Archive for the ‘Dance’ Category
The Limón Dance Foundation was founded in 1946 and remains very relevant especially in some of the pieces that made up Program D of the International Dance Festival at the Joyce Theater.
The centerpiece of the evening was Monotones I and II, set to music by Eric Satie with choreography by Frederick Ashton. Each Monotone is a pas de trois; one for two women and a man; the other for two men and a woman with II made first. Both pieces look very simple but they aren’t, as each contains a lot of arabesques and attitudes as well as other moves requiring hard-to-sustain balances. The dancers stand out from the background lit by Michael Korsch—the first group in yellowish-green from neck to toes; the second in white, both with what look like squashed bathing caps adorned with jewels on their heads. (Originally, the head coverings were different and, apparently, more stylish.) The piece is classic and remote; at times the dancers made me feel they were under the sea, moving their arms and legs against the weight of water.
Paul Taylor, one of the great modern masters of dance, is in his eighties and still hard at work. This documentary takes us inside the artist’s creative process. It’s a fascinating journey even though I couldn’t explain it (and neither, it seems, can Taylor.)
The evening’s first piece, “Toccata,” is part of a longer work, Come and Get the Beauty of it Hot, created by Talley Beatty in the 1960s. The dance is described as “set in the streets of New York” and has a jazzy feel that reminded me of West Side Story although with a more classic look and feel. Set to music by Grammy Award-winning Argentine composer Lalo Schifrin, the piece incorporates ensembles, duets and trios with a “big” finish when the girls leap—almost sail—into the men’s arms with their own arms outstretched. The whole is fun but not very arresting, almost like a series of class exercises.
The modest setting: a large practice studio at City Center with the room’s reversed big-bowl chandeliers providing the “lighting;” the audience on folding, metal chairs. German-born Miro Magloire was everywhere at once; welcoming the audience, providing background before each of the six offerings and repositioning the grand piano and music stand. Magloire’s company, New Chamber Ballet, is small with five dancers and often a guest artist; pianist Melody Fader whose brilliant playing enhanced three pieces and violinist Doori Na who played the other three.
The evening as billed suggested that Mr. Wheeldon would be the center of attention which, given the raves for American in Paris on Broadway, was understandable. Unassuming and polite, Wheeldon spoke of his family’s love of all things theatrical and about their taking him, quite young, to a Gershwin concert which he was prepared to hate but found he adored.
his program, divided into three sections, showed the company in very different lights. Up first, Show. Girl, with choreography by Rosie Herrera, costumes by Diana Ruettiger and lighting by Joshua Preston, uses the “Cuban cabaret ethic” to put forth dances that don’t have much relationship to each other. Show. Girl opens with a line of women in columnar pink dresses with deep slits on both sides, moving rhythmically to silence other than the occasional slaps they give themselves. It’s a bit unsettling. After a time, they sing a banal song about a turtle and move in the creamy light, posing for one another and the audience.
Although the three works, Rite of Spring, Company B and Piazzolla Caldera that made up the evening are very different in style and tone, they are equally compelling.