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
Dormeshia.© Eduardo Patino. (Click image for larger version)

Dormeshia – And Still You Must Swing – New York

★★★★✰   Some have called Dormeshia the greatest tapper of her generation. I’m wary of such titles, but what I can say is that she is a dancer of enormous sophistication, finesse, variety, and subtlety.

Olga Smirnova and Artemy Belyakov in Giselle.© Damir Yusupov/ Bolshoi Theatre. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – Giselle (Ratmansky premiere) – Moscow

★★★★✰   This is a Giselle that is both familiar and new. Watching it on opening night was like seeing a faded painting regain its colors.

Charlotte Landreau, Marzia Memoli and Lorenzo Pagano in The Auditions.© Melissa Sherwood. (Click image for larger version)

Martha Graham Dance Company – Appalachian Spring, The Auditions – New York

★★★★✰   This season, as part of the 75th anniversary of Appalachian Spring, Martha Graham Dance Company invited Troy Schumacher to create a new piece to be danced alongside the iconic work…

Marlene Monteiro Freitas and Henri Bertrand Lesguillier in Bacchae: Prelude to a Purge.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Marlene Monteiro Freitas – Bacchae: Prelude to a Purge – New York

★★★★★   What this Bacchae resembles most is a kind of carnaval, an ordered mayhem in which up is down, all inhibitions are shed, and madness reigns.

Maya Beiser and Wendy Whelan in The Day.© Nils Schlebusch. (Click image for larger version)

Maya Beiser + Wendy Whelan + Lucinda Childs + David Lang – The Day – New York

★★★✰✰   The pairing of prestigious participants does not always guarantee success – a lesson learned again and again in the theater.

Cassandra Trenary and Cory Stearns in A Time There Was.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – New Romantics: New American Romance, Garden Blue, A Time There Was – New York

★★★✰✰   The emphasis here was on new. This was a night to check in on the creative efforts of two emerging voices on the ballet scene – Gemma Bond and James Whiteside.

Calvin Royal III in Apollo. © The George Balanchine Trust.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Balanchine, Bennett & The Beach Boys bill – New York

★★★★✰   In programs like this one, ABT really looks like an American company, steeped in American popular music and the relaxed attitude of popular dance. It’s a mode that suits the company well.

Catherine Hurlin and Aran Bell in Let Me Sing Forevermore.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Fall Gala and The Masters bills – New York

★★★★✰   The fewer the speeches, the better the gala – this universal truth seems to have bypassed the organizers at American Ballet Theatre…

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…

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