Author: Marina Harss

Marina Harss is a free-lance dance writer and translator in New York. Her dance writing has appeared in the New Yorker, The Nation, Playbill, The Faster Times, DanceView, The Forward, Pointe, and Ballet Review. Her translations, which include Irène Némirovsky’s “The Mirador,” Dino Buzzati’s “Poem Strip,” and Pasolini’s “Stories from the City of God” have been published by FSG, Other Press, and New York Review Books. You can check her updates on Twitter at: @MarinaHarss

Under are the articles written for DanceTabs. Reviews on Balletco
Simone Messmer and Miami City Ballet dancers in The Fairy’s Kiss. Choreography by Alexei Ratmansky.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

Miami City Ballet – The Fairy’s Kiss, Walpurgisnacht Ballet, Polyphonia – Miami

★★★★✰   The Fairy’s Kiss (Ratmansky premiere): The final image is poetic, grand, inspiring. It takes one’s breath away.

Ballet de Lorraine in Merce Cunningham's Sounddance.© Laurent Philuppe. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet de Lorraine – Devoted, HOK Solo Pour Ensemble, Sounddance – New York

★★★✰✰   This winter, New York is getting to see more Merce Cunningham than it has in years, thanks to visits from various European companies. It is a sad fact that Europe has always been more supportive of Cunningham than the choreographer’s own country.

Tiler Peck in Justin Peck's The Times are Racing.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – The Times are Racing, The Shimmering Asphalt, Fearful Symmetries – New York

★★★✰✰   More than anything, Peck’s “The Times are Racing” reminded me of the movie Rebel Without a Cause. These kids are uneasy, but what is the object of their unease?

Taylor Stanley, Anthony Huxley and Brittany Pollack in Justin Peck's Scherzo Fantastique.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Stravinsky x Five bill – New York

★★★✰✰   Alongside George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, one could argue that the third most important voice at New York City Ballet in the twentieth century was that of Igor Stravinsky.

Sara Mearns and Jared Angle in Swan Lake.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – La Sonnambula, Prodigal Son, Firebird, Allegro Brillante, Swan Lake, Four Temperaments – New York

★★★★✰   Sara Mearns, who made her name as Swan Queen at the age of nineteen, is still the most thrilling Odette around.

Kerala Kalamandalam in Dussasana Vadhom.© Kevin Yatarola. (Click image for larger version)

Memorable Performances of 2016 – New York

Marina Harss with her personal selection of New York dance memories this last year…

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Hope Boykin's r-Evolution, Dream.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – Four Corners, Untitled America, r-Evolution, Dream, Revelations – New York

★★★★✰   There is no limit to how often one can see Ailey’s 1960 masterpiece Revelations. The elation is always the same.

Katherine Helen Fisher in Pastime.© John Sisley. (Click image for larger version)

Lucinda Childs Dance – Lucinda Childs: A Portrait – New York

★★★✰✰   The post-modernist Lucinda Childs is experiencing a bit of a comeback here in the US, after years of working abroad.

Michelle Dorrance in The Blues Project.© Christopher Duggan. (Click image for larger version)

Dorrance Dance – The Blues Project – New York

★★★★★   Do yourself a favor – go.

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company in Analogy/Dora: Tramontane.© Paul B. Goode. (Click image for larger version)

Bill T. Jones – Analogy/Dora: Tramontane – New York

★★★✰✰   ‘Dora: Tramontane’ is a powerful and elegant piece of theatre… What it isn’t, is a particularly engrossing piece of dance theatre.

Isabella Boylston and Calvin Royal III in Wheeldon's This Bitter Earth.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

Vail Dance Festival – ReMix NYC – New York

★★★★✰   After watching two of the four programs, a few things stand out. Firstly, it is clear that this is no simple gala, despite the format; there is a strong personal esthetic and philosophy at work behind the programs.

Kerala Kalamandalam in Dussasana Vadhom.© Kevin Yatarola. (Click image for larger version)

Sounds of India Festival – Mark Morris Dance Group & Kerala Kalamandalam – New York

★★★★✰   This year’s White Light Festival, at Lincoln Center, has spawned a mini-festival of its own, Sounds of India, curated by the modern-dance choreographer Mark Morris. Why Morris? Because he has been going to India since the eighties…

American Ballet Theatre in Jessica Lang's Her Notes.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Jessica Lang’s Her Notes prmeiere + others – New York

★★★★✰   Jessica Lang’s Her Notes is a lovely and poetic work, though one with a slightly subdued effect. It is almost too tasteful.

Daniil Simkin and Blaine Hoven in Alexei Ratmansky's Serenade after Plato’s Symposium.© Marty Sohl. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Serenade after Plato’s Symposium, Symphonic Variations, Brahms-Haydn Variations + Fall Gala – New York

★★★★✰   A second look at Alexei Ratmansky’s Serenade after Plato’s Symposium confirms the impression formed last season. It is a fascinating work that represents a new direction for the choreographer.

Shen Wei Dance Arts in Neither.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Shen Wei Dance Arts – Neither – New York

★★✰✰✰   The effect of Shen’s “Neither,” like that of the original opera, is decidedly muted.

Silas Riener, Jimena Paz and Eleanor Hullihan of Tere O'Connor Dance.© Julieta Cervantes. (Click image for larger version)

Tere O’Connor Dance – Undersweet, Transcendental Daughter – New York

★★★★✰   Structure and meaning lie at the heart of O’Connor’s work. With Undersweet he has achieved a perfect balance.

Marianna Krempeniou, Liam Riddick, Oihana Vesga Bujan, Nancy Nerantzi and Elly Braund in Richard Alston's Rejoice in the Lamb.© Chris Nash. (Click image for larger version)

Fall For Dance Festival – Program 2: Richard Alston, Aszure Barton, Wendy Whelan, Edward Watson, Grupo Corpo – New York

★★★✰✰   One of this recurring festival’s strongest selling selling points is the serendipity of its pairings. You pay $15 and get a grab-bag of dance in return. You’re bound to like something.

Lauren King, Abi Stafford, Megan Fairchild, Ana Sophia Scheller and Sterling Hyltin in Divertimento No. 15.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Divertimento No. 15, Episodes, Vienna Waltzes – New York

★★★★✰   Divertimento’s aura still shines; you want to see it again, to figure out its fluid, almost magical transitions. It’s a shame it will only be performed four times this season; it takes more than that for the audience, and the dancers, to really get to know it.

New York City Ballet in Peter Walker's Ten in Seven.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Fall Gala 2016 – New York

★★★✰✰   The pattern is set: the company commissions works from three or four choreographers, often quite young, and pairs them with prominent designers. The works are short, and are introduced by filmlets…

Joaquin De Luz, Friedemann Vogel, Denis Matvienko and Marcelo Gomes in Tristesse.© Michael Khoury. (Click image for larger version)

Ardani 25 Dance Gala – Clay, Tristesse, Le Divertissement du Roi – New York

★★✰✰✰   So bravo for Danilian. All the dancing at the gala was very fine – who could expect any less from these dancers? One can (and should) question his taste but it’s clear that he’s willing to go out on a limb…

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