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
Adrian Danchig-Waring and Emilie Gerrity in Cunningham’s Summerspace.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Serenade, Summerspace, Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 – New York

★★★★✰   On the penultimate day of the fall season, I managed to catch a performance of New York City Ballet’s revival of Merce Cunningham’s Summerspace. The 1958 piece, which had its City Ballet premiere in 1966, was last performed here in 2000.

Rauf Yasit and Brigel Gjoka in Seventeen/Twenty One.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

William Forsythe – A Quiet Evening of Dance – New York

★★★✰✰   The fascination with ballet is strong in Forsythe. After years of creating a form of dance theater in Germany, he has returned to his classical roots with a renewed energy.

Shantala Shivalingappa in Akasha.© Elian Bachini. (Click image for larger version)

Shantala Shivalingappa – Akasha – New York

★★★★✰   Everything in Shivalingappa’s style emphasizes clarity, shape, and intention. … a very satisfying evening of dance.

Adrian Danchig-Waring and Unity Phelan in Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Dances at a Gathering, Everywhere We Go – New York

★★★✰✰   Robbins’ response to Chopin (in Dances at a Gathering) is also extraordinary: sensitive, simple, vulnerable, direct, un-fussy.

Georgina Pazcoguin and Company in Lauren Lovette’s The Shaded Line.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Fall Fashion Gala with The Shaded Line, Lineage, Symphony in C – New York

★★★✰✰   Kudos to Lovette for really going out on a limb… The Shaded Line feels truly her own, and it’s clear that she has much to say about her chosen profession…

Sara Mearns and Daniel Ulbricht in George Balanchine’s Variations Pour Une Porte et Un Soupir.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Balanchine + Wheeldon bill & Jewels – New York

★★★★✰   It makes a noticeable difference when Litton, music director of the company, is in the pit; the orchestra has presence and sings, providing a convincing counterpart for the dancing.

Joseph Sissens in Charlotte Edmonds' jojo.© Maria Baranova. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet dancers at the Joyce Ballet Festival – Program A, An Evening of Solos and Duets – New York

★★★✰✰   Program A consisted of a string of solos and duets representing a slice of the company’s choreographic trajectory, from Frederick Ashton through Kenneth MacMillan to Liam Scarlett, Wayne McGregor, and Charlotte Edmonds.

Bijayini Satpathy in the Kalpana bill.© Anubhava. (Click image for larger version)

Bijayini Satpathy at the Drive East Festival – Kalpana bill – New York

★★★★★   I’ve never seen a more vivid performer; her large eyes seem to touch each person in the audience…

Sorella Englund in La Sylphide, from a 2015 visit to London.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Ulrik Birkkjaer and Royal Danish Ballet dancers – Bournonville Legacy bill – New York

★★★★✰   You can tell the Danes are in town by the fact that the Joyce Theater has been packed night after night this week.

Brandon Cournay, Lauren Grant, Billy Smith and Mica Bernas in Sport.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – Sport, Empire Garden, V – New York

★★★★✰   Mark Morris Dance Group are currently at the Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival performing a triple bill coupling a new work, “Sport”, to the much admired “Empire Garden” and “V”.

Isabella Boylston in The Sleeping Beauty.© John Grigaitis. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – The Sleeping Beauty – New York

★★★★✰   This production proposes that Sleeping Beauty is not really the story of a love quest – as it’s often depicted – but rather a fable about order and disorder, harmony and disharmony, the balance between good and evil.

Laura Halzack and Devon Louis in Tanowitz's all at once.© Paula Lobo. (Click image for larger version)

Paul Taylor Dance Company – Junction, all at once, Promethean Fire – New York

★★★★✰   In her ‘all at once’, Tanowitz seems to have taken Taylor’s ‘Junction’ as her starting point. Like that work, it is a paean to awkwardness…

Michael Trusnovec, Heather McGinley and Maria Ambrose in Rewilding.© Whitney Browne. (Click image for larger version)

Paul Taylor Dance Company – Brandenburgs, Rewilding, Cascade – New York

★★★★✰   One can only wish the Paul Taylor Company well in this period of change. The dancers, new and old, perform with a warmth and openness that is rare.

Devon Teuscher and James Whiteside in Jane Eyre.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Jane Eyre – New York

★★✰✰✰   For all Marston’s qualifications, I found her Jane Eyre to be a dreary affair, theatrically dutiful and choreographically thin.

American Ballet Theatre in In the Upper Room.© Marty Sohl. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Tharp Trio: Brahms-Haydn, Deuce Coupe, Upper Room – New York

★★★★✰   Thirty years after its creation, In the Upper Room is still the ultimate Twyla Tharp piece, an expression of American dynamism and New York style.

Sara Mearns as Titania in Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – A Midsummer Night’s Dream – New York

★★★★✰   For Balanchine, Shakespeare’s characters are two-dimensional types, exemplary but wholly unreal. They are shadows in a shadow-play, representing this or that quality…

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

American Ballet Theatre – Gala with The Seasons premiere + Ratmansky Trio bill – New York

★★★★✰   It’s impossible not to be impressed by the range of these works, from introspective and conversational (Symposium) to brilliantly classical (The Seasons) to dramatic (Dnieper).

Sarah Lane and Carlos Gonzalez in Harlequinade.© Doug Gifford. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Harlequinade – New York

★★★★★   To my eye, this Harlequinade may be the most well-rounded of Ratmansky’s historically-minded stagings of Petipa.

Joseph Gordon and Ashley Bouder in Balanchine's Scotch Symphony.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – All Balanchine quad bill including Scotch Symphony – New York

★★★★✰   There’s a reason why New York City Ballet doesn’t do George Balanchine’s Scotch Symphony very often. It’s a strangely disjointed ballet…

Gretchen Smith and Indiana Woodward in Pam Tanowitz’s Bartók Ballet.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Spring Gala: Bright, Bartók Ballet, Tchaikovsky Suite No. 3 – New York

★★★✰✰   In Bartók Ballet, which coexists but does not comment on the music, the dancers explore a huge range of steps and quotations…

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