New York’s premiere of Jean-Christophe Maillot’s personal vision of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. It is a vast challenge for any choreographer to tackle this legendary piece which is so well-known throughout the world. For this project which has been dear to his heart for ten years, the choreographer wanted to work with the writer Jean Rouaud, 1990 Prix Goncourt winner, to bring a new drama to this pillar of the classic repertoire. Together they have adapted the timeless story of Siegfried and Odette so that this narrative resonates with our own questioning. The visual artist Ernest Pignon-Ernest, a long-time associate of Jean-Christophe Maillot will design the scenery for this Lac and Philippe Guillotel will be responsible for creating the costumes.
131 W 55th St (btw 6th & 7th Aves.)
New York, NY 10019
Randy James’ all male dance company, 10 Hairy Legs, invited me to their APAP showing for a glimpse in what the company is currently working on. Presented were three works, Claire Porter’s Piano, The Blind Man and The Elephant, choreographed by Julie Bour and seven minutes of a new Untitled/In Progress piece by Doug Elkins.
Julie Bour’s The Blind Man and The Elephant is a work of great athleticism. There is something pedestrian about the movement, it is not complicated but its strength is in the structure and phrasing of the work. Ms. Bour’s use of abstraction as tool is seen in the many ways in which she presents the body in space.
The work consists of three overlapping solos for Alex Biegelson, Scott Schneider and Tyner Dumortier with Robert Burke appearing in arranged intervals. Mr. Burke is of smaller stature than any of the other three men allowing for a reference or nod to a psychological shadow, a consciousness that comes and goes. He is like a mirror of a memory retained.
Kyle Olson’s score is intense, pulsating and slightly industrial with the harmonic sounds of an orchestra cutting in and out. Randy James stated that a live violinist, Gillian Rivers, will be on stage and interwoven into the dance.
On one point the work assumes a confrontational tones as Mr. Biegelson, Mr. Schneilder and Mr. Dumortier come together. They pick up and swing each other in a manner that is abrupt and forceful with Mr. Burke eventually joining them. He is the tossed and handled in the same confrontational tone but by all three men.
Julie Bour’s The Blind Man and The Elephant is a strong statement, a study of the workings of the male condition but seen from a woman’s perspective. Ms. Bour strips away the extraneous and lays bare a certain emotional truth that is raw and at times uncomfortable. I look forward to seeing the work on stage….
Claire Porter’s brilliance as both an artist and a choreographer is her ability to deconstruct and then reconstruct elements of daily life and its experiences. She allows us the opportunity to see the humor in the most complicated of circumstances and Ms. Porter’s Piano is no exception. Ms. Porter has created a situation in which a renowned classical pianist dressed in tuxedo and tails is ready to take the stage to reveal all of his brilliance to a gathered audience, but there is one small problem…when the concert starts the piano has yet to be delivered to the auditorium. The only thing on stage is the piano bench.
Kyle Marshall wittily portrays the pianist with a combination of bravura and hint of frayed nerves. Mr. Marshall quickly establishes that the pianist considers himself extremely talented and therefore should be allowed a few eccentricities, kissing the tips of his fingers before he plays, his elaborate mannerism and flowery bows. It’s a fun work that Mr. Marshall does full justice…
For me Doug Elkins brings to mind the immortal words of Winston Churchill, “a bit of a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma”…for I have found that I never know what I am going to get from Mr. Elkins and that is what makes his work so delicious.
The seven minutes witnessed of Doug Elkins’ Untitled/In Process was of a raw and athletic piece that is fresh in that it does not confirm to a set definition of what is allowable in the approach to the body and movement. It is a work for five men to the music of Pakistani musician Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn, a noted singer of Qawwali, the devotional music of the Sufis. Mr. Elkins described Mr. Kahn’s unique sound as “a sort of Sufism R & B.”
Mr. Elkins does not so much as deconstruct technique but rather he just that throws the rules and fundamentals of technique out the window. In this piece he incorporates floreos (small, expressing hand movements used in Spanish dancing), floor work, Capoeira and Salsa. His approach to movement is to discover the most efficient way to move the body through space in order to achieve his vision. I am looking forward to the finished work……….
