AXA Equitable Theater
787 Seventh Ave.
btw 51st & 52nd St.
6PM VIP Reception
7pm General Admission
*Reception to follow*
Join us for the Dance Against Cancer event which brings together top dance companies from New York City and beyond for a night of beautiful performances, world premiere solos and great company. Since its inauguration, Dance Against Cancer has raised over $125,000 in support of the American Cancer Society. This year, please join producers Erin Fogerty and Daniel Ulbricht as they present the 4th Annual Dance Against Cancer.
New York City Ballet’s Jared Angle, Tyler Angle, Robert Fairchild, Chase Finlay, Lauren King, Maria Kowroski, Tiler Peck, Amar Ramasar, Taylor Stanley & Daniel Ulbricht
Manhattan Youth Ballet’s Erin Fogarty
American Ballet Theatre’s Isabella Boylston, Herman Cornejo, Gillian Murphy & James Whiteside
Alvin Ailey’s Matthew Rushing
Boston Ballet’s Misa Kuranaga
Miami City Ballet’s Patricia Delgado
Lar Lubovitch’s Clifton Brown
Memphis Jookin’ sensation, Charles “Lil Buck Riley”
This year will also showcase young dancers from
Jacques D’Amboise’s National Dance Institute.
Greek-born choreographer Andonis Foniadakis’ Glory, performed by Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève at the Joyce Theater is an intelligent and emotional work. Created in 2012, this acclaimed century-old Swiss company has a wide and diverse repertory and is noted for inviting guest choreographers from around the world. The 22 dancers are exceptional as they perform to Julien Tarride’s masterful remix of Handel excerpts such as Hallelujah Chorus from The Messiah, sections from Suites De Piéces pour le Clavecin and the opening aria from Serse.
There is a lot of energy in Mr. Foniadakis’ Glory, but that can be said of all of Mr. Foniadakis’ choreography. He approaches the body in space like an artist with a calligraphy brush, wide swiping limbs, arching torsos and attention to shapes and patterns. His movements are like breath, an inhaling and exhaling of pure spirit.
The curtain opens to find fog rolling across the stage. Backlit by white light, a woman wearing a sheer black dress graceful steps from the light; Daniela Zaghini begins to dance energetically, her movements large with arms and legs swinging around her body, her focus constantly changing.
The beginning of the work is a testament to the dancers’ abilities and artistry. Constant movement is seen, the body turning and jumping, arms and legs are extended then quickly pulled in. The dancing is natural with limbs relaxed, the dancers approach to the movement is almost playful.
Mr. Foniadakis’ use of the body in space has an intrinsic quality that is very human… it brings to mind an Italian word I ran across in my research…sprezzatura… defined as “a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it.”
Mikki Kunttu’s lighting design is an integral part of the work. The dancers enter and exit the stage from backlit columns of while light or later when the features of the dancers are hidden and they become living shadows of movement.
Tassos Sofroniou must be mentioned for his costume design. Men and women are both in black or red long pleated skirts made from an airy fabric that fluidly follows the dancer’s every motion. A woman steps from the wings wearing a large parachute-like dress, long rods are attached to the hem of the skirt, which the dancers lift from behind till it resembles the plumes of a dark peacock.
Three men manipulate a woman across the stage; her feet never touch the stage. She is held aloft, transitioned, traded and reclaimed by all three men. The is something magical about the moment…
Throughout, the dancers’ movements are repeated, altered or sometimes reversed. The deconstructed approach of Mr. Foniadakis’ choreography has only one law that must be obeyed, gravity… and even this he fights against. The body is pulled upwards to the point that it must inevitable fall, but he utilizes the energy of that fall for the transition into the next shape or phrase of movement ensuring the continuation of the kinetic energy.
Without a doubt Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève and Andonis Foniadakis’ Glory was a resounding success. When the performance ended….everyone in the Joyce were on their feet….giving the company not one but four curtain calls….
