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Joffrey Concert Group & Limon
The energy was high Saturday afternoon at the Manhattan Movement & Arts Center as dancers aged  mid-teens to mid-20s from the Joffrey and Limon Junior Companies took to the stage. With bold athleticism and intention they were fully invested in serving the program's various styles of choreography. By J. Cohen.

Buglisi Dance Theatre
For its latest outing Jacqulyn Buglisi's Buglisi Dance Theater (BDT) presented three pieces at Chelsea Factory. The program featured re-imaginings of iconic company repertoire, including Buglisi’s “Frida”  (1998), “Caravaggio Meets Hopper” (2007) and Buglisi’s world premiere “A Walk Through Fire." J. Cohen writes, "It is clear that Buglisi Dance Theatre has a lot on its mind and in its heart."

CLYMOVE Spring Season
Choreographer Clymene Aldinger has a playful sense of irony, which we were blessed with at the Spring season of her company, CLYMOVE, May 26 and 27, presented in Williamsburg, Brooklyn at Center for Performance Research, 361 Manhattan Ave. The show, titled "Time Signatures," was an evening of nine contemporary dance pieces, all choreographed by Aldinger, consisting of solos, trios, and quartets performed by the thoroughly enjoyable ensemble of JoVonna Parks, Bridget Cronin, Angelica Mondol Vlana and Roxanne Young. The evening was dedicated to Elisa Monte, Ms. Aldinger's mentor. By Barney Yates.


DANCE IQUAIL!, led by Dr. Iquail Shaheed, took over the Ailey Citigroup Theater in Manhattan April 21 and 22, 2023 with a program that was primarily devoted to the world premiere of "Public Enemy," a dance that explores what they describe as the setting of incarceration to showcase the humanity of Black men and the diversity of their humanity. Since Barney Yates could only attend the Saturday matinee, he only got to see the second act of "Public Enemy," but what Ihe saw made him think he had seen the more interesting program of what was offered in the weekend. That's because DANCE IQUAIL! used the first half to showcase the young people who were training with the company, who range in age from early childhood to early twenties.


Brenda Neville celebrates women composers
Brenda Neville’s program, “Celebrating Women Composers” March 25, 2023 at Manhattan Movement & Arts Center, 248 West 60th Street, celebrated Women’s History Month with a matchup of women composers and choreographers. The composers included Caroline Shaw, Zoe Keating, Nkeiru Okoye, Lo Kristenson, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Helen Jane Long and Valentina Magaletti.  Choreographers included Brenda Neville and guests Kristen Klein and Lauren Settembrino. The latter two were recipients of Neville Dance Theatre’s 2023 Chance-to-Choreograph program. By Barney Yates.

Kari Hoaas at La MaMa
LaMaMa Moves! Dance Festival hosted the world premiere of "Shadowland," performed by the Norway-based ensemble of choreographer/dancer Kari Hoaas. Joining Ms. Hoaas were dancers Ida Haugen, Christine Kjeilberg, and Matias Ronningen. Visually and conceptually inspired by the work of Norwegian visual artist Jan Groth, Hoaas has a story to tell. By Paul Berss.

Joffrey Ballet Concert Spring Gala
For the Spring Gala February 16 to 18, 2023 the Joffrey Ballet Concert Group’s artistic director and resident choreographer, Bradley Shelver, curated an evening of four new works for the 20-member company—two world premieres that he created and two by choreographers Lindsay Grymes and Eric Trope, recipients of the Concert Group’s first Creative Movers Choreographic Initiative. By Bonnie Rosenstock.

"Klytaimnestra" according to Alessandra Corona
On November 18, 2022 Alessandra Corona Performing Works celebrated its 10th Anniversary Season with the premiere of "Klytaimnestra," choreographed by Ms. Corona in collaboration with the company.  Set to "Proseccio," an original (largely percussive) score by Thomas Lentakis, it took stage in the ample seating and large proscenium stage of JREC Theater in Julia Richman High School, 317 E. 67th Street.

Tongue of the Flame
Barney Yates attended "The Tongue of the Flame," conceived, co-choreographed and performed by Daniel Fetecua Soto and Blakely White McGuire, in the Martha Graham Studio at Westbeth. The piece is performed largely in the nude and you could be forgiven for thinking it would be mostly about Eros. It was more about caregiving and trust.

Erasing Borders Through Dance
Nothing beats a live performance where you feel every move of the performer in your seat. Yet, the online show of “Erasing Borders Dance Festival” organized by the Indo American Arts Council is a concerted effort to capture the essence of the compositions and performances by artists from the US, Canada, and India on screen. Held virtually on Aug 8, the show is ongoing through Aug 22, available to stream on IAAC’s Facebook and YouTube channels. By Lyle Michael.


"Passages" by Dances We Dance
Dances We Dance, led by Artistic Director Francesca Todesco, produced its 2022 Spring Season June 3 to 5 in The Theatre at St. Jeans. It was the company's debut season. As someone who is newly interested in early modern dance, Barney Yates was glad to see the evening's Duncan dances, which were performed with maturity and understanding.  But he felt that the closing piece, set to music by Astor Piazzolla, stole the show.


Limón Trajectory
The Joyce Theater welcomed back the Limón Dance Company for its pandemic-delayed 75th anniversary season, resplendent with choreography that spanned nearly a century. By Karen Bardash.


“Morning Afternoon Evening” by Beth Jucovy
There are times when performances cannot and should not be categorized. That is true for “Morning Afternoon Evening,” a beautifully conceived interdisciplinary work choreographed and directed by Beth Jucovy, artistic director of “Dance Visions NY.” Is this a dance piece, being that it is performed by a company named “Dance Visions NY”? Is it a poem with movement or a performance of a poem – as the focal point of the forty-five-minute piece is a poem with movement? Or is this a theatre piece of outstanding narration? Karen Bardash believes it is all of the above.

