writers on dancing

The DanceView Times, New York edition

      Volume 2,  Number 4     January 26, 2004           An online supplement to DanceView magazine

Letter from New York

26 January 2004.

Copyright © 2004 by Mindy Aloff
published 26 January 2004

Last Wednesday, at the Museum of Television & Radio—which is celebrating Balanchine’s centenary birth year with programs that showcase the spectacular array of his televised works in the museum’s library—it was stunningly obvious that what made his dancers look different from any others during his lifetime was the way they phrased the choreography, and the way the guidelines for phrasing were built into that choreography, too. They danced as if they were speaking, with strong accents and half accents, and pauses, and energy rising (that is, with attack) or falling (that is, with cadences). Their dancing had the texture of witty conversation, and what they were dancing gave them something substantial to say. Inevitably, this physical commentary addressed the music. Regardless of how many people were on stage, the overarching engagement between dance and music in a Balanchine ballet lent even a solo the intimate give-and-take of a whispered exchange. The choreography had themes (subjects) and variations (predicates), and its hair-trigger velocities, continuously modulated like gears being shifted in a sports car, conveyed the visceral sense that, in every sentence, the dancing was, from initial cap to period, all verb.
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read past Letters from New York

Double Trouble

Double Feature
New York City Ballet
New York State Theater
New York, NY
January 23, 2004

by Mary Cargill
copyright 2004 by Mary Cargill
published 26 January 2004

In 1999 Susan Stroman, currently the toast of Broadway, choreographed a minor bauble for the New York City Ballet called “Blossom Got Kissed”. It was an inconsequentially charming piece about a ballet dancer who learns to jive and finds romance, clearly told and enjoyable. As an homage to Balanchine, Stroman was asked to choreograph a full-length work, which might as well have been called “Blossom Got Mugged.”
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An Evening's Debuts

Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2/Harlequinade
New York City Ballet
New York State Theater
New York, NY
January 20, 2004

by Mary Cargill
copyright 2004 by Mary Cargill
published 24 January 2004

Jennie Somogyi made her eagerly awaited debut as the lead ballerina in Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2; she has previously danced gloriously in the second lead. This ballet, so full of the spirit of Petipa, needs a phenomenally accomplished dancer, which of course Somogyi is, as well as an instinctive ballerina, who can make the steps sing her own song. Somogyi does have the rare ability to speak with her body, without imposing a false drama, and it was an extraordinary debut.

The opening cadenza, where the ballerina (who might as well be called Aurora) dances a fast and difficult solo, recalls the beautiful princess at her birthday party, and Somogyi did have the youthful grandeur and grace notes (if not always impeccably secure turns) to bring the role alive with all its youthful joy.
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A  Vivid, Musical Talent

James Sewell Ballet
Joyce Theater
New York, NY
January 20, 2004

by Susan Reiter
copyright © 2004 by Susan Reiter
published 26 January 2004

The lasting impression I carried away from my initial look at James Sewell's choreography—his troupe's first New York appearance in 2001—was that it is refreshingly unaffected and musically astute. Having missed the company's one-performance stop in Brooklyn last spring, the James Sewell Ballet's first week-long local run was a welcome chance to further investigate what he has been up to since relocating to Minneapolis in 1993.

Sewell was a prominent member of Eliot Feld's company during the 1980s, particularly at the time Feld frequently turned to Steve Reich scores and began creating works that were more gymnastic and impudently playful. Sewell, an elfin, effervescent dancer with a natural and communicative stage presence who had studied at the School of American Ballet, was often featured in Feld's increasingly quirky romps.
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By Dale Brauner
copyright © 2004 by Dale Brauner
published 26 January 2004

Dance in America presents “Acts of Ardor: Two Dances by Paul Taylor,” on Wednesday, January 28 as part of Great Performances on PBS (check local listings) as its first performance presentation. This is a return byTaylor to Dance in America, which has broadcast some of his most celebrated works in Aureole, Esplanade, 3 Epitaphs, Arden Court, The Rite of Spring (The Rehearsal), Roses, Last Look, Speaking in Tongues, Company B, Funny Papers and A field of Grass.
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What's On This Week?

