The Joyce Theater Foundation
A Festival of Contemporary Ballet Featuring Six of The Nation’s Most Exciting Emerging Companies
August 6 – 17
August 6 & 7 at 7:30pm
Dominic Walsh Dance Theater
August 8, August 10 at 8pm
Company C Contemporary Ballet
August 9 at 8pm; August 10 at 2pm
August 12 & 13 at 7:30pm
August 14 at 7:30pm; August 15 at 8pm
Jessica Lang Dance
August 16 & 17 at 8pm
(175 Eighth Avenue)
The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue at West 19th Street.
I first saw Isaies Santamaria Perez performing with Manuel Vignoulle in Mr. Vignoulle’s Shifting Shadow at the 2013:pushing progress Showcase Series at the Salvatore Capezio Theater at Peridance. I was blown away by his strength and the animalistic aggression with which he approaches his dancing. He is a no-holds barred dancer that gives everything and then some in his performances. As these videos will testify, he is an exceptional talent not just as a dancer but as a choreographer as well. Isaies Santamaria Perez is someone to watch….I look forward to the opportunity of seeing him perform again…….
Choreography: Isaies Santamaria Perez
Music: Capitaine Soldat
Choreography: Isaies Santamaria Perez
East River Snapshot
A short dance movie filmed in New York, about a snapshot of life.
Dancers: Isaies Santamaria Perez & Erke Roosen
Solo: Erke Roosen
Duet: Isaies Santamaria Perez & Erke Roosen
Director & Editor: Erke Roosen
Die 4 U by The Sky & Benjamin Samama ft. Hellen Vissers
The dance dream that spawned Oxygen’s hit show All The Right Moves goes from screen to stage: Shaping Sound premieres its first-ever live national tour! Experience the exhilarating collaboration of dance’s new visionaries as they mash up music genres and styles in one explosive performance. Emmy- nominated choreographers and So You Think You Can Dance superstars Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini, Teddy Forance, and Kyle Robinson lead a dynamic company of contemporary dancers from SYTYCD, Dancing With The Stars, and international tours with recording artists and world-renowned dance companies. A visually stunning showcase of movement, speed, physical strength, and pure passion – don’t miss the brand new live experience that is Shaping Sound.
The full company includes Chantel Aguirre, Alexa Anderson, Joey Arrigo, Channing Cooke, Teddy Forance, Rory Freeman, Jaimie Goodwin, Kayla Kalbfleisch, Noelle Marsch, Matthew Peacock, Kyle Robinson, Chelsea Thedinga, Season One Winner “So You Think You Can Dance” Nick Lazzarini and Emmy Nominee Travis Wall.
Pascal Rioult pulls from the annals of Greek mythology for his newest work Iphigenia. Referring to Euripides’ “Iphigenia in Aulis”, Mr. Rioult explores the tale of the sacrifice of Iphigenia to the goddess Artemis by her father, Agamemnon.
The music for the work is by Michael Torke, it was commissioned through the company’s Dance to Contemporary Composers Series. Performed live by the Camerata New York Orchestra, Mr. Torke’s score is based on a unique orchestration for eight instruments: two clarinets, two bassoons, two French horns, a cello and a contrabass.
When the curtain rises we see Jane Sato as Iphigenia, behind her stands a Chorus of six dancers, three women and three men. The six dancers are stamping their feet and slamming their hands against their thighs, the body language is one of anguish.
The set that was designed by Harry Feiner consists of a circular white floor and a standing scaffold of wood, a geometric design of planks veering off at different angles. The abstraction of the wooden structure allowed it to be seen in many different ways, buildings surrounding a plaza, a grove in which to seek comfort or the towering masts of a ship.
Jacqueline Chambord comes on stage; as narrator she guides us as we the witness the fate and fault of House Atreus. She is a somber figure, dressed in all black, she uses her voice, deep with a slight accent, as an instrument of forewarning for what is to come.
Ms. Sato begins to dance the light-hearted, care-free dance of the young; she is woman/child reveling in her innocence, unknowing that her world is soon to turn to tragedy.
Marianna Tsartolia, who portrays Clytemnestra and Brian Flynn, who dances the role of Agamemnon, come together in a battle of wills. Ms. Tsartolia confronts Mr. Flynn in the hopes of wresting her daughter’s fate from him. You sense her feelings of powerlessness and frustration. It is a fierce struggle, she pushes and hits Mr. Flynn, but to no avail…the die has been cast…
Mr. Flynn’s stance is heroic, a man who is committed to doing what needs to be done for what is thought the greater good. When Iphigenia is made aware of her fate, Achilles, danced by Jere Hunt, tries to console her, to assure her of his care and concern, but its a dark duet tainted by sorrow. Achilles’ anger is evident in his stance and in his facial expressions.