A Dance to the the (eek!) House of Mercy
It was December 18 and Barney Yates, never one for those saccharine holiday music shows, was pleasantly surprised to find himself in Catherine Gallant's "Escape from the House of Mercy" at St. Michael's Church, 225 West 99th Street. The piece was about House of Mercy, a home for "abandoned and troubled women" that began in the 1850s at 86th Street near the current Riverside Drive and later moved to Inwood Park, where it operated from 1891 to 1921. It was one of various institutions lining Inwood Park that served alcoholics, drug addicts, tuberculosis patients, petty criminals, runaways and “women of ill repute." A girl could get locked up there for years for such "offenses" as dancing in public or walking alone at night. To keep them in line, inmates were punished with starvation diets, head shaving and restraints. The concert was cool, even if the institution's legacy is disconcerting.

Anabella Lenzu on film
On October 30, 2021 Argentine-born choreographer-dancer Anabella Lenzu celebrated her 15th anniversary with a zoomcast of four film renditions of her dance works, combined with a one-on-one interview with dance journalist Celia Ipiotis ("Eye on Dance & the Arts"). The selections were meant to expose Lenzu's soul as a woman, mother and immigrant. By Barney Yates.


Recreating classics of Modern Dance with "The Well"
"The Well," a presentation of Loretta Thomas' Moving Visions Inc., took stage at Mark O'Donnell Theater at Actors Fund Arts Center October 22 to 24, 2021. It was a collection of 20 dances recreated from their Modern Dance origins in the early 20th Century. By Barney Yates.


Kathryn Posin Dance Company Comes Home to Bond Street
The spirit of neighborhood renewal and the styles of the Joffrey were amply present in The Kathryn Posin Dance Company's presentation October 19, 2021 at The Gene Frankel Theater. Ms. Posin, who stepped out on stage to dedicate the evening, had originated her company next door and felt this concert was like a return to her roots and to the creative energy that galvanized Bond Street for many years. The evening was funded, in large part, by a City Artists Corps Grant, which enabled the evening. (Posin says, her backers matched it...and voila!). By Barney Yates.


Mimi Garrard Shows Us the Money
At New York Live Arts (NYLA) on October 17, Mimi Garrard Dance Company premiered "Money" and "Junk Journey" and completed the program with her 2019 "Cosmic Man." Ms. Garrard's finesse in film making and choreography, paired with a masterful performance by Austin Selden, provided a delightful and different evening. By Gabriella Lopez.


A balletic "Musik" by Miro Magloire
Barney Yates reports an unexpected complexity in watching a dance performance in a cool room while masked. Breath goes up past the nose clip causing one's glasses to fog. So when he attended New Chamber Ballet's "Musik" (world premiere) September 17 at Mark Morris' James and Martha Duffy Performance Space, the performance was seen through fogged glasses, not rose-colored glasses. But it might as well have been the latter. He was charmed.


Periapsis Music and Dance
With its four-dance recital at Dixon Place June 27, Periapsis stayed true to its vision of integrating original music and choreography, and they do so with taste, intelligence, and total commitment. By Paul Berss


Cornfield company dancers. Photo byJulie Lemberger.

Cornfield Dance spaces out behind St. Marks Church
On the sunny Sunday afternoon of June 6, 2021--a hot one for early in June--Barney Yates rode his trusty old bike to the block of East 11th Street between Second and Third Avenues to watch “Spaced Out & Small Stages (excerpts),” performed by Cornfield Dance, the Cunningham-based group led by Ellen Cornfield, and guest soloists from The Bang Group, which is led by David Parker. It was worth the ride.






Photos by Steven Pisano
Alessandra Corona Performance Works
Barney Yates went with a happy heart to Alessandra Corona Performing Works' live performance of dances by Ms. Corona and Maiya Redding on May 6, 2021 at Theatre at St. Jean 150 E. 76th Street. He had been introduced to Ms. Corona's work at a concert in 2017 and was eager for more of her magic. This time, there were two premieres, Corona's "Labyrinth" and "Breaking Through the Generational Curse" by guest choreographer Maiya Redding. The performance was offered both live and streaming. It did not disappoint.


Beth Jucovy streams a multidisciplinary mosaic
Since Covid-19 struck, artists have been grasping to adapt their art forms to the streaming space. With "EVENING: a Mosaic of Poetry, Dance, Art and Nature" we see Dance Visions NY, under the direction of Beth Jucovy, throwing itself full-flight into a synthesis of video art, poetry and dance with an extended meditation on gravity and desire. By Barney Yates.


Mare Nostrum's Emerging Choreographer Series at La Guardia PAC
MNE Performing Arts (aka Mare Nostrum Elements), in partnership with LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (LPAC), presented its 2020 Emerging Choreographer Series, a program of new works. It was the product of a highly competitive audition process in which 90 applicants vied for nine spots. The series has been developed so that its young participants get the benefit of a lot of thorough mentoring. Judging from what Barney Yates saw, it worked. Of course, mentoring is a rather invisible part of any performance--you never know what you would see in its absence. But there was overall a high level of conceptual thought and execution in the evening. A youthful mind was evident in the dances, but no empty-headedness.


Anabella Lenzu in "No More Beautiful Dances." Photo by Todd Carroll.

Anabella Lenzu and CJ Holm in Exponential Festival at The Brick
When you go to The Brick on Metropolitan Ave. in Brooklyn, you expect to see experimental work the likes of which you have not seen before. So it was with The Exponential Festival's double bill of "No More Beautiful Dances" with Anabella Lenzu and "Becky's Lament" with CJ Holm. Lenzu made performance art; Holm left you guessing. By Barney Yates.


