Helene

NY Post Reviews by Leigh Witchel

15 posts in this topic

6 Mar 09

On Bathsheba Dance Company:

Not Really Gaga for This Program

OHAD Naharin is taken by nonsense, but he didn't take us along for the ride. Naharin, artistic director of Israel's Batsheva Dance Company, developed his own movement style, which he calls Gaga.

In "Max," which opened Wednesday, he played with ideas like a cat with a pipe cleaner and abandoned them just as quickly.

5 Mar 09

On Savion Glover:

Tap into Glover's Talent

His show, "SoLo in Time," was an extended riff, nonstop tap almost from beginning to end, set on a nearly bare stage.

He worked with two backup tappers, Marshall Davis Jr. and 19-year-old Cartier A. Williams, both of whom are just as able to take front and center. Unfortunately, the murky sound system made them sound as if they were at the bottom of a well.

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6 Mar 09

On Bathsheba Dance Company:

Not Really Gaga for This Program

...In "Max," which opened Wednesday, he played with ideas like a cat with a pipe cleaner and abandoned them just as quickly.

Oh ouch!

Well done, Leigh!

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Leigh reviews the Paul Taylor company in the Post:

What a difference your own company makes! When San Francisco Ballet last year premiered Paul Taylor's "Changes" - set to pop songs by the Mamas & the Papas - it looked like a minor league effort from a major league artist.

Taylor's always been an ace at taking popular songs and crafting them into a statement on their eras, yet despite San Francisco's talented dancers, "Changes" didn't seem inspired. That certainly wasn't the case Tuesday night, when Taylor's own troupe performed it.

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I remember reading, maybe in Leigh's own BR article, that Taylor sets his dances on his own company first and then they're restaged for the ballet company. I wonder if that was a factor here. (I missed the SFB program "Changes" appeared on.)

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Leigh reviews the Ailey company in today's Post:

http://www.nypost.com/seven/06112009/enter...love_173620.htm

The curtain rose on a new production of artistic director Judith Jamison's "Hymn," made in tribute to Ailey four years after he died. Set to music by Robert Ruggieri as well as a spoken score -- a collage of reminiscences from company dancers turned into a narrative by Anna Deavere Smith -- "Hymn" is filled with turbocharged group sections in front of a rippling ruby backdrop.

It's a perceptive tribute to Ailey. Yet, for those who don't know his work, seeing it first on a program is like wandering into a memorial service for someone you never met.

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Obituary for Merce Cunningham.

He was not just important for what he did, but with whom he did it. Artists including Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns made designs for his dances. His most important musical collaborator was John Cage, also his partner in life.

Cunningham's energy never flagged; like Balanchine, Ibsen or Titian, he was blessed with a second youth in old age. In the early 1990s, Cunningham began experimenting with Life Forms, a computer program that simulated movement, driving his dances in new directions.

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Obituary for Merce Cunningham.
He was not just important for what he did, but with whom he did it. Artists including Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns made designs for his dances. His most important musical collaborator was John Cage, also his partner in life.

Cunningham's energy never flagged; like Balanchine, Ibsen or Titian, he was blessed with a second youth in old age. In the early 1990s, Cunningham began experimenting with Life Forms, a computer program that simulated movement, driving his dances in new directions.

I have a feeling that Leigh did not write his headline, though.

"AT HIS MERCE"

ouch.

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Occupational hazard for writers, especially those employed by the Post. :)

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There is someone at The Post whose job is to write the headlines. My editor reported to me that his comment on one of the more gnarly puns was "Makes them think!"

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Leigh's review of the Groovaloos in today's Post:

http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/thea...EFdvXxM3jJYjYIO

The good stuff is the dancing, in several hip-hop styles. Each dancer has a different specialty. There were some imaginative production numbers -- an acrobatic duet on both sides of a mirror, a sweet tale of a robot on an assembly line.

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Leigh's take on Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet:

Things got rough, though, when the dance went from being inspired by Dr. Taylor's book to being about it. The dancers inexpertly narrated long passages from the book or fell down and twitched.

Cherkaoui is a better choreographer than he is a thinker -- do you really want to get your dance ideas from "Oprah" and Dr. Oz? -- and the company is better at dancing than talking.

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A review of Nutcracker: Rated R.

The concept owes something to Mark Morris' "The Hard Nut," but the white powder the dancers fling -- and sniff -- in this version gives a new meaning to the journey through the snow.

Of course, you're not coming to an R-rated "Nutcracker" for serious ballet dancing. Valton Jackson, as Firecrotch, muddled through a jump Friday night but made it all better with a fierce finger snap afterward. Sarah Conrad's Svetlana, the eye-patched Russian maid, has fabulous gams and uses them to crack nuts -- literally. And at the Spanish Block Party, Kenneth Marez sets things on fire with some very good break dancing.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/thea...K#ixzz0aRXztmLu

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Leigh reviews the Stephen Petronio Company.

http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/thea...EnUkLKYyU1BNFBO

"Foreign Import," a brief trio to Radiohead, has two women in diaphanous white shifts joined by a guy in a silver vest and black hot pants. It's beyond gay-fabulous. But if you strip away all the fabulousness and look at the dance itself, there isn't much besides loose steps and wiggling around.

Petronio himself -- now 54 -- still dances with gripping focus. He performs a 1986 solo, "#3," that's a lot more substantial, even though he never moves from his spot onstage. In a white shirt and undone bow tie, swaying unsteadily to wailing saxes, he looks as if he's waiting for a party that never shows up.

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Leigh reviews Savion Glover.

http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/thea...f8GoVYTgIWKYBaN

At least the costumes are amusing. At one point, he donned two (yes, two) pairs of sunglasses, leather shorts and a T-shirt emblazoned with a Post cover photo of the Son of Sam.

The sounds Glover can make are amazing -- he can fire out taps like rattling gunfire while drifting across the stage -- and so are his moves, when you can see them. Would it hurt him to perform a little?

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