writers on dancing

The DanceView Times, New York edition

Volume 1, Number 8  November 17, 2003            An online supplement to DanceView magazine

Dancing in Puddles

Howard Gilman Opera House
Brooklyn Academy of Music
Brooklyn, New York
November 13, 2003

By Meital Waibsnaider
Copyright ©2003 by Meital Waibsnaider

Like all good storms, Rain began in stillness and calm. Sturdy ropes hung from the ceiling in a crescent shape that spanned the circumference of the stage, but remained open along the front, stopping short of closing in a full circle. Careful not to disturb the ropes, which swung impressively when provoked, Rosas, the Brussels-based ten-member troupe consisting of three men and seven women, quietly entered and engulfed the space.

Within the first moments, Keersmaeker planted the seeds for the seventy-minute piece. I think in this one evening we may have witnessed every combination of ten dancers imaginable. But watching Rain unfold was more than a thirst-quenching treat.
read review


Roseanne Spradlin
The Kitchen
New York, NY
November 8, 2003

By Susan Reiter
copyright © 2003 by Susan Reiter

For those who might squirm a bit when a choreographic moment puts a dancer's crotch more or less in our face (and perhaps wonder whether the dancer feels awkward in that position), Roseann Spradlin's Under/world tells us to get over it, quickly. Just about every inch of her three dancers' anatomy is in our face.
read review

A Tasteless Beauty

Sleeping Beauty
Saba Dance Theatre
(presented by French Institute Alliance Francaise)
Florence Gould Hall
New York, NY
November 15, 2003

By Susan Reiter
copyright © 2003 by Susan Reiter

What are all these children making of all this? I found myself wondering as this stupefyingly tasteless and amateurish vanity project unfolded in front of what was largely a family audience. The Alliance Francaise's dance offerings are sporadic, and in the past have featured some respected and adventurous contemporary French troupes. What led them to present the Saba Dance Theatre—named for its artistic director/choreographer/costume designer, the single-named (like Cher, with whom he shares a penchant for extravagant, tasteless get-ups) Saba, is a mystery.
read review

Letter from New York

Mindy Aloff's Letter from New York will return in two weeks. If you've missed an earlier Letter, you can catch up:

past Letters from New York

[republished from last week's Midweek Update]

Staging Martha Graham's Celebration

An Interview with Yuriko

By Mindy Aloff
Copyright ©2003 by Mindy Aloff

Among Barbara Morgan’s very greatest images of the Martha Graham Dance Company are the handful of her ensemble, rocketing in synch, from Celebration (given its première in 1934, photographed sometime between 1936 and 1941). Graham, herself, is nowhere to be seen; she never performed in the dance. Some of those who did, though, have recorded their experiences, which might lead one to think that the dance consisted of jumping from beginning to end. (Various estimates put the number of jumps in it at around 150.) “It was sensational because we jumped the whole time,” May O’Donnell told critic Tobi Tobias in 1981. In Robert Tracy’s Goddess: Martha Graham’s Dancers Remember, Pearl Lang recalls that “the technique is very difficult. They used to teach the difficult jumps from Celebration in class.” Jane Dudley, also interviewed by Tracy, remembered: “When I was asked to join Martha’s company, I had to learn Martha’s dance Celebration, which nearly killed me. The fact is, enthusiastic as I was, and with as well-endowed a body [as] I had, I wasn’t prepared for the stamina a dancer needed for Celebration.” An especially vivid account is Bonnie Bird’s, in her memoir Bird’s Eye View: Dancing with Martha Graham and on Broadway:

“In 1933 Martha choreographed Celebration, a marvelously energetic dance suggestive of atoms and molecules rebounding to and fro, being propelled in space. We ran backward with tiny steps on half-toe, knees straight, similar to bourrées, which created a feeling of vibratory momentum. I jumped in the center of the group until my legs ached. Others split off like frecrackers spewing out in different directions. The dance was impersonal, yet exciting, and we all loved it. The fact that we danced Celebration with impassive faces was puzzling to people in the audience. Martha had expunged smiling long before this.”
read article

What's On This Week

November 17
Balanchine's Lost Choreography

The Guggenheim Museum's program, Works & Process, welcomes ballet legends Frederic Franklin and Maria Tallchief, who will recreate lost choreography from two ballets by George Balanchine, Mozartiana (1933) and Le Baiser de la Fee (1937). Nancy Reynolds, the director of research at The George Balanchine Foundation, will lead a discussion with the participants and New York City Ballet dancers will perform.
Guggenheim Museum
5th Ave. at 89th St.

