…Royal Tapping, What the Day Owes to the Night & Four Corners | New York City Center’s 12th Annual Fall for Dance, Program 2….
Where I left the New York City Center a little disappointed after the 12th Annual Fall for Dance, Program 1, Program 2 more than made up for it. New York City Center’s Fall for Dance is an annual two week festival in which every tickets is only $15. Each program gives the ticket holder the opportunity to witness diverse choreographies in an eclectic assortment of dance styles.
The evening began with What the Day Owes to the Night by La Compagnie Hervé Koubi, a company composed of twelve Algerian street dancers under the guidance of the artistic director and choreographer Hervé Koubi, Mr. Koubi combines his Algerian roots with his French classical training to merge capoeira and martial arts with urban and contemporary dance.
When the curtain rises we see twelve very fit bare chested men wearing loose fitting white pants. They start to casually move in silence and then explode into wild feats of amazing strength and agility. A couple of dancers start to spin on their heads, another dancer started to spin one-handedly, occasionally a dancer would run and carelessly jump into a knot of dancers who would then toss him in to the air as the audience gasped. Simply put the dancers created an energy that was so powerful if was almost animalistic.
Now, all that it was exciting, the mechanics of the work was sorely in need of structure. The dancers seem to meander around the stage seemingly without direction. Some of those death defying tricks became almost repetitious. But I am nit-picking for the performance truly was magically. Would I be willing to spend money to see them perform…absolutely!
I hate tap dancing, for me it’s the equivalent to nails being drawn across a chalk board…except when performed by Steven McRae. A principal dancer with the Royal Ballet I was first introduced to his tapping skills when I attended the 8th Annual Fall for Dance in 2011. For me it was a jaw-dropping experience…I mean I hate tap and I loved everything about that performance.
So I was quite excited for the U.S. premiere of Czardas, a five-minute solo, choreographed and performed by Mr. McRae and set to a composition by Italian composer Vittorio Monti. Mr. McRae piece was fast paced blend of tap, ballet and Hungarian folk dancing that was somewhat light hearted and fun.
Wearing jeans and a tank-top, he never missed a beat in his creation of saccadic rhythms with impressively complicated patterns. He whipped around the stage in chaînés turns and leaped effortlessly through the air…then he would look at the audience with a somewhat innocent but still smug expression. At the end everyone was on their feet. Bravo Mr. McRae…
The evening ended with an impeccable performance of Ronald K. Brown’s 2013 work, Four Corners by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Set to a score inspired of house music and gospel by Carl Hancock Rux and various artists, there was a sense of heritage and a sense of the celebration of that heritage.
The choreography explored Mr. Brown signature style of Horton technique and African dance mixed with contemporary and balletic moves. I had not seen the work and I am richer for having done so…as always the Alvin American Dance Theater gave a smooth, heart felt performance that was a fitting end to the evening…