Passion vs. Peace in the Dances of Beth Soll
Beth Soll & Company presented "Dances of Passion and Peace" November 22 and 23 at University Settlement on Eldridge Street. The concept was inspired, she says, by Hermann Hesse's "The Glass Bead Game." Barney Yates says, to put yourself into Ms. Soll's head, familiarize yourself with the book before you go to this performance.


Dylan Baker and Tommy Seibold in "Bang." Photo by Yi-Chun Wu.

Soaking WET went out with a "Bang," literally.
Soaking WET went out with a bang October 3, 2019 in its final program at West End Theatre. David Parker and Jeffrey Kazin, the producers who started the series in 2003, will be taking up new positions as dance programmers at The Flea Theater. Their two-part program was overshadowed by "Bang," the first dance of Program B. Originally made for Parker and Kazin, winner of a string of awards, it launched the Bang Group company and so Parker named the troupe for it. This time, it was danced for the first time by Dylan Baker and Tommy Seibold. Barney Yates came away suitably impressed..


"Between Heaven and Earth." Photo by Jennifer De Sane.

Martita Goshen memorializes a great race horse
Martita Goshen created "Between Heaven and Earth" to be the fourth part of a quartet of dances celebrating the the "greatest American race horse," Barbaro, who captivated the world with his breezing win in the 2006 Kentucky Derby but shattered a leg in the Preakness just weeks later. Like the previous installments of Goshen's Barbaro series, "Between Heaven and Earth" was a work of peaceful movements and an elegaic tone, set to compositions by varied composers, some classical, some folk and contemporary. Barney Yates, in reviewing the performance in The Scripps Studio at Paul Taylor Dance Studio, draws on his own racetrack experience to give some advice to the thoroughbred industry.

Neville Dance Theatre in "53 Movements." Photo by Noel Valero

53 Movements
Barney Yates goes to Dixon Place to review Neville Dance Theatre's "53 Movements," set to Terry Riley's musical masterpiece "In C." The score is a seminal work of minimalism that is improvisation-based and calls--no surprises--for improvisational dance to accompany it. While finding the concert thoroughly enjoyable, Yates tries to pick apart the experience to see where improvisation begins and begins, and how it works and works.


Demetria Charles in "Oracle." Photo by Rachel Neville

The Oracle at Periapsis
"Periapsis," in an astronomical sense, means the point in the path of an orbiting body at which it is nearest to the body that it orbits. Periapsis Music and Dance is a Brooklyn-based ensemble of dancers and musicians led by composer/pianist Jonathan Howard Katz that endeavors to find the closest point in the orbit of dance around music. So it explores how to cultivate the nexus of music and dance in unique ways. Barney Yates caught the ensemble in "Oracle," a program of dance-music collaborations at Kumble Theatre for the Performing Arts at LIU Brooklyn.



Laura Pawel and Dancers

Laura Pawel and Dancers
Laura Pawel is ever true to her specialized early modern dance aesthetic. Her "non-technical" work was a legitimate style when it emerged in the late sixties, a time of re-imaginings. It offered pedestrian, everyday movement and improvised talk as a trained dancers' rebellion against formalism. And here it is, at Chen Dance Center in Chinatown, true to its origins, for all of us to see and re-experience (or experience for the first time), performed by people who set the style. In watching it, Barney Yates only wonders how it strikes audience members who don't share the dance community's institutional memory.

Jeanette Stoner and Dancers
On his second visit to Jeanette Stoner and Dancers, on a cold winter's night, Barney Yates finds warmth in the mood and acting values behind the dances, even while conscious of his own cold feet.

Alessandra Corona with James Samson. Photo by Natalia Bougadellis.

Alessandra Corona presents two choreographers
Alessandra Corona Performing Works presented a double-bill of "W2! (Women Too!)" by Manuel Vignouile and "Interaction" by Guido Tuveri to GK Arts Center in Dumbo December 7 and 8, 2018. It was an evening of dance dedicated to the relationship of the sexes. Barney Yates says we are lucky to have Alessandra Corona and her lovely collaborations with choreographers from her native Italy and others we might not otherwise have discovered.







Marcus Jarrell Willis and projections by Mimi Garrard. Photo by Andrew Williams.

Mimi Garrard and Marcus Jarell Willis
Mimi Garrard Dance Company presented "Mimi Garrard and Marcus Jarell Willis," a program of live dance and video, November 11, 2018 at New York Live Arts. Throughout the evening, there was an impressive mesh of live dance with computer-generated imagery. There was commentary on the 2016 presidential election, holding a mirror up to our shared grief. An "Everyman" demonstrated a real sense of trauma and grief at the issues weighing on all of us. By Barney Yates.




Francesca Todesco in "Harp."
Photo by Julie Lemberger.

Francesca Todesco's 20-year journey in NYC
Swiss native dancer Francesca Todesco joined forces with Dances by Isadora, Sokolow Dance Ensemble and the Thoughts in Motion Dance Company at University Settlement to present a variety of recreated works by American modern dance pioneers such as Isadora Duncan and Anna Sokolow. Musical interludes in between the performances made for a varied evening of American modern dance and classical music. The night was rich in dance history. By Rina Kopalla.







FALL FOR DANCE FESTIVAL -- Introdans in "Canto Ostinato." Photo by Stephanie Berger.

Introdans and Rennie Harris at Fall for Dance Festival 2018
The annual Fall for Dance Festival, presented by New York City Center, exposes many people to new, but also well-established artists and offers well-mixed programs. Introdans told a ‘night-story’ with “Canto Ostinato” and an excerpt from “Funkedified” by Rennie Harris was instructive as well as entertaining. By Rina Kopalla.




