"Merce Cunningham" tag
Ballet Preljocaj in Les Nuits.© Jean-Claude Carbonne. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Preljocaj – Les Nuits – Cannes

Les Nuits is inspired by the Thousand and One Nights, stories which have come together from Indian, Persian, Arabian and North African sources. Preljocaj is quoted as being influenced by the erotic content of the stories…

The hunter (Derrick Arthur) and his prey (Daniel Pettrow) in Peter and the Wolf.© Jacklyn Meduga. (Click image for larger version)

John Heginbotham and Isaac Mizrahi – Peter and the Wolf – New York

What made this Peter so right-feeling was that all elements of the show — storytelling, music, stage action — were so well integrated.

Avatara Ayuso in Strange Blooms.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Shobana Jeyasingh Dance – Configurations, Strange Blooms – London

Shobana Jeyasingh has been celebrating her 25 years in dance during 2013 and this special anniversary is here marked by a double bill that presents works from the opposite ends of her dance company’s timeline.

Jenn Weddel, Stacy Martorana and Rita Donahue in L'Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato.© Kevin Yatarola. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato – New York

L’Allegro, with its painterly tableaux, classical references, and unselfconscious evocations of sex and death, feels both ancient – almost pagan – and perfectly of our time…

Darrin M. Wright, Luke Miller, Ching-I Chang, Christopher Adams and Kristin Clotfelter in Play/Pause.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Susan Marshall & Company – Play/Pause – New York

The gulf between commercial dance – the kind one sees in TV ads, music videos, and on shows like So You Think You Can Dance – and theatrical dance is disconcerting….

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and SITI Company in A Rite.© Paul B. Goode. (Click image for larger version)

Bill T. Jones and SITI Company – A Rite, /Time:Study 1 – San Francisco

A Rite, in the hands of Jones, Bogart, and Wong, is the most startling and insightful version I have seen…

Jonah Bokaer and Daniel Arsham's cast in #recollections exhibition.© Juliana Vasquez, courtesy the Pippy Houldsworth Gallery. (Click image for larger version)

Jonah Bokaer & Daniel Arsham – Study for Occupant as part of #recollections exhibition – London

Tantalisingly brief, I’d love to see more of Bokaer in action and of Daniel Arsham’s fertile imagination.

Trisha Brown Dance Company in I'm Going To Toss My Arms - If You Catch Them They're Yours. © Laurent Phillipe. (Click image for larger version)

Trisha Brown Dance Company – Proscenium Works, 1979-2001 – London

One of the leading innovators of postmodern dance, New York-based choreographer Trisha Brown, has been making work that equally challenges her dancers, her audiences and our underlying assumptions about dance for almost four decades…

The Forsythe Company in Study #3.© Dominik Mentzos. (Click image for larger version)

The Forsythe Company – N.N.N.N., Study #3 – London

What Merce Cunningham devised as an Event, William Forsythe calls a Study. In both cases, the choreographer has combined selections from his back catalogue to make a ‘new’ work…

Clod Ensemble's Zero.© Clod Ensemble. (Click image for larger version)

Clod Ensemble – Zero – London

But, this quibble aside, Zero provides yet more evidence of Willson and Clark continually pushing the boundaries of Clod Ensemble’s work into adventurous explorations.

Merce Cunningham choreography performed by James Pett and Andrew Macleman of Richard Alston Dance Company as part of the Barbican exhibition: Dancing Around Duchamp: The Bride and the Bachelors.© Sidd Khajuria 2013. Courtesy of Barbican Art Gallery. (Click image for larger version)

Richard Alston Dance Company – Cunningham at The Bride & the Bachelors – London

A lasting impression of the performance was, as ever, the range of Cunningham’s vocabulary, from shape-making to intricate steps, leaps, spins and lifts, constantly surprising.

Catherine Schaub Abkarian & the company in iniTMOi.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Akram Khan Company – iTMOi – London

No-one could have expected this to be another once-in-a-lifetime explosion of genius but this is nevertheless a ground-breaking work.

Nicolas Le Riche and Tamara Rojo in Le jeune homme et la mort.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Ecstasy and Death bill – London

Rojo has declared that her ambition as artistic director of ENB is to make audiences hold their breath. I certainly did during Le Jeune Homme et la Mort…

Jennifer Nugent and LaMichael Leonard in Story/.© Paul B. Goode. (Click image for larger version)

Bill T. Jones – Ravel: Landscape or Portrait? and Story/ – New York

It takes a certain amount of nerve to build a dance season around some of the great masterpieces of the chamber music repertoire. It’s not simply a matter of status in the musical canon; these pieces are strong, they produce emotions, they command attention for themselves. But Bill T Jones is not a timid artist…

Mikhail Baryshnikov.© Annie Leibowitz. (Click image for larger version)

Mikhail Baryshnikov – the Art Collector

What one does not see much of, at least at first glance, is nostalgia for the motherland. “I never had nostalgia about anything,” Baryshnikov says.

Nathan Goodman, Andres De Blust-Mommaerts and Liam Riddick in A Ceremony of Carols.© Tony Nandi. (Click image for larger version)

Richard Alston Dance Company – Roughcut, Unfinished Business, A Ceremony of Carols – New York

…it’s remarkable how satisfying the old-fashioned virtues of structure and form can be.

Jamar Roberts and Jacqueline Green in Kyle Abraham's Another Night.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – new Kyle Abraham’s and others – New York

In many respects Abraham’s ‘Another Night’ is a typical Ailey work: its score is upbeat, its costumes are colorful and the dancing is fast and athletic.

Choreographer Mats Ek.© Lesley Leslie-Spinks. (Click image for larger version)

Mats Ek, Choreographer, working at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

Ek laments the loss of dramatic repertory in today’s classical programming. “Many modern dancers don’t want that ‘reason’ for doing,” relegating drama in dance to childish pantomime, not serious business.

Michael Ingle, Silas Riener, Natalie Green & Oisin Monaghan in poem.© Ian Douglas. (Click image for larger version)

Tere O’Connor Dance – poem, Secret Mary – New York

Tere O’Connor can be a frustrating choreographer. Look for structure and you’ll likely be thwarted, frustrated, or worse. Because it clearly is there, but you can’t understand it.

Korea National Contemporary Dance Company and Trey McIntyre Project in The Unkindness of Ravens.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Trey McIntyre Project / Korea NCDC – Mixed bill – New York

The Unkindness of Ravens – collaborative efforts are not easy, especially when they are cooked up over a short period. The two companies are just similar enough – contemporary, ballet-based – to make the project even more complicated.

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