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
Isabella Boylston in Whipped Cream.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Whipped Cream – New York

★★★★✰   The audience laughs, the company looks great, the orchestra… sounds full and vibrant, and you leave the theatre with a rare feeling of joy. Lightness of spirit and complexity of execution in one delightful package.

Choreographer Lauren Lovette working with Ashley Bouder on Red Spotted Purple.© Gibney/Ashley Bouder - from Instagram original.

Ashley Bouder Project – Red Spotted Purple, Duet, Alas, Symbiotic Twin, In Pursuit Of – New York

★★★✰✰   Bouder’s pick-up ensemble of eight, which she refers to as an arts collaborative, reflects her ideals. It is racially diverse; the choreographers include both men and women. Not all the choreographers are white. This should be par for the course, but it’s not.

Zurich Ballet in Swan Lake.© Carlos Quezada. (Click image for larger version)

Zurich Ballet – Swan Lake – Zurich

★★★✰✰   But, at least to my eye, the production’s triumph is its final lakeside act. There, the formations of swans, as originally choreographed by Lev Ivanov, become intricate, delicate, lyrical, and intensely moving.

Isabella Boylston and James Whiteside in Harlequinade.© Marty Sohl. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Harlequinade (premiere) – New York

★★★★✰   Harlequinade is pure entertainment, a work of art whose entire raison d’être rests on its charm and stylishness. If you require that your art contain deeper meanings, read no further…

Misty Copeland, Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo in Afterite.© Marty Sohl. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – 3 Bills: Giselle, Gala, Firebird/Afterite – New York

★★★★✰   After a week of Giselle, during which Natalia Osipova and David Hallberg had their much-awaited re-match, the company began its season in earnest on May 21, with a spring gala that included two new works and excerpts from a third…

New York City Ballet in The Concert.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – All Robbins No. 4 bill – New York

★★★★✰   It was a good night for Afternoon of a Faun, in particular. Chase Finlay, débuting in the role of the young dancer sensually lolling about a ballet studio, brought back the eroticism this ballet often lacks.

New York City Ballet in Warren Carlyle’s Something to Dance About.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – All Robbins No. 2 and Tribute to Robbins bills – New York

★★★★✰   The centenary celebration bills are more than enough to give a sense of Robbins’ breadth, theatrical savvy, stylistic curiosities, and, perhaps most unique of all, his ability to present dancers as human beings onstage.

New York City Ballet in Dybbuk.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – All Robbins No. 1 – Bernstein Collaborations bill – New York

★★★✰✰   One of Robbins’ great talents was sniffing out the style of his time, but this inevitably places a date stamp on his work.

Mark Morris Dance Group in Pacific.© Hilary Schwab. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – Lou 100: Pacific, Numerator, Serenade, Grand Duo – New York

★★★★✰   It’s one of the most striking characteristics of the Mark Morris Dance Group. A common sense of focus, an alertness to the music and to each other.

Carousel with choreography by Justin Peck.© Julieta Cervantes. (Click image for larger version)

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel (choreography by Justin Peck) – New York

★★★★✰   One of the most attractive things about the production is the way it brings together various worlds: ballet, Broadway, and opera.

Dada Masilo's Giselle - The Dance Factory, Johannesburg (2017).© John Hogg. (Click image for larger version)

Dada Masilo / The Dance Factory – Giselle – New York

★★★✰✰   Masilo’s is an uncompromising, ritualistic version of the story, with little room for redemption, and in its final scene, in which the spirits amass and advance upon Giselle’s seducer again and again, it tips over into a kind of animistic brutality…

Ahmaud Culver, Jasmine Hearn and Anna Witenberg in live performance as part of the Nick Mauss: Transmissions exhibition.© Paula Court. (Click image for larger version)

Interconnections: Thoughts on “Nick Mauss: Transmissions” at the Whitney in New York

Whiteny PR about the exhibition: “Artist Nick Mauss (b. 1980) presents Transmissions, a multidisciplinary work exploring the relationship between modernist ballet and the avant-garde visual arts in New York from the 1930s through ’50s.”

Amanda Treiber and Erez Milatin in Optimists.© Rachel Neville. (Click image for larger version)

New York Theatre Ballet – Beethoven/1999, Optimists, Dark Elegies, Double Andante – New York

★★★✰✰   All was danced with the quiet focus, lucidity, and unfussy delivery that characterize the company. No attention-grabbing fireworks…

Tiler Peck and Zachary Catazaro in Peter Walker’s Dance Odyssey.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Dance Odyssey, The Red Violin, Russian Seasons – New York

★★★✰✰   Like Walker’s first work for the company “Dance Odyssey” shows a lot of promise. It has warmth and humor, a good grasp of stage geometry and a sensitive musicality.

Arcell Cabuag in Upside Down.© Ayodele Casel. (Click image for larger version)

Evidence, A Dance Company – Come Ye, March, Den of Dreams, Upside Down, Dancing Spirit – New York

★★★★✰   Ronald K. Brown is one of those choreographers who returns to a similar mode in piece after piece, so it’s easy to take him for granted. But what a powerful mode it is.

Adrian Danchig-Waring, Tiler Peck and Ashly Isaacs in George Balanchine’s Apollo.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – All Balanchine No. 1 & 2, 21st Century Choreographers bills – New York

★★★★✰   After much tumult over the holidays, New York City Ballet has begun its first post-Peter Martins season. If you’re just catching up, the company’s “ballet master in chief” – ie artistic director – of over thirty years retired on New Years Day, in the midst of an investigation into allegations of physical abuse and sexual harassment.

Christopher Williams Il Giardino d’Amore.© Ian Douglas. (Click image for larger version)

Memorable Performances of 2017 – New York

Six Performances That Stayed with Me in 2017 – Marina Harss with her personal selection of New York dance memories this last year.

Chalvar Monteiro in Jamar Roberts' Members Don't Get Weary.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – 2 premieres: Victoria & Members Don’t Get Weary + many more – New York

★★★★✰   Roberts’ “Members Don’t Get Weary” is very much a mature work with a strong emotional charge and esthetic signature.

Liz Gerring Dance Company in Horizon.© Yi-Chun Wu. (Click image for larger version)

Liz Gerring Dance Company – Horizon – New York

★★★★✰   Gerring’s dances may be spare – she doesn’t go in for complicated designs or music – but they certainly don’t feel dry. They teem with energy and life.

Marcelo Gomes and Sara Mearns in The Red Shoes.© Daniel Coston. (Click image for larger version)

New Adventures – Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes – New York

★★★★✰   It’s always exciting to discover a new side of an artist. For this, and for an immensely entertaining show, we have to thank Matthew Bourne.

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