November 17-30
Dance Cuba

Choreographer Lizt Alfonso premieres De Novo and other works that blend flamenco with ballet and live Afro-Cuban music.
New Victory Theater
209 W. 42nd St.
(212) 239-6200

November 17 and 24
Movement Research at the Judson Church

This week's forum for experimentation and works-in-progress features the work of Daniel Lepkoff, David Hurwith, Ursula Eagly, Ann Livingston Young, and Edisa Weeks.
55 Washington Square South

November 17-November 30 (opened October 30)
Noche Flamenca

One of Spain's most successful flamenco companies performs for five weeks. Soledad Barrio, winner of a Bessie Award in 2001, performs.
Lucille Lortel Theatre
121 Christopher Street

November 18-23 (opened November 11)
Garth Fagan Dance
Fagan stages the world premiere of Dancecollageforromie. Also on the bill during the run are Translation Translation, Griot New York,
Passion Distanced and Prelude.
175 Eighth Ave. at 19th St.

November 18, 20-22
Moon Water
Cloud Gate Dance theatre of Taiwan
, with choreography by Lin Hwai-min, performs a pure dance work develped from movements based on tai chi and martial arts.
Brooklyn Academy of Music
Howard Gilman Opera House
30 Lafayette Ave.

November 20-22
Juliana May Dance

Merce Cunningham Dance Studio
55 Bethune St
212-691-9751 ext. 30

November 20-23
Riedel Dance Theater
Jonathan Riedel - with Roxane D'Orleans-Juste, Mary Ford and pianist Richard Cameron-Wolfe - offers a program of varied dance and theater styles that alternate between the abstract and story-telling.
Joyce Soho
155 Mercer Street, betwen Houston and Prince

November 20-23
Julia Ritter Performance Group

Ritter collaborates with writer Michael Duke, composer Bradford Reed and seven dancers, actors and vocalists to create KLEP - taken from the word kleptomania.
Theatre at St. Mark's Church
131 E 10th Street at 2nd Avenue

November 21
Global Beat of the Boroughs Center for Traditional Music and Dance presents performances of West African music and dance by the Kotchegna Dance Company of the Ivory Coast and Abdoulaye Diabate of Mali.
Symphony Space
2537 Broadway

November 21-22
New York Theatre Ballet
Dance on a Shoestring
This chamber ballet company, known for its children's programs and revivals of Antony Tudor, holds its fifth annual in-house series Dance on a Shoestring. Short works, new pieces and revivals are expected to be performed.
The Dance Gallery
30 East 31st Street - 5th Floor
New York, NY 10016

November 22-23
Kaatsbaan International Dance Center
A triple bill including Battleworks, Doug Elkins and Maureen Fleming.
Tivoli, New York

Through November 23
Noemie Lafrance

Noemie Lafrance's Bessie Award-winning Descent is a homage to New York created since the terrorist attacks of September 11. It is performed over 12 floors of stairway with a score by Brooks Williams.
City Court Building Clock Tower
108 Leonard St. between Broadway and Lafayette St.

— Dale Brauner




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This weeks' articles


Mindy  Aloff's Letter from New York

The Balanchine Celebration
New York City Ballet:
A Veteran and a Raw Recruit
by Mindy Aloff

Heart and Soul
by Mary Cargill

Kid Stuff
Cas Public's If You Go Down To the Woods Today
by Susan Reiter

San Francisco Ballet:
New Wheeldon (Rush)
by Rita Felciano

New Tomasson (7 For Eight)
by Paul Parish

Possokhov's New Firebird for OBT
by Rita Felciano

Moscow Festival Ballet and Scott Wells
by Paul Parish

Hamburg Ballet's Nijinsky:
Nijinsky—Lost in the Chaos
by Clare Croft

NijinskyMadness and Metaphor
by Alexandra Tomalonis

Nijinsky and the Ballets Russes
by George Jackson

Batsheva: Breaking Down Walls
by Lisa Traiger

Ronald K. Brown/Evidence
by Clare Croft

Choreographers Showcase
by Tehreema Mitha

Zoltan Nagy
by George Jackson






Mindy Aloff
Dale Brauner
Mary Cargill
Nancy Dalva
Gia Kourlas
Gay Morris
Susan Reiter
Alexandra Tomalonis(Editor)
Meital Waibsnaider
Leigh Witchel
David Vaughan


The Autumn DanceView is out:

New York City Ballet's Spring 2003 season reviewed by Gia Kourlas

An interview with the Kirov Ballet's Daria Pavlenko by Marc Haegeman

Reviews of San Francisco Ballet (by Rita Felciano) and Paris Opera Ballet (by Carol Pardo)

The ballet tradition at the Metropolitan Opera (by Elaine Machleder)

Reports from London (Jane Simpson) and the Bay Area (Rita Felciano).

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last updated on November 3, 2003 -->