ET SI -- Marie Gaudillière and Stéphane Ripon. Photo by Valérie Broue.

“Et Si” a smart pas de deux about a dance romance
“Et Si” means “And if.” It’s a very fine small-in-space but big-in-conception dance piece at Avignon Festival. By Lucy Komisar.






VARHUNG - HEART TO HEART -- Ljaucu Tapurakac, Tzu-En Meng and Ching-Hao Yang. Photo by Michel Cavalca.

“Varhung – Heart to Heart” expressive, angular reflection of rural Taiwan
At Avignon, The Tjimur Dance Theatre of Taiwan presents a finely designed contemporary dance inspired by the culture of the Païwan tribe, an aboriginal group of the island’s south. Choreographed by Baru Madiljin, “Varhung – Heart to Heart” is slow, expressive, angular. It tells stories of people’s lives, loves, difficulties though the cultivation and harvesting of the ginger plant. By Lucy Komisar.






DANCE 'N SPEAK EASY -- Photo by Mooh

“Dance ‘N Speak Easy” a stunning hip hop dance show set in U.S. 1930s prohibition era
“Dance ‘N Speak Easy,” a stunning work by Wanted Posse set in the U.S. 1930s prohibition era, was Lucy Komisar's favorite production at the 2018 Avignon Theater Festival. The mood is swagger, the language is hip hop, the undercurrent is aggression.The dancers are mostly black and the choreographer Njagui Hagbe and director Philippe Lafeuille play off stereotypes even to the zoot-suited brimmed hats of the time. This is not the hip hop you will see on the streets. The dancers are accomplished. The troop is well known in France.




"Meditation on Violence" by Susan Vencl, part of "Critical Junctures."

Choreographer Susan Vencl teams up with composer Arlene Sierra
At the Graham Center, choreographer Susan Vencl presented a program of two group dances set to music by contemporary composer Arlene Sierra. The evening contained a live musical interlude and two danceswhich lived up to their billing as a "meditation on randomness and unpredictability." By Paul Berss.






"Kinderspiel" by Michael Mao. Photo by Steven Pisano.

Michael Mao Retrospective
Michael Mao Dance celebrated its 25th anniversary at New York Live Arts April 26 to 28 with a four-part retrospective of past works that included "Kinderspiel" (2000), "Weaving" (1999), "Shifting Shades" (2012-18) and "Still Night" (1993). By Barney Yates.





Austin Selden. Photo courtesy Mimi Garrard Dance Company.

Mimi Garrard Dance at New York Live Arts
Mimi Garrard's evening of live dance and video was a collaboration with dancer Austin Selden. With unusual movement and background projections that are often multiple repetitions of Selden, fractal style, we are catapulted into beholding states of consciousness that are unfamiliar, even foreign. By Barney Yates.




Café Müller” (1978), Pina Bausch masterpiece. Photo by Stephanie Berger (BAM)

Masterpieces by Pina Bausch at BAM
Mind-blowing, as usual, Tanztheater Wuppertal performed a double bill with masterpieces from 1970’s by Pina Bausch (1940-2009): “Café Müller” (1978) and “The Rite of Spring” (1975). Directed by Adolphe Binder, it continues to be one of the most remarkable dance companies in the world, with Pina's memory seemingly alive in their flesh. By Marcela Benvegnu.








Yin Yue's YY Dance Company

FoCo is displayed powerfully in Yin Yue's triple bill
Yin Yue has created an innovative contemporary dance technique, called FoCo (Folk-Contemporary). On the stage of Peridance Salvatore Capezio Theater, her YYDC (YY Dance Company) presented a triple bill to a crowded audience, demonstrating the strength of that technique. They also offered a very good illustration that in dance, if everything is in the right place "less is more." By Marcela Benvegnu.






Alessandra Corona introduces two Italian choreographers' disquisitions on love
Barney Yates thoroughly enjoyed his introduction to Alessandra Corona Performing Works on May 30, when he attended her program of new dances by Italian choreographers. She and her ensemble of six dancer plus a narrator offered an evening of thoroughly Italian character, introduced poetically by a monologue, "Imperfect Recipe for Pure Tragedy." The sunny Italian disposition shone through the pain and angst of love as it was variously portrayed in two major dances.


Chase Booth in "Numinous" by Jeanette Stoner. Photo courtesy Jeanette Stoner and Dancers.

Jeanette Stoner rocks
When you attend a Jeanette Stoner evening, you are amazed at how much more she can do with a loft production than most choreographers can do with a great big theater. Her concert of old and new works, presented April 29 to May 2 in her loft at 83 Leonard Street, was another such demonstration. By Barney Yates.







A view of the Carnegie Hall stage arranged for the Kabuki spectacle, the unit set of screens with painted pine trees at the east and west edgesand a special stage layer in place for Kabuki.

Ichikawa Ebizo IX's Grand Japan Theater in Kyogen: "Sanbanso," Noh: "Tsuchigumo" (The Earth Spider) and Kabuki: "Shunkyo Kagamijishi"
The Grant party is generally considered to be the first known group of Americans to have glimpsed examples of either theatrical form. According to Japanese accounts, the General was deeply moved by the program, which consisted of some ten plays and dances, and he advised Lord Iwakura to maintain the ancient, inherited repertory—whose glory days had been contemporary with the careers of Chaucer and Leonardo da Vinci—with great care, as the nuanced performance traditions could easily erode. By Mindy Aloff




Andrew Jannetti. Photo by Eric Bandiero.

