Jump to content


This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

"New Ballet" at Miller Theatre at Columbia UniversitySeptember 27-30, 2007


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 Dale

Dale

    Emeralds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,055 posts

Posted 27 August 2007 - 08:01 AM

Some more info:

Miller Theatre at Columbia University kicks off its 07-08 season with

"NEW BALLET"

a 4-night run of three newly commissioned ballets by
ALISON CHASE, AMANDA MILLER, AND LUCA VEGGETTI

with live music by John Adams, Fred Frith, and Paolo Aralla

Thursday, September 27, 7:00PM
Friday, September 28, 8:00PM
Saturday, September 29, 8:00PM
Sunday, September 30, 3:00PM

Co-produced with Works & Process at the Guggenheim; Mary Sharp Cronson, founder & producer

TICKETS: $35
CU Students: $7; Non-CU Students and CU Faculty/Staff (with valid ID): $21
Guggenheim Museum Members (with valid ID): $21

From Executive Director George Steel, Miller Theatre's "programming superhero" (Village Voice):
"I am thrilled to be working again with Works & Process to open our season with three brand-new
commissioned ballets. We have helped to match each of these amazing choreographers with
first-rate music, dancers, and musicians. This should be an opening night to remember."


Dance at Miller
Two years ago Miller Theatre opened its season with "Watching Ligeti Move," a program of new ballets by Christopher Wheeldon. New York Magazine named it "BEST NIGHT AT THE BALLET" in its "Year's Best" issue. Last season, Miller commissioned four new ballets by emerging choreographers from the New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre: Tom Gold, Edwaard Liang, and Brian Reeder. The house was "packed and ebullient" (Apollinaire Scherr, Newsday). This is the beginning of what portends to be a new era of dance at Miller. The mission is simple: to present new ballets to new music performed live--with the immediacy afforded by the theatre's intimate scale (a set of circumstances too rarely encountered in today's ballet world).

Thursday, September 27, 7:00PM (Opening Night/Early Curtain)
Friday, September 28, 8:00PM
Saturday, September 29, 8:00PM
Sunday, September 30, 3:00PM (Early Curtain)
NEW BALLET
Miller Theatre and Works & Process at the Guggenheim enthusiastically join forces for the third year in a row, opening Miller's 2007-2008 season with a four-night run of three newly commissioned ballets by three extraordinary choreographers: Alison Chase (former artistic director of Pilobolus), Amanda Miller (founder of Pretty Ugly Dance Company), and Luca Veggetti (Italian dancer and choreographer). These world premiere ballets pair some of the best dancers in the world with remarkable new music--performed live.

ARTISTS:
Choreography by Alison Chase, Amanda Miller, Luca Veggetti
Music by John Adams, Fred Frith, Paolo Aralla
Performed by Sirius String Quartet; Nick Didkovsky, electric guitar; Michael Nicolas, cello

DANCERS:
Charles Askegard, Frances Chiaverini, Megan Fairchild, Robert Fairchild, Gino Grenek, Stephen Hanna, Rebecca Jefferson, Megan LeCrone, Amanda Miller, Rachel Piskin, Matthew Prescott, Abi Stafford, Daniel Ulbricht, Andrew Veyette

PROGRAM DETAILS:
Choreography by Amanda Miller
Music by Fred Frith:
Lelekovice (for Iva Bittová) String Quartet No. 1: VII (1991)
Fell, for String Quartet and Electric Guitar (2002)
Music performed by Sirius String Quartet and Nick Didkovsky, Guitar
Danced by Gino Grenek, Rebecca Jefferson, Amanda Miller, and Matthew Prescott

Choreography by Luca Veggetti
Music by Paolo Aralla: Analogie, new version for amplified cello and tape (2004/07)
Music performed by Michael Nicolas, Cello
Danced by Frances Chiaverini, Robert Fairchild, Rachel Piskin, and Daniel Ulbricht

Choreography by Alison Chase
Music by John Adams: Excerpts from John's Book of Alleged Dances (1994)
Music performed by Sirius String Quartet
Danced by Charles Askegard, Megan Fairchild, Stephen Hanna, Megan LeCrone, Abi Stafford, and Andrew Veyette

