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
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…

Sujata Mohapatra.© Keith Getter. (Click image for larger version)

Kalanidhi Dance and Sujata Mohapatra – Dancing the Gods Festival – New York

★★★★✰   We’re lucky in New York to get as much classical Indian dance as we do. Several festivals return year after year, including, in the spring, Dancing the Gods, curated by the dancer and scholar Rajika Puri…

Sara Mearns in Justin Peck’s Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Pictures at an Exhibition, Oltremare, Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes – New York

★★★★✰   There is a palpable sense of hope among the dancers; again and again, they rise to the occasion. The opening-night program reflected this resilience and gave reason for hope.

Night of 100 Solos at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Merce Cunningham Trust – Night of 100 Solos, Centennial Event – New York

★★★★✰   What impresses overall is the clarity of the technique; the precision and control it requires. And the way it enlarges the dancers, distilling their strengths, stretching them to the limit.

Natalia Osipova and David Hallberg in Ratmansky’s Valse Triste.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Natalia Osipova – Pure Dance bill – New York

★★★✰✰   So, is Pure Dance a success? It depends on what you’re looking for. Osipova is as exciting, and as powerful, a dancer as ever. Among the commissions, only Valse Triste and Flutter are worthy of further exploration…

Warren Craft in Harlequin and Pantalone© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Dorrance Dance – Jungle Blues, Basses Loaded bill – New York

★★★✰✰   Dorrance is a darling of festivals, presenters and audiences, and has recently crossed over into the realm of ballet. But how much crossover and reinvention is too much?

Marcelo Gomes & The Sarasota Ballet in Sir Frederick Ashton's Apparitions.© Frank Atura. (Click image for larger version)

Sarasota Ballet – Apparitions, Stars and Stripes – Sarasota

★★★★✰   As if an Ashton rarity weren’t reason enough to catch this program, there was also the presence of Marcelo Gomes, former much-admired principal dancer from American Ballet Theatre, to recommend it.

Elizabeth Kurtzman.© Elizabeth Kurtzman. (Click image for larger version)

5 Questions to Pepperland designer Elizabeth Kurtzman about collaborating with Mark Morris

With Pepperland about to tour the UK for 6 weeks we talk to designer Elizabeth Kurtzman about her striking costumes and what it’s like working with Mark Morris…

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

New York City Ballet – Prodigal Son, Liebeslieder Walzer – New York

★★★✰✰   Liebeslieder Walzer is one of the most precious of all Balanchine’s ballets; within its fifty-minute span it seems to contain a world of emotion, both profound and infinitely civilized.

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