Latin Folk Music, Velvet Underground and More in Jannetti's "A Weekend of Dance"
The lights opened on Andrew Jannetti, sitting alone in the center of a room in a lone chair. His arms were slumped at his side, his tie undone in exhausted resignation. His entire being appeared exasperated, even as Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane" began to play. Jannetti's dance commenced with him acting out the lyrics of the song, performing actions like reading by examining the palm of his hand and moving pages, and working, portrayed by mimicking the action of a laborer shoveling. As the lyrics of the song evolved into a more free-flowing story, so too did Jannetti's dance, as he went from sitting motionless on a chair, gesturing with his hands, to dancing around the chair, unrestrained. By Timothy Esteves.




41st Annual Thunderbird American Indian Dancers' Dance Concert and Pow-Wow. Photo by Farnaz Taherimotlagh.

Thunderbird American Indian Dancers
Authenticity is rare. Some rappers do come from the ghetto; some from middle class neighborhoods in Queens. For every Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe, there are a thousand imitators. The Thunderbird American Indian Dancers bring us more than authenticity. They bring skill, grace, and a most welcome running commentary that opens the door to Native American culture. By Glenda Frank.





"Shadowland" The dog meets a monster, photo byIan Douglas.


New dimension of dance theater in “Shadowland”
Pilobolus takes dance theater to a new dimension, transforming the performers to silhouetted figures behind a screen, using body artistry to turn dancers into shadows of elephants, café tables, lobsters and a centaur. In “Shadowland,” Pilobolus invents a form of silhouetted kinetic poses. By Lucy Komisar.




SOAKING WET -- Lisa Parra in "It Could Have Been Different." Photo by Tim Fujioka.

Perspectives from Soaking WET
Soaking WET, producers David Parker and Jeffrey Kazin, presented a program September 24 to 27, 2015 at West End Theater that was conceptually ingenious and therefore, exciting. Works by Karen Bernard, the team of Marsi Burns and Alice Tierstein, Rachel Cohen and Deirdre Towers were staged. Soaking WET is in residence at the West End, where it presents various collections of works. In its overall theme of perspective--on oneself, one's past and one's urban environment--the concert was spot-on throughout. By Barney Yates.



"Ballet Tech Kids Dance." Photo compliments of Ballet Tech.

Ballet Tech Kids Dance
The ambitious kids from the Ballet Tech, the New York Public School for Dance, truly amazed Rosalie Baijer during the opening night of their 2015 season at the Joyce Theater. This school's mission is inspiring in that it gives free classical training to kids who are born to dance but lack the opportunity to take classes.




Deborah Lohse played a disco Juliet in "Dances for Lovers," presented by Women in Motion as part of Soaking WET. Photo by Quinn Batson.

Women in Motion at West End Theater
Soaking WET was an evening of works by choreographers at different moments in their careers: Maura Nguyen Donohue, Garnet Henderson, Deborah Lohse, Zoe Rabinowitz and Catherine Tharin. Donohue's tale of the dying seas and Deborah Lohse's dancing disco Juliet stood out. By Barney Yates.






Dancers from "Le Monde est Fini" - photos by Nan Melville.

Steps Repertory Ensemble
If anything should give us confidence in the future of the Steps Repertory Ensemble under the new (relatively) leadership of Bradley Shelver, it was the ensemble's program April 30 to May 2 at Ailey Citigroup Center. Rosalie Baijer reports that the first night's program offered four works of ingenuity and aplomb, danced with assurance by an able company of dancers.



Brett Umlauf (center) and cast members of Nutcracker Rouge. Photo by Joshua Flannigan.

"Nutcracker Rouge"
"Nutcracker Rouge"a new, exaggerated spin on the holiday classic presented by Company XIV, revels in the human form, in young athletic flesh, in the grace of accomplished dance, in innovative costumes, and in the multiple talents of its mostly young, cross-gender performers. It is exciting and moving. You are invited to sit back, order a drink, and give yourself over to absolute pleasure.
By Glenda Frank.



Anahid Sofian company. Photo by
Mike Manetta.

The Anahid Sofian Dance Company Celebrates with Friends
The Anahid Sofian Dance Company celebrated its 35th anniversary with a gala program of Middle Eastern dance and music at Manhattan Movement & Arts Center. By Paulanne Simmons.






Celeste Hastings and the Butoh Rockettes in "Victoria's Shadow." Photo by Julie Lemberger.

Performance Mix Festival at Here
Every year the redoubtable impresario Karen Bernard pulls another edition of her Performance Mix Festival out of the hat, and she did it again in mid-June at Here. This year there were six main events, each comprising five or six separate dance or performance art acts, with each evening completely new and different; every program included something I was very glad to have seen. By Henry Baumgartner.



Sarasota Ballet - Danielle Brown, Ricardo Graziano
and Company in Frederick Ashton's Valses nobles et sentimentales. Photo by Frank Atura.

Sarasota Ballet's Ashton Festival
America may now have an important new dance center: Sarasota, Florida, home of the Sarasota Ballet, which Iain Webb has directed since 2007, transforming what was apparently a local group that had its ups and downs into one of increasing national distinction. And now the company has done something extraordinary: it has produced its Sir Frederick Ashton Festival, four nights of works by one of the twentieth century's greatest choreographers, supported by talks and films in the afternoons. By Jack Anderson.




Mario Golden and Yvette Quintero in "Charlotte's Way." . Photo by Darial Sneed.

"Charlotte's Song" at Theater for the New City
"Charlotte's Song" at Theater for the New City examines the relationship between a daughter and her psychotic mother. But the piece itself has a sort of split personality. It's a strange sort of hybrid, containing both dance and theater but not at all resembling what is usually called dance theater. It's more like two different shows taking place in the same theater simultaneously. Yet both components are substantial and serious efforts, and Celeste Hastings's dancing is truly remarkable. By Henry Baumgartner.