Ms. Sato’s solo of farewell was beautiful, filled with longing, grief and a little fear but still brave, she has accepted her fate as becoming of a princess of Greece. Bravely she withdraws one step at a time into the darkness and death’s embrace.
With Iphigenia, Pascal Rioult has woven a tapestry of tragedy, filled with loss, longing, angst and emotion. Ms. Sato’s dancing was effortless and exhibited great depth as a woman who struggles with the reality of her fate. Jere Hunt created a caring yet heroic Achilles who was dedicated to Ms. Sato’s Iphigenia. Marianna Tsartolia did a brilliant job portraying Clytemnestra as a complex woman of great emotion who struggled internally with her frustrations and grief.
Pascal Rioult’s On Distant Shores – a redemption fantasy is a bit of revisionist history, for Mr. Rioult sees Helen of Troy as having been somewhat maligned through the ages. In Euripides’s play Helen, the goddesses Athena and Hera were angered by Paris’ declaring Aphrodite as the goddess with the most beauty. In retaliation the two goddesses created a phantom of Helen from the stuff of clouds. The real Helen had been whisked away to Egypt by divine means, where she stayed for the duration of the Trojan War, she never traveled to Troy. It is Euripides’ Helen from which Mr. Rioult takes his inspiration.
Charis Haines is the rare dancer who’s every step, every gesture is poetry. Her movements flow through her body to merge seamless with the music. Her portrayal of Helen was brilliant and an emotionally charged performance.
The stage opens with four men, Brian Flynn, Josiah Guitian, Jere Hunt and Holt Walborn, all reclining at the at the ocean’s edge that was cleverly conceived by Lighting Designer David Finely. Ms. Haines dances a solo of grief and passion with the realization of all the destruction and death that has occurred in her name.
Ms. Haines has brief duets with all four men who represent the Trojan War Heroes, those that perished on the battlefield in Helen’s name. With the score by Aaron Jay Kernis, On Distant Shores, is a perfect piece to show along side of Iphigenia, showing both the tragedy and vanity that were the true causes of the Trojan War.
Martha Graham’s influence is evident in Mr. Rioult’s work, from his approach of the body in motion and the manner of movement, he embraces the deep contraction, the sweeping movements of the body from floor to standing and the hands cupped, though not a severely as other Graham dancers.
Though there are echoes of Martha Graham’s influence, Mr. Rioult’s voice is his own…..
…Now, if Mr. Rioult would choreographic his vision of Homer’s Odyssey with Odysseus he would have a full evening devoted to the Trojan War….and I would be there front and center to see it….hint, hint……
Randy James’ all male repertory Dance Company, 10 Hairy Legs had its NYC Debut at the New York Live Arts, May 31 – June 1. The evening started with Tony Bordonaro’s performance of Claire Porter’s Interview and what a start if was. The work began with Mr. Bordonaro in a pool of light, anxiously seated in a chair in proper business suit attire. He glances at his watch, makes it aware that he is on time and the importance of being on time for a job. He starts to state his credentials, C.P.A., M.B.A, C.P.R., P.H.D. and a host of alphabetical abbreviations. Mr. Bordonaro was excellent. His portrayal of young college graduate anxious to join the job market was perfect. As a side note, Ms. Porter is to be congratulated on becoming a 2013 Guggenheim Fellow.
Randy James’ Pillar of Salt I just did not get. The quartet for Tyner Dumortier, Kyle Marshall, Scott Schneider and Nick Sciscione never congealed into a coherent statement. The four men were stunning, clad in very sexy black mesh costumes that left little to the imagination.
The use of the hands slapping together or to slap the body made the work seem dated. The beauty of Vivaldi was abruptly interrupted by Lady Gaga…Why? The movement choices were predictable and did not really challenge the dancers. Whatever Mr. James intended to state with this work was muddled and confusing to say the least.
But the World Premiere of Mr. James’ Rook was a completely different story! A solo for Nick Sciscione to a commissioned score by Robert Maggio and performed live by an onstage chamber group, was simple awesome.
Mr. Sciscione movements ranged from elongated to tight and controlled with his arms wrapped around his body. The work has a sense of confinement, his body often folding in on itself. He kneels to the floor, his hand searching for something that’s never found.
