On its first visit to New York since 2003, this handsome 48-person contemporary-ballet company offered work that was perfectly likable without ever seeming necessary. Though artistic director Jean-Christophe Maillot has created several story ballets – later this month the troupe brings his Midsummer Night’s Dream to Hong Kong and Cinderella to Tokyo – Altro Canto I and Opus 40 (at the Joyce until Sunday) are plotless, and uneasy about it.
The choreography does not submerge us in rivers of motion, as American movement mavericks such as Trisha Brown do. It does not arrest us with imagery, like dance dramatists Alexei Ratmansky and Mark Morris. It favours architecture over momentum – with the shapes, though often beautiful, unyoked to human gesture and thus to memory or drama.
Thursday, February 16
Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:29 AM
Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:33 AM
Morris' work isn't overtly agenda-driven, but nonetheless, "Beaux" proposes imagery that controverts the common notions of gender, and not just in dance. Do we find the ballet effeminate because Morris presents male interactions stripped of bravado and confrontation? Because the men are clad in Mizrahi's unitards speckled with bright pinks and yellows? Because they seem kind to each other? And more importantly, what does that say about our preconceived notions of what a "guys' ballet" should look like?
Rita Felciano's review for danceviewtimes.
Sean Bennett, Apprentice dancer to San Francisco Ballet, could hardly control his smiles such was his delight performing in the world premiere of Mark Morris' incandescent "Beaux" with some of the company's finest male dancers. And why not? Morris has created an elegant, decorous nonet, suggesting perhaps an 18th Century garden party, perhaps an ancient Greek gymnasium. Basing the work on Bohuslav Martinu's lively neoclassical "Concerto for Harpsichord and Small Orchestra" and "Two pieces for harpsichord", he proposed a male community at ease with itself, though not without its moments when playfulness and gamboling reveal emotional undercurrents. Bracketed by fine performances of Wayne McGregor's "Chroma" and Christopher Wheeldon's "Number Nine," this was a program in which contemporary ballet -- at its purest and at its most diverse -- shone
Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:38 AM
“Minus 7,” especially, is known to have been loved by the Korean audience, generating lot of fan mail to UBC.
Before the curtain goes up, Julia Moon, general director of UBC, will give a brief pre-curtain talk on how to enjoy modern ballet in an effort to help the audience better understand the program.
Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:39 AM
The opening piece, Perpetuum Mobile, is a more conventional piece of ballet set against the sound of Bach. It is one which will please the purists but leave those looking for something modern disappointed.
But the second piece, Project#1, sees Northern Ballet dancer Kenneth Tindall produce a fantastic piece of contemporary dance alongside the emotive sounds of strings and haunting samples of Dinah Washington. This is a complete triumph.
Posted 17 February 2012 - 12:10 PM
For more than two decades, CultureMap editor-at-large Shelby Hodge has closely covered Houston's social scene, writing about the many generous individuals whose contributions to the arts, medicine and philanthropy have made the city the envy of the nation.
On Wednesday night, the tables were turned at the Houston Ballet Ball as Hodge was the guest of honor and center of attention. The ball raised an astonishing $1.4 million — a record figure for a Ballet Ball — as a who's who of Houston's social set turned out in full force to thank Hodge for all of her work.
Posted 17 February 2012 - 12:24 PM
Wearing unitards that feature similar mauve, pumpkin, sand, and yellow prints as the wall art--and with Michael Chybowski's lighting just so--our dancer dudes looked just about nekkid...
But throughout most of the work, "Beaux" appears polite and safe. The dancers move across the stage in solos and small groups, but Beaux's structure and actual development lack any support to propel this farther than nice....
Posted 17 February 2012 - 12:27 PM
Singleton, who choreographed Repertory Dance's new 2010 ballet "Dorothy's Adventures," based on the "Wizard of Oz," also choreographed the company's "Scrambled Fairy Tales," which debuted in 2007. She also does choreography for the annual production of "The Nutcracker."
She has been artistic director of The Joffrey Texas Workshop in San Antonio since 2006, and serves as a guest teacher for Joffrey Ballet in Chicago.
Posted 17 February 2012 - 12:29 PM
Stronger and more like an ensemble than they’ve looked in some time, 12 Joffrey Ballet dancers sink their teeth into Infra. The first American production of this 2008 piece by English choreographer Wayne McGregor lures them away from recent abeyance. Kara Zimmerman, with her striking features and hard-to-believe hyperextension, is present and knowable like never before and maybe even a bit dangerous. Young Amber Neumann, in a white camisole and plain black miniskirtlet, rises to the occasion of the angular ballet’s most challenging role (maybe not in a physical sense, but its surprise theatricality practically begs to crash and burn). In the opening men’s trio, Derrick Agnoletti, Rory Hohenstein and Aaron Rogers efficiently set the uncanny, biomechanical tone that’s made McGregor the toast of Europe, beneath a Julian Opie–designed frieze of urban pedestrians made of LEDs.
Sid Smith's review in The Chicago Tribune.
But the collaboration McGregor forged with artist Julian Opie and composer Max Richter evokes those headlines without letting them take over, eyes keenly aimed at the universal. Opie's digital projections telecast video stick figures in constant pedway parade above and behind the playing area. The dancers below, in the subway, if you will, provide a contrast between bland routine and the horror of crisis, between clinical video and flesh and blood and between two disparate, competing visual worlds.
Posted 19 February 2012 - 04:31 PM
The ballet has been around since 2007, and most of the City Ballet audience seemed to know what to expect. Like Per Kirkeby’s set, an unlovely unit, the production sacrifices grandeur for speed, streamlining the three acts of Prokofiev’s score into a compromised two. The choreography fits together tightly, if not always coherently, and it’s streaked with beauty. It’s just not very affecting or memorable.
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