Randy James’ all male dance company, 10 Hairy Legs, will debut these new works at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s Victoria Theater on Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 8:00 pm as part of its Jersey Moves! Dance Festival.
May 4, 2014 – 3:00 pm
The Crossroads Theatre
7 Livingston Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
June 26 – 29, 2014
Thus/Fri/Sat -7:30 pm.& Sun.-2:00 pm.
New York Live Arts
219 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011
Dance of the Blessed Spirits
Choreography: Frederick Ashton
Dancer: David Hallberg
Music: Christoph Willibald von Gluck’s 1774 “Orphée et Euridice,”
Frederick Ashton’s Dance of the Blessed Spirit was originally created for Sir Anthony Dowell in 1978. Sir Anthony staged the ballet on Mr. Hallberg and he is the first dancer after Sir Anthony to perform this work.
Frederick Ashton was born in 1904 and spent his childhood in South America. He studied with Leonide Massine and Marie Rambert, who also gave him his first opportunities as a choreographer.
Born in Russia, Alexandra Danilova (1903-1997) studied under Agrippina Vaganova at Imperial Ballet School in Saint Petersburg. In 1920 she entered the former Mariinsky Company, where she was quickly dancing solo roles. In 1924 she visited Western Europe with a small ballet ensemble headed by George Balanchine but the group never returned to Russia instead they joined Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes.
Ms. Danilova soon rose to prominence in the Diaghilev company, creating leading roles in Apollon Musagète, La Pastorale, and The Triumph of Neptune and created roles in works by Balanchine as well as Léonide Massine.
In 1933 she joined Colonel de Basil’s Ballets Russes, where she remained until 1938, when she became the prima—and much loved—ballerina of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.
Danilova had a sparkling personality that endeared her to audiences and a repertory that encompassed nineteenth- and twentieth-century classics, dancing soubrette as well as dramatic roles. In 1946 she collaborated with Balanchine on a staging of the full-length Raymonda and created the role of the Sleepwalker in Night Shadow.
In 1951 she left the Ballet Russe and appearing as guest artist with several ballet companies, including Sadler’s Wells Ballet, and formed her own company (Great Moments of Ballet, 1954–56) touring Japan, the Philippines, and South Africa. She danced her farewell performance in Tokyo in 1957. In 1964 she joined the faculty of the School of American Ballet (the official school of the New York City Ballet) and brought to American ballet the training and traditions of both the classical Russian and the modern Diaghilev repertoires. She staged excerpts from classical ballets for the annual workshops and staged, with Balanchine, the full Coppélia for the New York City Ballet (1974–75).
Ms. Danilova also appeared in musical comedy (Oh Captain!, 1958), taught, and made lecture tours. She played a small but significant role in the motion picture The Turning Point (1977). She also staged ballets for other companies. She died in at her home in New York City (July 13, 1997). She was 93 years-old.
She won note both for her extensive repertoire, ranging from romantic to abstract Balanchine roles, and for the individuality of her characterizations, particularly the street dancer in Le Beau Danube, the glove seller in Gaîté Parisienne, Odette in Swan Lake, and Swanilda in Coppélia.
When inspiration strikes with merely a piece of chalk, the troubled kid constructs a performance arena with his own simple chalk sketch, providing him with a peaceful escape and the freedom to feel the music and pound out some incredible breakdance moves.
Dancer: Justin Beer
Written by Julien Bam
Directors: Julien Bam, Gong Bao, Michael Hilli
Music: Vincent Lee
Featuring 3 Original Works By Acclaimed
choreographer & former American Ballet Theatre (ABT) dancer Brian Reeder
Live music will be provided by the BalletNext Ensemble led by noted Israeli cellist Elad Kabilio&
featuring Julliard pianist, Ben Laude
Jens Weber (Former Ballet Nacional De Monte Carlo Principal)
Kaitlyn Gilliland (Former New York City Ballet Dancer)
Steven Hanna (New York City Ballet Principal)
Sarah Atkins (Former Morphoses Dancer)
Tiffany Mangulabnan (Balletnext)
Brittany Cioce (Balletnext Apprentice)
Tickets Available Online
or Call 212.924.0077
& In Person At The Box Office
A series of seven choreographic displays explores the richness of human relations. Seven original music compositions, written for the 20th Anniversary of the Printemps des Arts have been selected by Choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot.