The work displayed moments of great emotion ranging from passion to remorse. At times Mr. Sciscione energies were extroverted and then suddenly he would pull them in tightly to his body as if fearful. Mr. Sciscione used his body to articulate that which could not be expressed in words by a display of raw emotion. It was a heartfelt and intense work that Mr. Sciscione excelled in. Bravo to both Mr. Sciscione and Mr. James for a job very well done.
David Parker’s Bang, which is the first time the work has ever been performed outside of Mr. Parker’s own company, was a rhythmic duet for two men, Alex Biegelson and Tyner Dumortier. It is a very interesting work which supposedly reflects the two bodies as tap shoes, but it also a tongue in cheek and slightly sarcastic comment on the struggle for dominance in a domestic relationship. Mr. Biegelson would slap the floor, move his body forward in a body-ripple like action only to have Mr. Dumortier do the same but go a little further. Mr. Biegelson would then proceed to repeat the movement and go even further then his partner. This led into one trying to one-up the other in an obvious but still understated manner.
Lying opposite each other but side by side, each lifts a foot and for the other to kiss, but when this is done again Mr. Biegelson turns his nose up at the opportunity to kiss Mr. Dumortier foot. Mr. Dumortier, his foot already in Mr. Biegelson’s face proceeds to slowly point his foot, rolling one toe at a time in a passive-aggressive manner before relenting and bringing his foot down.
It was a great performance and my first exposure to the work of David Parker, also a 2013 Guggenheim Fellow. I am looking forward to witnessing more of Mr. Parker and the Bang Group.
Manuel Vignoulle’s Together We Stand, created for the company in 2012, was an energetic and testosterone fueled work for five men, Alex Biegelson, Tyner Dumortier, Cyle Jackson, Kyle Marshall and Carlo Antonio Villanueva. (Mr. Villanueva replaced Nick Sciscione who was injured but was able to dance in all his other pieces.) The work features an original score entitled “Together” by Mr. Vignoulle and “Al Maghfera” by Hugues De Courson with sound designed by Dan Agosto & Johnny Nevin.
Together We Stand explores the camaraderie between those brought together by violence, as well as a study of the manner we as individual relate to one another during crisis. Mr. Vignoulle is also making a strong statement about violence in media and the exposure to the ready availability of violent subject matter.
This is an athletic work; the dancers shake as if overcome by nerves then explode into large jumps of action. Occasionally a dancer will pause, his body propelled backwards as if shot or physical hit then falls to the floor, he then gets up attempting to back away from the violence, but when he turns his is forced to face the violence again.
The dancers flee by somersaulting across the stage on their elbows, facing away from us, they stand and arch their backs, throw out the arms to the side as if hit by a great force that propels them again to their knees.
The movements are comprised of elements of martial arts and capoeira, helping one another as if injured or crawling through trenches. The men sit on each other shoulders, sticking their tongues as in the Haka, the ancestral challenge of the Māori people of New Zealand. It is an exciting and engaging work.
Randy James’ Hairy Legs is a young company of vision and purpose and I look forward to watching it grow….
10 Hairy legs is a repertory company – comprised entirely of men -- of Randy James’ work as well as existing and new works by today’s most significant choreographers, not meant to reflect a specific point of view about the male experience, but rather to celebrate and explore the tremendous technical and emotional range of today’s male dancer. 10 Hairy Legs seeks to advance the understanding of the male role in dance through the creation, acquisition and performance of exceptional work.
Former ballet mistress Ursula Hageli at an Insights event as she explores the evolution of ballet steps from the Baroque period to the present day, with a little help from Royal Ballet dancers Melissa Hamilton, Yasmine Naghdi, Romany Pajdak and Claire Calvert.
Marie Taglioni 1804-1884
An introduction to ballerina Marie Taglioni, the most famous dancer of the Romantic era. Former ballet mistress Ursula Hageli explores her role in the creation of La Sylphide with Royal Ballet dancer Yasmine Naghdi and pianist Paul Stobart.
Ballet Evolved – Fanny Elssler 1810-1884
An introduction to ballerina Fanny Elssler, famed during her lifetime for dancing The Cachucca. With Royal Ballet dancer Romany Pajdak, former ballet mistress Ursula Hageli and pianist Paul Stobart.
Ballet Evolved – Pierina Legnani 1863-1923
Pierina Legnani was reputed to have been the first ballerina to dance 32 fouettes. But as we find out, this wasn’t strictly the case.
Ballet Evolved – Anna Pavlova 1881-1931
Discover more about Anna Pavlova, the most famous dancer of her day with former ballet mistress Ursula Hageli and Royal Ballet dancer Romany Pajdak as Anna Pavlova. Piano – Paul Stobart.
