the danceview times
Volume 4, Number 7 February 20, 2006 The weekly online supplement to DanceView magazine
O For a Muse of Fire!
Program 2: Mixed Bill
The news of this show should have been the new ballets, but in fact they were both so overshadowed by "Apollo they'll have to take a back seat. Apollo as usual opened the show.
Letter from San Francisco
Malonga Casquelourd Arts Center
by Rita Felciano
“Lovely” is the only way to describe Paul Taylor’s “Spring Round”, premiered by San Francisco Ballet last summer during its Paris engagement. Set to a gem of a piece, Divertimento for small orchestra, Op. 86 (after Couperin) by Richard Strauss, which beautifully served Taylor’s mood of elegant casualness, the piece also put a rare spotlight on a dozen corps dancers. They offerde a glimpse into the future. Two of them look particularly promising: Matthew Stewart, who leaps as if born to them, and Megan Low, whose quicksilvery effervescence oxygenates everything she tackles.
Stars of the 21st Century - International Ballet Gala
by George Jackson
A gala for Valentine's eve. Love, NY style. Non-natives paired on a bare stage functionally lit. Galas elsewhere are done with more ostentation and restraint. Think of Paris and the Defile, a display of the entire Opera Ballet filing past in such order that stepping seems like dancing. Here, male-female couples (plus a single) showed off. They, the performers, were the focus. That's as it is supposed to be, yet this gala also made an odd choreographic point. The formal, classical pas de deux was represented by the 20th Century, not the 19th, by Victor Gsovsky, George Balanchine, Pierre Lacotte and even Roland Petit. Choreographer names such as Bournonville, Petipa or Ivanov did not appear on the program. The international stars did their darnest to hide clues that these duos were made in the era of modernism. Gsovsky's art deco linearity, Balanchine's dancing-through and Lacotte's circumspect placement weren't as apparent as they might have been.
A Man's World
Men’s Figure Skating Competition
by Susan Reiter
Three Couples Times Three
"After the Rain," "In the Night," "Western Symphony"
When the time comes to celebrate Wendy Whelan’s life and career, her biographers might just begin with “After the Rain”. Christopher Wheeldon’s ballet is now a year old and missing Whelan’s other half from a long partnership, Jock Soto. The first part of the dance, for three couples, is high-gloss contemporary ballet. Very soundly made, it doesn’t break new ground technically or emotionally. However Wheeldon, a gentler and more classically aligned choreographer than William Forsythe, shows us how Forsythe’s work may be assimilated into classical ballet. Balanchine’s distorted the classical line into a neo-classical one by pushing the pelvis forward; Forsythe exaggerated that further and distorted the upper body as well with wheeling and circling arms from contemporary and club dance. Wheeldon also incorporates this distorted arm and torso work. As with Paris Opera dancers who dance Forsythe, Sofiane Sylve is most interesting in these distortions because her dancing is so academic. It doesn’t matter what Wheeldon gives her to do, she still looks classical in it; she becomes a filter for the vocabulary and an anchor to classicism. Teresa Reichlen and Jason Fowler made their debuts in roles created by Maria Kowroski and Ask La Cour. Reichlen is more sharp and angular than Kowroski and she’s using it to her advantage to get flavor in her dancing.
The School Comes First:
Ballet, ” “Tala Gaisma.” and “Union Jack”
The great ballet companies are great institutions, each with a unique history and tradition, and each also with a great academy attached. “But first a school” George Balanchine is reported to have said when Lincoln Kirstein proposed bringing him to America. And on Friday night at the New York State Theater, the School of American BalletNew York City Ballet’s academyliterally did come first on a program that commenced with the revival of Christopher Wheeldon’s “Scenes de Ballet” and ended with a performance of George Balanchine’s “Union Jack.” The middle work on the program was Peter Martins' 2005 ballet “Tala Gaisma.”
Dancers: From Europe to New York
The Universal World of Ballet
by Dale Brauner
New York has long been the destination for those wishing to make a mark on the world. The ballet world is no different. More top-flight dancing is happening elsewhere these days, but companies still find that a New York season is a benchmark. An excellent season in New York for a dancer can lift them into the strata of galas and guest gigs. The New York City Ballet finds most of its dancers from within its own school, the School of American Ballet, but does have a few “outsiders” in its ranks. This season’s seminar, “The Universal World of Ballet,” focused on three dancers born and trained in Europe.
by Kate Mattingly
Sequins, tuxedos and gorgeous nearly-naked Argentine dancers. Could there be a more perfect show for Valentine's Day? Boccatango was not created for the holidayit had its U.S. premiere at The Joyce in July of 2004but the performance at the Strathmore on Tuesday night must have given the many couples in the audience new images for inspiration.
Copyright © 2006 by DanceView