BIOS:
ALISON CHASE is a choreographer, director, and master teacher; an image maker, collaborator, and theatrical artist; an iconoclast in the world of dance. She was a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1980, the Connecticut Governor's Award in 1997, the Scripps Award in 2000, and the CINE Golden Eagle Award in 2002. She has choreographed for La Scala Opera, Geneva Opera, Ballet du Rhin, Fete de l'Humanite, and Radio City Music Hall. From replacing a warm-up band for the Frank Zappa Show to working with Walking Thunder, a Diné medicine woman, she has demonstrated her wide range of interest and ability to use inventive style in fearless aesthetic plunges. Chase was choreographer-in-residence and assistant professor of dance at Dartmouth College before she became a founding artistic director of Pilobolus Dance Theatre in 1973. After moving on from Pilobolus in December of 2005, Chase has headed in expansive new directions that include multidimensional story telling; fusions of film, dance, and performance; site specific works; and museum installations featuring both live and projected film dance.

AMANDA MILLER grew up in North Carolina and studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts. She continued her studies in New York while she danced for the Chicago Lyrical Opera Ballet, the Deutschen Oper Berlin, and other distinguished companies. In 1984 William Forsythe invited her to Frankfurt and appointed her not only as a dancer but also as permanent choreographer at the civic ballet ensemble there. In 1992 Miller founded her own company, the Pretty Ugly Dance Company. From 1997 until 2004 her company was installed at the civic theatre in Freiburg (Baden-Württemberg) under the name Ballett Freiburg Pretty Ugly. Alongside her work with her own troupe, Miller created ballets for renowned ensembles and founded the company Yummidance in Japan. In 2004 she launched the aid organization, Art for Tibet, which supports both people and projects in Tibet. In 1994 her productions won three prizes at the Rencontres Chorégraphiques International de Bagnolet. In 2004, for her work Four for Nothing, she received the leading Dutch accolade for choreography, The Golden Swan. Since January 2005 Miller has been artistic director of pretty ugly tanz köln.


LUCA VEGGETTI was born in Bologna, Italy and trained at La Scala in Milan. After a career as a dancer (London Festival Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Ballet Chicago), he started a collaboration with stage director and designer Pier Luigi Pizzi in 1990. As a choreographer and assistant, he has worked with such prestigious ensembles as Les Arts Florissants, I Solisti Veneti, and Capriccio Stravagante. In 1999 he was the first Italian choreographer in the 20th century to be invited to work with the Kirov Ballet at the Maryinsky. In 2000 he was the artistic director of a dance event in the ancient Greek theatre of Epidaurus. In 2002 he created Ermafrodito at the Teatro Carignano in Turin, a dance event centered on the world premiere, in a choreographic version, of Ermafrodito per chitarra by Sylvano Bussotti. In 2004 he was invited by Peter Martins to participate at two sessions of the New York Choreographic Institute. Veggetti is currently pursuing collaborations with contemporary music ensembles FontanaMix and musikFabrik Koeln, as well as with composers Toshio Hosokawa, Sylvano Bussotti, and Gerhard Staebler.


Columbia University's Miller Theatre is located north of the Main Campus Gate
at 116th St & Broadway on the ground floor of Dodge Hall.

#2 Klavier

Klavier

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 233 posts

Posted 24 September 2007 - 11:59 AM

Some more info:

Miller Theatre at Columbia University kicks off its 07-08 season with

"NEW BALLET"

a 4-night run of three newly commissioned ballets by
ALISON CHASE, AMANDA MILLER, AND LUCA VEGGETTI

with live music by John Adams, Fred Frith, and Paolo Aralla

Thursday, September 27, 7:00PM
Friday, September 28, 8:00PM
Saturday, September 29, 8:00PM
Sunday, September 30, 3:00PM


Is anyone going?

#3 drb

drb

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,508 posts

Posted 24 September 2007 - 07:51 PM

...
Miller Theatre at Columbia University kicks off its 07-08 season with
"NEW BALLET"
Is anyone going?