Ballet Evolved – Alicia Markova 1910-2004
Royal Ballet dancer Romany Pajdak perform an extract of Ashton’s Foyer de Danse – a work created on Alicia Markova in 1934. Presented by Ursula Hageli with Paul Stobart at the piano.
FESTIVAL 2013 SEASON
SATURDAY, JUNE 15
SEASON OPENING GALA
New York City Ballet’s Wendy Whelan and Virginia Johnson of Dance Theatre of Harlem, Honorary Co-Chairs
DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM
The preeminent American dance company opens the Festival with The Lark Ascending by Alvin Ailey, George Balanchine’s masterwork Agon, and more.
The sold-out hip-hop show of 2012 returns! Experience the virtuosity, humor, and irresistible energy of this unique production from Brazil and France.
What if the laws of gravity ceased to exist? From Berlin, imaginative movement, physical theatre, and fantastical video. A gem for all ages.
CEDAR LAKE CONTEMPORARY BALLET
Sleek, strong, and daringly athletic–the dancers of Cedar Lake are phenomenal talents. The New York Times calls them “the country’s most innovative contemporary ballet troupe.”
This “divinely gifted” (The New York Times) master of classical Indian dance presents a euphoric evening of live music and mesmerizing dance.
COMPANHIA URBANA DE DANÇA
From Rio de Janeiro, choreographer Sonia Destri combines hip-hop and dramatic contemporary movement. Spectacular dancers master high-risk movement with innovative artistry.
This NYC contemporary ensemble matches “rigor with flamboyant whimsy” (The New Yorker) in dances with larger-than-life stage designs, bold costuming, and full-out movement.
From British Columbia, one of today’s most exciting contemporary ballet companies performs innovative choreography to music by Mozart, Puccini, Rodgers & Hart, and John Zorn. A whimsical explosion of color and “seriously fun dancing” (Vancouver Sun).
Poignant, sensual, and thought-provoking, Cover Boy explores the closeted gay experience, community, and “otherness” in a moving dance performance that embraces us all.
Sensational and avant-garde, Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar’s new company makes its U.S. debut from Israel. A celebrated dancer and choreographer with Batsheva, Eyal’s provocative work HOUSE is an alluring, raw spectacle. Adult Content
Tap dancer Michelle Dorrance is pure dynamite. Her new show, The Blues Project, brings together today’s best tap artists and musicians in an innovative evening of rhythm, live music, and a good dose of fun. Acclaimed composer and musician Toshi Reagon and band join as well.
JULY 31-AUGUST 4
Dancers from the world-famous Paris Opera Ballet turn classical ballet on its head with sharp wit and imaginative style in Le Pillow Thirteen, created by director/choreographer Samuel Murez especially for Festival 2013.
From Los Angeles, this dynamic contemporary company is known for theatricality and refreshing abandon. Their program includes O2JOY, danced to music by Ella Fitzgerald and other jazz greats.
From Montréal, performing La Vie Qui Bat (The Beat of Life), a powerful, award-winning work danced to acclaimed composer Steve Reich’s piece “Drumming”, performed live by the Quebec Contemporary Music Society.
JESSICA LANG DANCE
Lang combines powerful dancing, beautiful scenic and video landscapes, and expressive choreography in dynamic contemporary ballet works, including a world premiere.
New York City Ballet star Wendy Whelan performs in a world premiere featuring a suite of vibrant, diverse duets with four leading dancer/choreographers: Kyle Abraham, Joshua Beamish, Brian Brooks, and Alejandro Cerrudo.
Flamenco dancer Myriam Allard and an ensemble of singers and musicians present a poetic, passionate evening of contemporary dance, video art, and evocative live music.
MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY
The legendary modern dance troupe performs a new work by Nacho Duato, and the revival of Graham’s Rite of Spring, danced to Stravinsky’s iconic score.
In Pavement, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award winner Kyle Abraham layers urban and classical influences, bold imagery, and gripping, textured dance with his company of striking dancers.
Order online or by calling the Box Office at 413.243.0745.
Ok, curiosity killed the cat….or, so the saying goes…having known many SUNY/Purchase alumni I was curious as to what was going on with the Purchase Dance Company… so I attend their NY Season at New York Live Arts.
Bill T. Jones’ Spent Days Out Yonder is a purely dance piece set to Mozart’s String Quartet (No. 23 in F Major). There is a continuous flow to the work, its movements and phrases sliding one into the other with relative ease. Robert Wierzel’s lighting was soft and gentle. It’s an interesting work.
