Alan Helms is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Massachusetts/Boston and the University of Paris. For the past 15 years, he's written on dance for South End News and InNewsweekly (both Boston weeklies), and more recently Balletco. When not watching dance or gardening or spending time with friends, he can be found lying on his couch at home reading Proust.
Under are the articles written for DanceTabs. Reviews on Balletco
I was told my body type wasn’t really ideal, and during high school I had ballet teachers who said that maybe I should consider pursuing college because my body wasn’t suitable for classical ballet…
Alvin Ailey – Odetta, Uprising, Night Creature, Awassa Astrige/Ostrich, Bad Blood, After the Rain pas de deux, Revelations – Boston
The second night… this was by far the best program I’ve ever seen Ailey offer: five pieces, each as good as the others in its different way…
The evening ended with Alexander Ekman’s Cacti, one of the most wildly original, hilarious dances I’ve ever seen. If the Keystone Cops had taken up ballet, this is what they’d have looked like.
Elo’s Close to Chuck …this is a wonderful ballet and, I predict, a permanent addition to the repertory.
Not the least of Taylor’s genius shows in his choice of dancers. All are superb performers who are also quite handsome to look at. If I were asked to populate an alien world from scratch, I’d begin with the Paul Taylor Dance Company.
The whole thing (Minus 16) wasn’t a piece of choreography so much as a choreographed event, and hands down one of the most delightful things I’ve ever seen.
Boston audiences were very lucky in their first two Swanildas. Opening night, Misa Kuranaga was a vision of loveliness…
Chroma: Perhaps it’s meant as a kind of sherbet to clear the palate between the Balanchine pieces… In short, I found the ballet dazzling but soulless.
And together, Kuranaga and Cirio make a superb couple, performing with such sensitive musicality and balanced unison that it sometimes seems you’re watching a single composite creature.
“I think for me the high point is that I don’t see Boston audiences as having any limitations. When I got here everybody was telling me what I couldn’t do and people warned me to play it safe. But I have found people extremely open and willing to explore and I’m really thrilled about that.”
But in Sharper, aggressively awkward movements are kept to a minimum: the ugly is reduced, and the residue now acts like a tonic of wit. And for the first time in Elo’s work, at least in my experience, we find a lyricism and beauty so profound they sometimes took my breath away.