January 26
Movement Research at the Judson Church

This week's forum for experimentation and works-in-progress features performances by Pedro Osorio and Bryan Kepple, and Mark Lorimer and Chrysa Parkinson. At 8pm 55 Washington Square South at Thompson
St. 212-539-2611

January 26

Balanchine: The Early Years Peter Martins and Todd Bolender coach New York City Ballet dancers in excerpts from George Balanchine's Apollo and The Four Temperaments. Nancy Reynolds leads a discussion on their experiences with Balanchine. Guggenheim Museum. At 8pm. 5th Avenue at 89th Street.

January 27
Dance Arriba!

American Ballet Theatre and Casita Maria will present a benefit evening in celebration of Latin culture. The night is hosted by Sonia Manzano (Maria from Sesame Street) and will include highlights ABT's repertory, performed by some of its celebrated Latin artists. Principal Dancers Paloma Herrera, Xiomara Reyes, Jose Manuel Carreño, Angel Corella, Herman Cornejo and Marcelo Gomes are expected to perform. Former ABT stars Lupe Serrano and Fernando Bujones also will be honored. At 7:30 pm.
Apollo Theater, 235 West 125th Street
212 477-3030 ext. 3239.

January 27
Dance Conversations

Mindy Eve Myers, everything smaller, Nomi Bachar and Ashley Wells perform, followed by an informal discussion.
At 7pm.
Flea Theater
41 White Street between Broadway and Church Street

January 27
Balanchine, Celebrating a Life in Dance: Barnes & Noble Roundtable
To mark the publication of Balanchine, Celebrating a Life in Dance edited by and featuring the photographs of well-known dance photographer, Costas, a roundtable to discuss the life and ballets of Balanchine will feature, in addition to Costas, Virginia Johnson, former Principal Dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem and Editor, Pointe Magazine; New York City Ballet’s Sean Lavery, Assistant to the Ballet Master in Chief and former Principal Dancer; Lourdes Lopez, Executive Director of The George Balanchine Foundation and former NYCB Principal Dancer; and Nancy Reynolds, former NYCB dancer and Director of Research for The George Balanchine Foundation. The moderator will be dance critic and historian George
Jackson. At 7pm.
Barnes & Noble
Broadway and 67th Street

January 27-February 1
New York City Ballet

The company's Balanchine Centennial Celebration continues with more performances of Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 (with Jennie Somogyi in the lead, Prodigal Son (a must-see with Peter Boal heading the cast), Apollo, Serenade, Donizetti Variations, Scotch Symphony. Swan Lake, choreographed by Peter Martins after Marius Petipa, Lev Ivanov and Balanchine dominates the week with four performances. 1/27 at 7: 30pm, 1/28 at 8pm, 1/29 at 8pm, 1/30 at 8pm, 1/31 at 2pm, 1/31 at 8pm,
2/1 at 3pm. New York State Theater Lincoln Center 66th Street and
Broadway 212-870-5570

January 27-29 and February 7-9
Nayikas Dance Theater Company

New York's first resident classical Indian Odissi dance theater company performs works by Myna Mukherjee. At 8pm.
Baruch Center for the Performing Arts
Nagelberg Theater
55 Lexington Avenue at 25th Street

January 27-February 29 and April 27-June 27 (opened January 6) The Balanchine Centennial Exhibition at New York City Ballet
George Balanchine's career is covered in a photography exhibit curated by company veteran Edward Bigelow. New York State Theater Lincoln Center 66th Street and Broadway 212-870-5570

January 27-March 7 (Opened December 6)
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. The fourth installment - The Bell Telephone Hour and More includes Stars and Stripes (Hayden, d'Amboise), Scotch Symphony (Tallchief, Eglevsky), Square Dance (Wilde, Magallanes), Allegro Brillante (Tallchief, Magallanes), Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux ( Verdy, Villella), and Harlequinade (McBride, Villella). Also included are the Diana and Actaeon Pas de Deux, from The Ed Sullivan Show ( McBride, Villella); and, from a live 1963 telecast from the New York State Theater, Movements for Piano and Orchestra (Farrell, d'Amboise) and excerpts from Symphony in C (Kent, Ludlow). The package ends with the 1966 program U.S.A. Dance—New York City Ballet, with excerpts from Agon (Farrell, Mitchell), Tarantella (McBride, Villella), Meditation (Farrell, d'Amboise), and the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux (Hayden, d'Amboise) and a discussion with Balanchine. Screening Times: Tuesdays to Sunday at 12:30 pm Evening Screenings: Thursdays at 6pm The Museum of Television & Radio 25 West
52 Street 212-621-6800