The Premiere of Claire Porter’s Out of the Question was a delicious bit of silliness with lots of noise and unanswered questions. Partially exploring Gertrude Stein’s quotes of “What is the Answer” and “Ain’t any answer”, answerless questions abound. As in the work of Ms. Porter, you find yourself in a maze of riddles filled with quandaries and conundrums.
The work is for 13 women who walk on and off in the most casual of manners that can just as abruptly break into moments of mania. A lesson is given on how to ask a question, for the manner in which a question is asked is just as important at the question itself…or so it is in Clair Porter’s world. Its great work filled with twists and turns that treats the most basic of questions as sophistry. Well done, indeed!
The stand out for the evening was an excerpt from Sarah Mettin’s In a Roofless Room, performed by Natalia Bizinha and Robert Lewis with Christopher Hernandez. This work was in a completely different category from the rest of the performances of the Purchase Dance Company. To say it was a stellar performance of a stellar work would be an understatement. It was beyond superb!
The work takes places on the fringes of darkness, Ms. Bizinha in seen in a square of white light. Mr. Lewis, standing just outside the light holds Ms. Bizinha’s hands as she bends forward and stretches backwards.
Ms. Bizinha moves away from Mr. Lewis and begins to flow into lyrical movements of great expression. Set to Vivaldi’s Sposa son disprezzata and performed by Cecilia Bartoli, this is a work of deep emotion. (Sposa son disprezzata (“I am wife and I am scorned”) is an Italian aria written by Geminiano Giacomelli. It is used in Vivaldi‘s pasticcio, Bajazet.)
Ms. Bizinha is a woman, who, in her turmoil returns again and again to the source of her unhappiness. It is only in the moments in which she breaks away that she is free to express her sorrow and her longing.
Mr. Lewis is the presence in the darkness that always haunts Ms. Bizinha, he is the thoughts and fears that hamper her in life. Mr. Lewis is both anchor and tormentor. He catches her when it is needed only to throw her away after.
Again and again she runs away from him only to stop and flee back to him. Ms. Bizinha presence in this work is so powerful; her dancing is a pure expression of the soul. She melds her emotion and movements in a seamless blend of artistry. ….
In the end she finds the courage to seek salvation in the arms of Christopher Hernandez who cradles her tenderly and carries off stage. A powerful work!
This is my first exposure to the work of Sarah Mettin, but it will not be my last….I will be seeking the opportunity of see more…Ms. Mettin work can be seen in performances of Mettin Movement, a contemporary dance company based out of New York City and Philadelphia founded in 2011.
Francesca Martoccio’s performance in George Balanchine’s Valse-Fantasie was light and alive, her moves large and expressive. Your eyes followed her across the stage. Unfortunately the rest of the cast needed some work. Thalia Mara’s idiom was that “Ballerinas were seen and never heard”, so when Nicole Del Bene, Madelyn Eltringham, Lieneke Matte and Alden Phillips came on stage with their point shoes thumping with each jump, I was sadly disappointed. Ladies, you must remember to roll through your foot when landing.
Oliver Greene-Cramer has great legs but he needs to relax his shoulders and concentrate upon his épaulement. His double cabrioles were excellent and he seems a natural jumper. The capability is there, he has everything required to become an excellent dancer and a polished technician, but with that said, his stage presence needs improvement. He did not “sale” his solo, he preformed all the requisite moves correctly, but it was more of a classroom demonstration than actual performance. But all of this can be improved with classes and more performance opportunities….I look forward to seeing what he does.
There were just too many dancers on stage for Ori Flomin’s (in)Visible Spectrum. With Twenty-five dancers you did not know where to look. It had a slow start and did not seem that interesting at first, but it grew into something amazing.
The original music/sound score by Pierre de Gaillande and Gary Greenblatt, and music by Biorhythms pulls you into the work, building and matching the intensity of the choreography. There were moments when I was reminded of an assembly line, dancers doing repetitive movements in rows that moved like a continuous chain.
The performance of Christopher Hernandez was excellent. Mr. Hernandez’ solo was brilliantly performed and it was obvious the he is a person born to dance. He is a natural turner and moves with a confidence that is quite sexy. Excellent job.
Ori Flomin’s (in)Visible Spectrum was a tough act to follow so Lori Landon’s The Thought of You is Fading seemed weak in comparison. The movement consisted of a lot of falling down, running, then sliding. Dancer’s used their chins to touch other dancer’s bodies.
Had Ms. London’s piece been seen before Ori Flomin’s (in)Visible Spectrum it would have had a much better reception….
All in all, though the choreographic choices for the evening I found a bit of a let down, the actual dancers for the most part were excellent. I was disappointed that the men seemed regulated to secondary roles in many of the pieces, almost as if they were added as an afterthought.