Music: Ivan Fedele (Suite Française)
Musicians: Mathieu Dupouy, Harpsichord
Dancers: Klara Houdet, Andrew Crawford
Music: Martin Matalon (Traces L)
Musicians: Alexis Descharmes, Violoncello
Dancers: Jens Weber, Ramon Reis, Evgueni Slepov
Andrea Cera, Ramon Lazkano, Martin Matalon, Ivan Fedele, Marc Ducret, Gérard Pesson, Bruno Mantovani
Dominique Drillot, Philippe Favier, Ange Leccia, Philippe Guillotel, Ernest Pignon-Ernest
Gotham Arts Exchange
January 10-12, 2014
FOCUS 2014: DANCE GOTHAM
New York University’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
566 LaGuardia Place (at Washington Square South), NYC.
Tickets are $18 ($15 for NYU faculty, staff and alumni)
Available by phone: 212-352-3101 or 866-811-4111
From post-modern athleticism to seasoned theatricality, these programs, curated by Jodee Nimerichter (American Dance Festival) offer choreographic works that are sophisticated, witty, wonderfully intelligent and revealing.
Friday, January 10 at 8pm
Camille A. Brown & Dancers
Chris Yon [makes dances]
Rosie Herrera Dance Theater
Stephen Petronio Company
Saturday, January 11 at 8pm
Adele Myers and Dancers
Paul Taylor 2
Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE
Sunday, January 12 at 7pm
David Dorfman Dance
Dusan Týnek Dance Theatre
Hubbard Street 2
LeeSaar The Company
DANCE GOTHAM is a part of FOCUS 2014, the National Platform to promote American dance both abroad and nationally. The week-long platform presents performances of U.S.-based dance companies during the annual Arts Presenters Conference in New York City, and one of the largest gatherings of artists, dancers and dance professionals in the U.S. During the second week in January, four venues partner with Gotham Arts Exchange to present the artistic visions of the curators gathered to shape this year’s edition:
Gotham Arts Exchange
Presents the 3rd Annual
The Joyce Theater
Jan. 7-12, 2014
The Joyce Theater hosts FOCUS DANCE, the main stage and featured artists for the FOCUS 2014 platform. This year FOCUS DANCE, curated by Laurie Uprichard, associate producer at Quaternaire, Paris, France, features eight US-based companies in a repertory schedule.
Four Programs featuring Eight Choreographers
Tues, Jan. 7 at 7:30pm; Sun, Jan. 12 at 7:30pm
Vicky Shick & Dancers -Everything You See
doug elkins choreography, etc. - Scott, Queen of Marys – Revival
Wed, Jan. 8 at 7:30pm; Sat, Jan. 11 at 8pm
Morgan Thorson – The Thing of it Is
Keely Garfield Dance – Twin Pines (part real, part arboreal)
Thurs, Jan. 9 at 8pm; Sun, Jan. 12 at 2pm
Yvonne Rainer & Group -Assisted Living: Do You Have Any Money?
Urban Bush Women – dark swan
Fri, Jan. 10 at 8pm; Sat, Jan. 11 at 2pm
Jean Butler – Hurry
Mark Haim Dance & Theater - This Land Is Your Land (2013) - New York Premiere
Produced by Gotham Arts Exchange in partnership with The Joyce Theater this annual event is the centerpiece of FOCUS, an initiative to promote American dance both here in the U.S. and abroad.
FOCUS 2014: FOCUS DANCE
175 Eighth Avenue (at 19th Street), NYC
Tickets start at $10.
Ticket prices are subject to change.