Anna Sokolow Way
The section of Christopher Street by the Greenwich Village apartment building in which Anna Sokolow lived has been renamed Anna Sokolow Way. That was also what From the Horse’s Mouth called its series of programs honoring this fiery American modern dancer, teacher, and choreographer who died in 2000 after several decades of both inspiring and scaring dancers, students, and audiences.

Philip W. Sandstrom interviews Tere O'Connor about his new work “BLEED” that is premiering at BAM Fisher in the Fishman Space.


Ich, Kürbisgeist
Ich, Kürbisgeist is set in a harsh, quasi-medieval landscape facing destruction, populated by a community speaking a rigorous, specific and completely invented language, where each word is a somewhat-recognizable amalgam of English, Swedish, German and Sid Caesar. Partly centered on the annual harvest, the work includes at least 100 pumpkins, with new ones needed for every performance. Interview with Paul Lazar by Philip J. Sandstrom.


Anton Savichev&Celine Gall in "And then , one thousand years of Peacei. Photo by Jean-Claude Carbonne.

BAM presents Angelin Preljocaj’s "And then, one thousand years of peace"
A work inspired by the apocalypse as conjured by St. John in the Book of Revelations and created with an international team of collaborations. Interview with Angelin Preljocaj By Philip Sandstrom.




"A Rite." Photo by Stephanie Berger.

A Brilliant "Rite"
“A Rite" is a dance-theatre creation based on “Le Sacred du Printemps” by Igor Stravinsky. Conceived, directed and choreographed by Anne Bogart, Bill T. Jones, and Janet Wong. The piece, presented by BAM, sometimes weaves in and out of Stravinsky's score, sometimes shadows it, sometimes makes its own path but always follows a distinctive vision about the individual and society, the historical and the personal. Everywhere you look, the eye is delighted, and the musical selections, although canned, are masterful. By Glenda Frank


A colorful moment in Leimay’s “Becoming-Corpus” Photo by Harry Hanson

Leimay's "Becoming-Corpus" at BAM Fisher
A flash of light on a darkened stage reveals a group of almost-naked people standing stock still, in silence. Then wiry lines of light slice through the darkness: one, another; soon a bunch of bright ribbons of light illuminate various slices of seven dancers. Are the dancers moving, and even growing and shrinking before our eyes? No, this is only an illusion produced by Shige Moriya’s deft hand with the projector in Leimay's "Becoming Corpus" at BAM Fisher.




Avignon dancers on perpendicular wall with projection of factory, video by Bernard Gilhodes.

Avignon Festival avant garde and traditional dance-theater pieces tell haunting stories of life and politics
Tiny white figures move over projected scenes on the high perpendicular wall of a former factory. The figures appear to catch and throw boxes from a conveyer belt. The video changes from the factory to a prison to a road with speeding cars that seem to run over the curious shapes. The music is clanging, electronic, repetitive, sometimes with an Asian or African feel. The white forms scamper over the wall, sometimes appearing to be at 90-degree angles to the ground. We can see thin black ropes that keep the spectacular gymnastic dancers defying gravity. “Ouvert!”, the production by the celebrated French Groupe F and directed by Christophe Berthonneau, marked the opening of the 67th year of the Avignon Theatre Festival. By Lucy Komisar.


MADCO performs MILLS/works -- "Selkie's Song," the world premiere.

MADCO performs MILLS/works at New York Live Arts
Local audiences may recall Joseph Mills from his days dancing with Momix and Erick Hawkins, twenty-odd years ago. But he has also worked with the St. Louis–based Modern American Dance Company, who recently visited New York to show us a program of Mills’s original choreographic work. Three pieces were presented by the company, ranging from a premiere to a piece from 2001, and we also saw Mills himself perform solo in an old Momix standby, "Circle Walker." By Henry Baumgartner.



A muse, Gwyneth Larsen, visits a writer, Aidan O'Shea, who is seated among floating pages in
an onstage pool. Photo by Adele Bossard.

Breaking Surface
Bodies descended from the heavens and seemingly solid objects became weightless to rise up and whirl through the air in "Breaking Surface," the acrobatic aerial dance-theater work Gwyneth Larsen and William Mulholland created for their company, AiRealistic. What they made you see often defied expectations not only of how the law of gravity is supposed to operate, but also of what theatrical combinations of dance and acrobatics look like. By Jack Anderson.



Nordic Modern Dance
Three Nordic companies came to New York to affirm the vitality of modern dance in northerly realms: the Tero Saarinen Company from Helsinki, Dansk Danseteater from Copenhagen and Carte Blanche from Bergen. Only the Finnish group was known in New York, but it had not visited here since 2006 (when I reviewed it for New York Theatre-Wire on March 30, 2006). This time around, it once again made “Hunt,” Saarinen’s powerful solo to “The Rite of Spring,” its major attraction. The Danish and Norwegian presentations were totally new to us. There weren’t all that many, however: this was far from a choreographic smorgasbord. Each group presented just one production, lasting only an hour. By Jack Anderson.


Pacific Northwest at the City Center
Pacific Northwest Ballet made a welcome return to New York with a much too short season and a much too small repertory that surely made many balletomanes plead, “We want more!” The Seattle company, directed by Peter Boal, brought only two attractions: a triple-bill of masterpieces by George Balanchine (“Concerto Barocco,” “Apollo,” “Agon”) and a peculiar version of Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet” by Jean-Christophe Maillot. Nevertheless, the dancers and their fine orchestra, conducted by Emil de Cou and Allan Dameron, were enough to make one crave, “More, please.”By Jack Anderson.


