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
New York City Ballet in Justin Peck’s Rotunda.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Classic NYCB II bill with new Justin Peck – New York

★★★✰✰   In the last week of its winter season, New York City Ballet unveiled a new work by its resident choreographer, Justin Peck, to a score by the popular neo-Minimalist composer Nico Muhly. It was a homecoming of sorts for Peck…

Jean-Guihen Queyras, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Boštjan Antončič in Mitten Wir Im Leben Sind (In the Midst of Life).© Ian Douglas. (Click image for larger version)

Anne Teresa De Keersmaker / Rosas – Mitten Wir in Leben Sind – New York

★★★✰✰   The dance is spare and pedestrian, as is De Keersmaeker’s way, and lasts two hours, without intermission. And yet it’s not really a challenge to experience it all in one sitting.

Adrian Danchig-Waring, Jovani Furlan, Teresa Reichlen in Robbins’ Concertino.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Classic NYCB I including Haieff Divertimento & Episodes – New York

★★★★✰   The four ballets make for a slightly over-long evening (both Episodes and Rodeo are substantial works). But it’s a small price to pay for seeing these rarities back onstage.

Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker in Cāo Sem Plumas/Dog Without Feathers.© Cafi. (Click image for larger version)

Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker – Cāo Sem Plumas – New York

★★✰✰✰   At times the striking images and lithe, hyper-flexible dancers are enough to seduce the eye. But Cāo Sem Plumas is a frustrating piece, in which the live dancing is overshadowed by film…

Megan Fairchild and NYCB in Ratmansky’s Voices.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Voices (new Ratmansky), and New Combinations bill – New York

★★★★✰   There was always something new around the corner, a surprising shape, a witty step, an unlikely transition. It’s clear that Ratmansky felt liberated by the unusual structure and soundscape…

Teresa Reichlen and Ask la Cour in Balanchine’s Firebird.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – All Balanchine: Allegro Brillante, La Source, Firebird – New York

★★★★✰   How is the company looking? …the company looks good so far.

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

Some Memorable Performances of 2019 – New York

I don’t really believe in lists, but it’s admittedly fun to look back over the year and reflect on moments that have stayed with me. So here they are, in no particular order…

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Jamar Roberts' Ode.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – Busk, Ode, Ounce of Faith – New York

★★★★✰   Jamar Roberts’ Ode was the centerpiece and the highlight of the company’s performance, which also included Aszure Barton’s Busk (a company premiere) and Darrell Grand Moultrie’s Ounce of Faith (a premiere).

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.

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