January 27-April 24 (Opened December 10)
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. The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Donald and Mary Oenslager
Gallery 40 Lincoln Center Plaza 212-870-1630

January 27-February 1
Buglisi/Foreman Dance

The season premieres include a work by Jacqulyn Buglisi, inspired by the rainforest, evoking images of a dense dramatic beauty, with a set by Venezuelan artist Jacobo Borges, and Donlin Foreman's third collaboration with composer Lisa DeSpain to an a capella blues score performed by the New York Choral Society. Repertory highlights include Buglisi's Suspended Women, Foreman's Lisa D. and NY premiere of Buglisi's Pollen in Air. 1/27 at 7pm, 1/28-1/30 at 8pm, 1/31 at 2pm and 8pm, 2/1 at 2pm and 7:30pm.
The Joyce Theater 175 Eighth Ave. at 19th St. 212-242-0880 www.joyce.

January 27-30
H.T. Chen & Dancers

The group performs Journey to Gold Mountain.
Mulberry Street Theater, 70 Mulberry St.
212-349-0126. 1/27-30 at 10:30 am

January 27-31
Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People

With choreography by Gutierrez, the Powerful People unveil its new evening-length work, dAMNATION rOAD, which explores the effects of terror on the body. The Kitchen 512 West 19th Street at Tenth Avenue 212-255-5793

January 28
Ballet Insights

NYCB principal dancer Miranda Weese discusses dancing in Peter Martins' Swan Lake in this pre-performance program.
New York City Ballet Studios
Samuel B. and David Rose Building
70 Lincoln Center Plaza at 65th Street, eighth floor 212-870-4074

January 28-29
Stars of the Royal Danish Ballet

Fresh off their visit to our nation's capital, a smaller group performs highlights of works by 19th century master August Bournonville. Former RDB member and current NYCB principal dancer, Nikolaj Hübbe, guests in a program featuring Conservatory - Pas de Trois, Wilhelm Tell, Selections from La Sylphide, Flower Festival in
Genzano, Pas de Six & the Tarantella from Napoli 3rd Act. Two new works by Tim Rushton, Nomade and Triplex, also are scheduled.
On 1/28, 8pm, at McCarter Theater, 91 University Place, Princeton New
Jersey 609-258-2787. On 1/29 at 8pm New Jersey Performing Arts Center Prudential Hall, One Center Street, Newark 1-888-GO-NJPAC

January 28-February 7
David Parker/Bang Group

Parker presents a retelling of the Nutcracker - Cracked, Slapstick, and Enough. At 7pm.
Dance Theater Workshop
219 West 19th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues

January 29-February 1
Flamenco Festival New York 2004

The fourth annual festival features over 80 dancers, singers and musicians direct from Spain in a display of flamenco puro, classical flamenco, and contemporary innovations. Manuela Carrasco, Chocolate, Israel Galván, Juan de Juan and Rocio Molina on January 29; Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras on January 30 ; and Compañía Andaluza de Danza in its New York debut on January 31 and February 1.
City Center
55th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues

January 29-February 8
Dusara Dance

Bill Clark launches his own dance company with performances of Place Poems. La MaMa E.T.C. Annex Theare 74A East 4th Street between Bowery and Second Avenue 212-475-7710

January 29-March 4
Wow Moves Dance Fes
The Monster Baby Project, a series of solos adapted from Anne Gadwa's I Dream of Monster Babies, is performed.
Wow Cafe Theater
59-61 East 4th Street between Bowery and Second Avenue
4th Floor

January 30-February 1
ACFDance presents an evening of works that includes extended premieres of Running On Time and Mariah.
Joyce Soho
155 Mercer Street betwen Houston and Prince Streets 212-334-7479

January 30-February 1
Food for Thought

This series, which benefits neighborhood food distribution programs and curated by Wally Cardona, Heidi Latsky, and Susan Osberg, returns. Kick Stand DAnce, Carrie Ahern, Kathy Wildberger and others perform.
At 8:30 pm. The DraftWork series that presents works-in-progress
performances by Joshua Bisset/SHUA Group on 1/31 at 3pm.
At 8:30pm Theatre at St. Mark's Church 131 E
10th Street at 2nd Avenue 212-674-8112

January 30-February 1
Imago Dance Theate
A Day in the Life is performed.
1/30 at 9pm, 1/31-2/1 at 8pm.
Cunningham Studio
55 Bethune 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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