"The Oracle," by the choreographer Meryl Tankard. Photo by Regis Lansac.

Meryl Tankard "The Oracle"
Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” is a century old this year, and with “The Oracle,” the Australian choreographer Meryl Tankard makes her contribution to the anniversary celebrations. By Jack Anderson.





Pina Bausch’s Orpheus and Eurydice, 1975 and 2012
Seeing Pina Bausch’s Orpheus and Eurydice again after thirty-seven years suggests how things change, how my perceptions have changed, and how much they remain the same. By George Dorris.


Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet
Cedar Lake presents three programs by different choreographers: "Violet Kid," by Hofesh Shechter, and "Grace Engine," by Crystal Pite, and the familiar, "Annonciation," by Angelin Preljocaj. By Jack Anderson.

BARCELONA BALLET -- Alejandro Virelles, left, and Dayron Vera in "For 4." Photo by Erin Baiano.

Barcelona Ballet
Angel Corella’s company first came here in 2010 as Corella Ballet Castilla y León. Now it’s back as the Barcelona Ballet, its new name reflecting its architecturally imposing and culturally vibrant new home city. Its director remains the deservedly popular dancer Angel Corella, and his guidance has made the troupe increasingly assured, with a particularly strong male contingent. By Jack Anderson.



Last Touch First
Apparently affluent indolent people pose in the drawing room of a 19th-century manor house at the start of “Last Touch First,” by Jiri Kylian, the Czech-born former director of Nederlands Dans Theater, and Michael Schumacher, an American dancer based in Europe. Much happens; most of the time, very slowly, but there are moments when, despite the visual clarity of the action, you can’t be sure just why it is happening. This helps make “Last Touch First” something of a mystery: its choreographers withhold, as well as supply, information. By Jack Anderson.


Reviving Martha Graham
The Graham company had a worthy season, one I happily applauded. But seldom did I feel an urge to cheer. That’s often been my reaction to the company these days: it has inspired genuine respect, but little unrestrained enthusiasm. The dancers themselves are not to blame; they are talented and clearly devoted to preserving the Graham legacy. But too many of their presentations have smacked of academic lecture-demonstrations, as if Janet Eilber, their director, felt she had to put every dance into some sort of historical or esthetic context to make it comprehensible. Can Graham’s works really have grown so remote that they now require the theatrical equivalents of scholarly annotations? Can they no longer come alive on stage otherwise? By Jack Anderson.


Bach by the Geneva Ballet
When the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève announced it was offering an hour-long ballet to selected preludes and fugues from Bach’s "Well-Tempered Clavier," it was easy to imagine what the Swiss company’s production might look like: the stage would be bare, costumes would be spare and each contrapuntal musical phrase would be solemnly yoked to a corresponding choreographic phrase. By Jack Anderson.


Ann Liv Young as Sherry, in blackface. Photo by Photo Ian Douglas.

"Black Dance" at Danspaced
at Danspace"Black Dance" was the title of the evening’s program, and yet none of the artists performing--Young Jean Lee, Pedro Jiménez, and Ann Liv Young-- were “black” in the usual, African-American sense of the term. It seems that the evening’s curator, Dean Moss, meant his title in the sense of “dance with an outsider sensibility.” And he got some, for sure. By Henry Baumgartner.



Scene from "Passage" by Bulareyaung Pagarlava. Photo by Liu Chen-Hsiang

Another Way into the Cloud
Although New York audiences have long been familiar with Lin Hwai-min’s amazing Cloud Gate Dance Theater from Taiwan, its second company, Cloud Gate 2, is only now appearing here for the first time. But this is not your usual second company: Cloud Gate 2 is a completely separate company that does not perform Lin’s work at all; rather, they specialize in the work of new or lesser-known dancemakers from Taiwan or elsewhere in Asia--though the choreographers on this program, who were all from Taiwan, all have had some international exposure. By Henry Baumgartner.


Deborah Gladstein & Jerron Herman. Photo by Sam Kanter.

Mark Lamb Dance at Metro Baptist Church
Unexpected pleasures can sometimes turn up in out-of-the-way places. Take Metro Baptist Church, a modest house of worship tucked away among the overpasses back of the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Who could have predicted that it would be home to a resident dance company? Yet Mark Lamb Dance is based there, and for the past two years Lamb has been the organizer of a Second Saturday Sanctuary Salon Series, presenting monthly performances involving dance and the other arts. By Jack Anderson.



QUESTIONS ABOUT ANGELS -- Joseph Mills performs in the "Icarus Aspires" section of "Questions About Angels" at Theater for the New City, NYC January 13 to 22, 2012. Circle Walker sculpture in photo is by Alan Boeding. Photo by Jeff Greenbe.

Questions About Angels
Angels are both puzzling and appealing. Although they are supposedly amorphous and sexless beings, they can be depicted by humans only in material terms, artists and writers making them often radiantly beautiful and even sexy. They can be physically powerful, as well. The peculiar nature of angels prompted Billy Collins to write "Questions About Angels," the title poem of his collection of 1991. That poem, in turn, became one of the inspirations for Joseph Mills’s suite of little dances, also called “Questions About Angels.” By Jack Anderson.




The Jones/Zane company in "Continuous Replay." Photo by Julia Cervantes.

Bill T. Jones Picks Up the Keys
New York Live Arts presented its inaugural events this September, featuring the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in "Body Against Body," two programs drawn from the early years of Jones and Zane’s collaboration, work from the 1970s and early ’80s that, in some cases, had not been seen since it was new. Most of the pieces were duets--intended originally, of course, to be danced by Jones and Zane in person. But both programs included performances of "Continuous Replay," a more populous piece from 1977 that has been revived a few times over the years; each time it sticks in the mind, thanks to its extensive use of nudity. By Henry Baumgartner.