Yes, but not till the last performance. I hope those going to earlier ones will give some advance word in Recent Performances, especially since everything is new, so may be hard to take in with one viewing.

#4 nysusan

nysusan

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 998 posts

Posted 27 September 2007 - 10:01 AM

I went last year but decided to pass this time. These performances conflict with Fall for Dance at City Center and I had to choose which to attend so when the press release first came out I took a good hard look. Even though a lot of wonderful ballet dancers are participating it looked to me like 2 of the 3 choreographers come from a modern dance background and I couldn't really get a handle on the 3rd so I opted for FFD. Based on the NY Times preview in today's links I'm glad I did.

re:Amanda Miller

“Ballet dancers are used to working in set ways and drilling things, but we have worked to find new things,” said Ms. Miller, who will also perform in the piece. “It’s not on point, but it’s full of choreography... ”

re: Alison Chase

“I had great anxiety initially because of the weight-sharing, off-balance vocabulary that I wanted to use,” said Ms. Chase, who has set her piece, “Sweet Alchemy,” to excerpts from “John’s Book of Alleged Dances,” by the contemporary composer John Adams. “It’s contrary to what happens in ballet, and I was worried that they would freeze up. But they were incredibly game about the partnering, and about improvising. Ballet dancers are just incredibly versatile these days.”

Great, here we go again - building a new, young ballet audience by programming other kinds of dance and calling it ballet!

I'd love to read opinions from anyone who goes and would be happy to be proven wrong!

#5 Leigh Witchel

Leigh Witchel

    Editorial Advisor

  • Editorial Advisor
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,466 posts

Posted 27 September 2007 - 11:35 AM

I'll go on Friday. Amanda Miller worked with William Forsythe in the late '80s, and at that time co-choreographed some pieces with him (I recall one called "Skinny"). I'd like to see what she's up to. I don't know, but I won't be surprised if she's moved on a parallel track away from ballet as Forsythe has.

I agree with Steel that contemporary works (in the strict sense of the word - works by those who are contemporaneous) are necessary for an art form's survival. As for how to implement that mandate, we shall see.

#6 Klavier

Klavier

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 233 posts

Posted 27 September 2007 - 02:19 PM

This week's Time Out New York also has a 1-page article on Amanda Miller.

#7 Leigh Witchel

Leigh Witchel

    Editorial Advisor

  • Editorial Advisor
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,466 posts

Posted 29 September 2007 - 02:46 PM

nysusan - between this and Fall for Dance I think you made the right choice. Tom Phillips' review is up at DVT - I think he's being charitable at "one for three." The dancers are of course excellent and the effort laudable, but the results were not good. I found the first piece soporific, the second pretentious and the last the most watchable, but still the main thing that differentiated it from a good work at a college composition class was better dancers. I know there are slim pickings out there, but they're not getting great results from this.

#8 Klavier

Klavier

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 233 posts

Posted 29 September 2007 - 08:10 PM

nysusan - between this and Fall for Dance I think you made the right choice. Tom Phillips' review is up at DVT - I think he's being charitable at "one for three." The dancers are of course excellent and the effort laudable, but the results were not good. I found the first piece soporific, the second pretentious and the last the most watchable, but still the main thing that differentiated it from a good work at a college composition class was better dancers. I know there are slim pickings out there, but they're not getting great results from this.


Just a quick note while this is fresh in my mind.

1) Miller - Silly, empty-headed, and pretentious, with grating music provided by a string quartet accompanied by electric guitar and electronics. There were also four chairs that got pulled around the stage and re-arranged for no obvious reason. Sometimes people tapped on the floor or did other weird things. I had no idea what any of the gestures meant, and audience response was perfunctory.

2) Veggetti (sp?) - I found this more compelling than Leigh did, and the music at least did not have that electric guitar. It may have been the dancers who made this work rather than the choreography, but there were some arresting visual images and costumes.

