"Zellerbach Hall" tag
Byron Tittle, Michelle Dorrance and Matthew West in Three to One.© Kevin Parry. (Click image for larger version)

Dorrance Dance – Jungle Blues, Three to One, Myelination – San Francisco

★★★★★   Dorrance Dance is received with such universal enthusiasm and love that reviewing them feels like an exercise in redundancy, like piling on to a scrum that’s already 30 players deep.

Catherine Turocy, director New York Baroque Dance Company.© Courtesy New York Baroque Dance Company. (Click image for larger version)

Interview – Catherine Turocy, artistic director of New York Baroque Dance Company

Meticulous reconstructions of Petipa, Cunningham, Graham, Taylor works are performance staples these days. Much rarer is a reconstruction like “Le Temple de la Gloire” (The Temple of Glory) a 1745 political opera-ballet with music by Jean-Philippe Rameau and a libretto by the philosopher Voltaire….

Lucinda Childs Dance Company in Available Light.© JJ Tiziou. (Click image for larger version)

Lucinda Childs Dance Company – Available Light – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   Available Light is merciless, and in the best way…

Lesley Garrison and Durell R. Comedy in Layla and Majnun.© Susana Millman. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – Layla and Majnun – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   Where Morris succeeded beautifully was in melding Eastern dance styles into his balletic modern vocabulary in deep torso bends, dervish whirls and arms extended beyond his already expansive port de bras.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performs Robert Battle's Awakening.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – Open Door, Awakening, A Case of You, Revelations – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater gave two new works their West Coast premieres on Tuesday at Zellerbach Hall, the opening night of its annual residency at Cal Performances in Berkeley.

Chitresh Das Dance Company in Shiva.© Margo Moritz. (Click image for larger version)

Chitresh Das Dance Company – Shiva – San Francisco

★★★✰✰ Death was long on Pandit Chitresh Das’ mind. Over the past decade, the world-renowned kathak master prompted his San Francisco–based dance company to consider “What will you do when I am no longer here?”

Diana Vishneva in Alexei Ratmansky's Cinderella.© Valentin Baranovsky. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinksy Ballet – Cinderella – San Francisco

It’s not your granddaughter’s Cinderella. Alexei Ratmansky’s version dispenses with tutus and glass carriages in favor of a deco-cum?post-Soviet point of view.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Revelations.© Christopher Duggan. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – Odetta, Bad Blood, Caught, Revelations – San Francisco

The company has performed here annually since 1968 and considers Berkeley its home away from home, both for the synergy it feels with the Cal Performances staff and the receptive local audience.

Derrick Agnoletti and Aaron Rogers in Alexander Ekman's Episode 31.© Cheryl Mann. (Click image for larger version)

Joffrey Ballet – Incantations, Son of Chamber Symphony, Bells, Episode 31 – San Francisco

As always, it’s a pleasure to see the Joffrey Ballet, especially since 2007 when artistic director Ashley Wheater assumed his post and began a terrific revival of the company…

Nederlands Dans Theater – Sehnsucht, Schmetterling – San Francisco

This visit by the internationally acclaimed troupe met half of my high expectations – the dancers were as spectacular as ever.

Eifman Ballet in Rodin.© Gene Schiavone and courtesy of Eifman Ballet. (Click image for larger version)

Eifman Ballet – Rodin – San Francisco

The choreography looks like a steroid-fueled hybrid of Graham-based agony and the precision and fluidity of classical ballet. …nothing succeeds like excess…

Kellie Epperheimer of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago performs in Azimuth.© Margo Moritz. (Click image for larger version)

Hubbard Street Dance – Little mortal jump, Azimuth, Too Beaucoup – San Francisco

The dancers are really top-notch, razor-edge precise and boundlessly energetic, but limited to an eclectic vocabulary reflecting a Nederlands Dans Theater aesthetic…

© Joffrey Ballet

The Joffrey Ballet – Age of Innocence, After the Rain, The Green Table – San Francisco

Closing the program is Kurt Jooss’s anti-war ballet from 1932,The Green Table, one of the greatest pieces of choreography ever created and still relevant after more than 80 years.

Mark Morris Dance Group perform The Hard Nut.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – The Hard Nut – San Francisco

I always enjoy The Hard Nut even though there isn’t a lot of choreography.

Mariinsky Ballet in Swan Lake.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – Swan Lake – San Francisco

That said, the company is still on top form. The corps de ballet is flawlessly unified technically, stylistically and musically down to their eyelashes.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – Programs A, B & C – Berkeley, CA

Another surprising choice was Taylor’s Arden Court (1981), which opened Wednesday evening’s program. The dancers were simply stunning. I hate to say, but the parallel is that Miami City Ballet does Balanchine better than New York City Ballet. Not to denigrate Taylor’s dancers at all…

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