Alonzo King’s Constellation is a much different program than that offered during Alonzo King Lines Ballet’s 2012 NYC Season at the Joyce. Resin, which premiered in 2011, was a work of passion and physicality that incurred a deep emotional response. For the score, Mr. King explored Sephardic songs from Turkey, Morocco, Spain, and Yemen, including children’s songs and religious songs, with them you heard the pain and suffering of the Jewish Diaspora.
Where Resin was a work of emotion, Mr. King’s Constellation, which premiered in 2012, is work of the spiritual. It is danced in soft shoes and is shown in 19 sections in 75 minutes. Set Designer Jim Campbell and lighting designer Axel Morgenthaler created a backdrop of glowing orbs, small lights like the stars in the constellation amongst a sea of blackness. Israeli mezzo-soprano Maya Lahyani would enter and exist through the production, singing excerpts from Vivaldi, Strauss or Handel, her voice weaving a web of mysticism, lending a touch of magic.
Filled with duets and solos, the dancers were allowed to shine. Mr. King’s choreography is hard to describe with words, his utilizes the classical vocabulary when needed and discards it when not. There is a freedom found in the constant movement in which the dancers sometimes move in unison but often times not. But even when dancers are not moving in unison, there is still a shared theme, movements that are repetitive within the phrasing but slightly different for each dancer.
If you have never seen Courtney Henry dance than you have done yourself a great injustice. Ms. Henry, who was a finalist in the prestigious Youth American Grand Prix “Stars of Tomorrow” program in New York City, is a dancer that was born to dance. When I see her I am reminded of some on the great contemporary ballerina of our time, Sylvie Guillem or Wendy Whelan. Yes, she’s that good.
The duet between Micheal Montgomery and Babatunji was a thing to behold. Filled with turns that finished with elongated limbs, it was a display of competitive camaraderie. A sense of each dancer pushing the other to be stronger, better….
The pairing of Ms. Henry with Mr. Montgomery was a stroke of genius. Their movement qualities were perfectly matched. Their dancing created a moment when time was suspended, nothing else in the universe matter. Both lithe and long-limbed, they flowed organically with and around one another.
Original score composers Ben Juodvalkis and Leslie Stuck with Sound Designer Christopher Barnett create a colorful tapestry of sound. You could hear the wind, bells or birds calling while in flight, these are intermixed with romantic melodies by violin and cello.
Yujin Kim’s solo is another moment within Constellation in which time stops, the emotionality of her movements is undeniable. When a small ball is rolled on stage, she picks it up and it becomes a thing cherished that is then shared with another.
Mr. King is unafraid to allow the body to be seen in brief moments of awkwardness. Elbows hyper-extended and crossing one another or in the way two dancers may move in relationship to each other. The woman bent over and the man to the side picks her up and down in quick small lifts, she awkwardly hangs from his body as he turns and then he lifts her to chest level as she elongates her body into a beautiful line.
Alonzo King LINES Ballet is a celebrated contemporary ballet company that has been guided since 1982 by the unique artistic vision of Alonzo King. Collaborating with noted composers, musicians, and visual artists from around the world, Alonzo King creates works that draw on a diverse set of deeply rooted cultural traditions, imbuing classical ballet with new expressive potential. Alonzo King understands ballet as a science – founded on universal, geometric principles of energy and evolution – and continues to develop a new language of movement from its classical forms and techniques. Alonzo King’s visionary choreography, brought to life by the extraordinary LINES Ballet dancers, is renowned for connecting audiences to a profound sense of shared humanity.
Sidra Bell’s latest evening length events attempt to rescue the individual by constructing two new worlds that navigate popular zeitgeists.
Conceived through materials, K I N G D O M (World Premiere Tanz Farm, Atlanta) & garment (World Premiere Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Pittsburgh) use small performance ceremonies to observe antiquation, literacy, transfiguration, and reformation.
K I N G D O M
New York City Premiere
New York City Premiere
East 25th St btw Lexington & 3rd Aves.
New York City
$30 Master Class
$70 Three-class Series
10:15am – 12pm
Advanced & Professional Dancers
Sunday April 6: Michele Wiles
Sunday May 4: Kaitlyn Gilliland
Sunday June 1: Stephen Hanna
City Center • Studio 5
130 W56th St
or Pay at the Door