at the Judson Church

This week's forum for experimentation and works-in-progress features the work of Nami Yamamoto and Clarinda MacLow.
55 Washington Square South

December 8-11
Battery Dance Company
Three works by Jonathan Hollander are shown.
Tribeca Performing Arts Center
199 Chambers Street between Greenwich and West streets 212-220-1460

December 9
The Swan Lake: From Soviet-Era to the Present

Reservations: (212) 870-1605
Catharine Nepomnyashchy compares the symbolic meaning of Swan Lake to Soviet-era cultural politics. A panel also looks at the Von Krahl Theatre's production of Estonian director Peeter Jalakas and Russian choreographer Sasha Pepelyaev's adaptation, placing this revisionist work within both a post-Soviet and western European context. Lynn Garafolo will offer her interpretation of this contemporary take on Swan Lake and Jalakas and Pepelyaev will be interviewed about the work.
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
111 Amsterdam Avenue, between 64th and 65th Street

December 9-13
The Flight Project

Dayton Contemporary Dance Company
To celebrate the anniversary of Wilbur and Orville Wright and the marking of the 35th year of the company, DCDC presents the New York premiere of two programs of new works by Bill T. Jones, Bebe Miller, Dwight Rhoden, Warren Spears, Doug Varone, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar.
Brooklyn Academy of Music
Harvey Theater
651 Fulton Street between Ashland Street and Rockwell Place Fort Greene, Brooklyn 718-636-4100

December 9-13
Compagnie Marie Chouinard

This French-Canadian company brings two New York premieres. 24 Preludes by Chopin, is about "virtuosity-- the dancers' and that of Chopin," and Le Cri du Monde is about "the human body and the lust for life." The Joyce Theater 175 Eighth Ave. at 19th St. 212-242-0880

December 9-14
New York City Ballet
George Balanchine's The Nutcracker continues its residence at the New York State Theater. The big casting news this week has young Megan Fairchild making her debut with Joaquin De Luz as the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier Saturday matinee. Ashley Bouder performs Dewdrop in the same performance.
New York State Theatre
Lincoln Center

December 9-March 7
A Celebration of George Balanchine:

Selected Television Work George Balanchine took full advantage of the advent of television, and many of his greatest works - and performances of his dancers - have been captured on video. In this 100th-year anniversary of the great choreographer's birthday, The Museum of Television & Radio presents a series of showings of some incredible footage. First up, shown from December 5-28, is a program of Let's Take a Trip, a children's show hosted by Sonny Fox. Balanchine gives a tour of the School of American Ballet and choreographs Yankee Doodle for New York City Ballet members Patricia Wilde, Nicholas Magallanes, and Carolyn George. In addition, Tanaquil LeClercq and Jacques d'Amboise perform a pas de deux from The Nutcracker. The screening continues with Playhouse 90: The Nutcracker, the historic telecast that featured Diana Adams, Allegra Kent, Arthur Mitchell, Edward Villella, and Balanchine as Herr Drosselmeyer.
The Museum of Television & Radio
25 West 52 Street

December 9-April 24
The Enduring Legacy of George Balanchine

A multi-media exhibit celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of George Balanchine. It features photographs, designs, manuscript music and correspondence, costumes, set pieces, and models, along with showings of videotaped performances and rehearsals. Lectures will begin in January.
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Donald and Mary Oenslager Gallery
40 Lincoln Center Plaza

December 10-14
Swan Lake

Using contemporary dance and 1950s documentary footage, Sasha Pepelyaev of Russia and and Peeter Jalakas, in Estonia's Von Krahl Theater’s production - have re-thought Swan Lake in a sociological and historical context.
Dance Theater Workshop
219 West 19th Street

December 11-13
Central Station/Global Exchang
Danspace Project
Performances of work by Hungarian Zoltán Nagy and Romania's Ioana Popovici.
Danspace Project
St. Mark's Church
131 E. 10th St.
(212) 643-8888.

December 11-14
New Dances at Juilliard Edition 2003

Juillard graduates Jacqulyn Buglisi, Thaddeus Davis,
Zvi Gotheiner, and Dwight Rhoden have their works performed.
Juilliard Theater
60 Lincoln Center Plaza
(212) 799-5000

December 11-14
AszURe & Artists

Aszure Barton's company makes its New York debut in Mais We, in 24 solos. Barton's works have been called quirky, charming intimate and serpentine.
Joyce Soho
155 Mercer Street, between Houston and Prince

December 11-14
The Yorkville Nutcracker

Dances Patrelle
Francis Patrelle sets the holiday classic in 1895 New York for a charming production. Guest stars ars brought in to perform the Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier. Thursday and Friday evenings and Saturday matinee has Jenifer Ringer and James Fayette - principal dancers of the New York City Ballet. Saturday and Sunday evening and Sunday matinee has Donald Williams, principal at Dance Theatre of Harlem, and
Sandra Brown, soloist at American Ballet Theatre, taking the lead parts.
The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College
68th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues

December 12-14
Works for Dance,Music and Video

Malene Schjønning provides the choreography,
Threetwo'03's Keith Moore and Taimur Sullivan bring the music and
Alexander Lee the video.
Merce Cunningham Dance Studio
55 Bethune St
212-691-9751 ext. 30

December 12-14
The Nutcracker

The Purchase Dance Corps performs its production of the holiday favorite.
The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College
735 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, New York

December 13
DraftWork: Marie-Christine Giordano & Kara Tatelbaum

Danspace Project
St. Mark's Church
131 E. 10th St.
(212) 643-8888.

December 13
Dance Improv Game Show

Treva Offutt is the host, while the cContestantsare Kwame Ross, Bronwyn Sims, Christalyn Wright, Chris Yon. The audience suggests scenarios and sounds for volunteers and guest stars to improvise.
The Kitchen
512 West 19th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues

December 13 and 14
New York Theatre Ballet
The Nutcracke
This chamber-sized company's one-hour production, choreographed by
Keith Michael, is designed especially for children and families.
Florence Gould Hall
55 E. 59th Street

— Dale Brauner



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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).

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