3) Chase - The closest to ballet of the three, with some interesting Balanchine-like images (e.g., the boys suspend the girls upside down behind the boys' backs, creating a kind of multiple starburst effect; or the boys play leapfrog over each other while the girls lie down watching). Much too long for what it did, but at least it had danceable music.

On Saturday night, the choreographers (except for Miller, who couldn't help it) apparently didn't get up the nerve to take a bow.

#9 ViolinConcerto

ViolinConcerto

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,030 posts

Posted 30 September 2007 - 07:41 AM

George Steele doesn't really have broad experience or exposure to select new choreographers. He did well last year (here I'll put in a plug for one of my favorites, Tom Gold!), but he either needs to SEE more new works or grab himself someone who does.

Who or what could he turn to? Can't think of much off the top of my head, but there is New Choreographers On Point here in NY, and I know there are organizations on the West Coast.

Any suggestions?.....RG, Leigh, what do you think?

#10 Leigh Witchel

Leigh Witchel

    Editorial Advisor

  • Editorial Advisor
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,466 posts

Posted 30 September 2007 - 08:39 AM

At this point I think Steel can't win for losing. Last year he picked mainly less experienced choreographers, but they were working (for the most part) in a ballet idiom. I thought it was 1 for 3 - I respected Brian Reeder's attempt and didn't think much of Gold's or Liang's piece. This year he picked more experienced choreographers, but mostly working in Europe or in a contemporary fusion style that I generally dislike.

There's a good chance we just would disagree on what quality new ballet is.

#11 drb

drb

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,508 posts

Posted 30 September 2007 - 08:32 PM

We went to the final, Sunday afternoon, performance and there was something wonderful: Frances Chiaverini.

A couple of years ago Dance Magazine (Sep, 2005) had an article on careers dancers find after they've stopped dancing. Ms. Chiaverini was one of those. 24, she'd recently quit dance after a couple of years with Nederlands Dans Theater II had "worn her out." No need to go into what careers had replaced dance, for she's been with Armitage Gone! for about a year and her work there earned these comments last February:
Gia Kourlas: "...with her long legs and arms, possesses an entrancing, gangly allure..."
Tobi Tobias: "...whose blend of power and fluidity evokes memories of Mark Morris's Tina Fehland and Balanchine's Suzanne Farrell."

As one scans the various press and DVT reviews of the Columbia University program, she's got another armload of raves to add to those above. She, together with NYCB's Rachel Piskin, Robert Fairchild, and Daniel Ulbricht, danced Four/Voice by choreographer Luca Veggetti. Tom Phillips, in DVT, found quite an elaborate narrative, involving a time in the future forseen by Leonardo da Vinci in which animals had attained the capacity to speak with humans.

It seems to me that Ms. Chiaverini was embodying one of the Big Cats; but craving communication rather than dinner. Unable to shed the stalking, pouncing movement style of the Creature, yet wishing not to scare Mr. Fairchild away, her movement was in virtural slow-motion. Her control was extraordinary: long limbs, all in power and fluidity indeed. Dark and mysteriously fearsome, yet entrancing with her allure... The stage goes dark, and when the lights go up Mr. Fairchild is on his back, legs straight skyward, with Ms. Chiaverini perched atop his feet, so still, the both of them. It was a majestic image, one could imagine she'd jumped up there, and Mr. Fairchild's strength and focus were a testimony to the merit of his recent promotion.

If only this work had been the lone one on the program, so we could have seen it three times. While so captivated by Frances Chiaverini, I could just see enough of the NYCB trio to wish a second viewing, so I could focus on them, and also see the ballet itself more fully. I think I liked it. Then, in the third performance, just watch that sublime Cat prowl once more for...

#12 drb

drb

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,508 posts

Posted 08 October 2007 - 10:52 AM

From a review of Armitage Gone! in today's Links, yet another rave for the glorious Frances Chiaverini, who caught my heart in Veggetti's Four/Voice:

... Long-legged Frances Chiaverini is a cross between "Swan Lake's" Odette and the Bionic Woman.

I know it's hard to admit that one went to that otherwise rather unsuccessful program at Columbia, but is there anyone else out there who was moved by this dancer?


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):