Deganit Shemy& Company. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.

The Degamit Shemy Changing Sites
Deganit Shemy won praise last summer for "2 kilos of sea," an outdoor site-specific work in the courtyard of the John Street United Methodist Church. Now she’s back with it, this time inside a theater. In its new incarnation, the 45-minute piece for four women and a man has moments of interest, yet remains strangely uncompelling. Something always seems missing: quite possibly, a proper site. By Jack Anderson.



THE LITTLE HUMPBACKED HORSE--(L) Vladimir Shklyarov as Ivan the Fool and (R)Vasily Tkachenko as the Humpbacked Horse. Photo by Stephanie Berger.

Ratmansky's Balletic Tributes
The brief New York engagement at the Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center by the venerable Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet of St. Petersburg was a season of balletic tributes. There were two full-evening ballets with scores by Rodion Shchedrin, who turns 80 next year. Both multi-act productions, tributes to Russian literature, were by Alexei Ratmansky, today’s most talked-about young Russian choreographer. The tragic “Anna Karenina” disappointed, for it was a tale dully told. Fortunately, all the components of “The Little Humpbacked Horse” blended harmoniously. The work may be something of a mess, yet it’s a charming one. By Jack Anderson.



GISELLE--Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Maria Chapman as Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis. Photo by Angela Sterling.

A New Old "Giselle" in Seattle
"Giselle" has been largely spared the insensitive tinkering that has virtually ruined some stagings of such other 19th-century classics as "Swan Lake" and "Sleeping Beauty." And now Pacific Northwest Ballet of Seattle has given us a "Giselle" whose final performances coincided with the annual conference of the Dance Critics Association. What its members saw and cheered was a production that remained faithful to19th-century concepts of choreography and dramatic action, yet seemed not a relic, but very much alive. With a staging that is both historically informed and theatrically compelling, the company's artistic director Peter Boal, along with dance history specialists Doug Fullington and Marian Smith, have created a "Giselle" of exceptional interest, one that enhances this beloved classic by revealing new facets of dramatic meaning while at the same time enriching our ideas regarding the interplay of dance and mime. Pacific Northwest Ballet has made "Giselle" live anew. By Jack Anderson.


Danza Contemporánea de Cuba
Founded in 1959, Danza Contemporánea de Cuba makes its New York debut at the Joyce Theater as part of its first United States tour. Danza Contemporánea is both proudly Cuban and eagerly internationalist, and is similar to other companies that call themselves "contemporary," without being a cookie-cutter imitation of any of them. Like many such groups, it is technically eclectic, in this case showing the influence of modern dance and ballet, but also current street dance trends and its own Afro-Cuban traditions. By Jack Anderson.


Aspen Santa Fe Ballet
The gusto of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, peforming at Joyce Theatre, is irresistible. Here is a company that clearly enjoys romping through space, and the slightly offbeat repertory assembled by its directors, Tom Mossbrucker and Jean-Philippe Malaty, makes its performances more than just displays of energy. Yet it has plenty of energy to display, as was evident in the three works it chose for its latest New York visit. During that introduction, dancers emerge one by one from behind shimmering dark curtains. As they continue to the music, they take wide stances, lurch, sway, and appear to stake out territory for themselves. Here is ground on which they can stamp, and although danger may lurk, they are ready to accept that danger as part of existence. And who are these beings? Humans? Animals? Humans ceremonially possessed by totem animals? By Jack Anderson.


Compagnie Phillipe Saire in Lonesome Cowboy." Photo by: erias.

Dancing Swiss Cowboys
We all know what guys are like. Choreographers, writers, and film-makers keep showing and telling us. Guys can be tough, bluff, and even violent, yet buried within them is a longing for tenderness, which struggles to emerge, even as they may be burying one another in violent encounters. After all, hugging and wrestling sometimes look similar. With the aid of five men from his Lausanne-based company, Philippe Saire choreographically preached this message once again in "Lonesome Cowboy." It's a message that may not tell the whole truth about masculine behavior, yet there's enough truth in it that, if told skillfully enough, it bears repeating. And the Swiss troupe did repeat it with skill, although without adding any fresh insights into it. By Jack Anderson.


A PALO SECO--Rebeca Tomás in "Alegrias." Photos by Cathy Rocher.

"A Palo Seco" with Rebeca Tomás
Ordinarily, you do not expect the leading dancer in a Spanish flamenco program to begin a solo by sitting down at a piano and playing Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata." Nor do you expect the musicians for such a program to launch into "Somewhere over the Rainbow." But all these things happened during Rebeca Tomás's "A Palo Seco," and the fact that they did was a sign that Tomás is seeking to develop flamenco in new ways. By Jack Anderson.





PANDIBULAN: BATHING BY MOONLIGHT--Center front: Cecille De Los Santos; Backgroud right to left: Jade Enriquez, Nodiah Biruar Dimaporo, Amira Aziza, Diane Camino.

"Pandibulan: Bathing by Moonlight"
Kinding Sindaw is endearing. Now 18 years old, this New York-based organization seeks to preserve the dances, songs, and traditions of various areas of the Philippines, and it does so with warmth and skill. "Pandibulan: Bathing by Moonlight," its latest offering, honors the Yakan people of Basilan, an island in the southern Philippines. I suspect that many New Yorkers with no family connections with the Philippines may never have heard before of either Basilan or the Yakan people. I certainly place myself in that category. But I also suspect that, like me, these New Yorkers will be charmed by this production conceived, choreographed, and directed by Potri Ranka Manis. By Jack Anderson.




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