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
Gonzalo Garcia in Apollo.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Apollo, Orpheus, Agon – New York

★★★★✰   Nothing revives a repertory like new casting. So we can be grateful to the interim leadership at New York City Ballet for reconsidering who gets to dance some of the company’s most elemental repertory: Agon, Apollo, Serenade.

Tiler Peck, Indiana Woodward, Brittany Pollack and Taylor Stanley in George Balanchine's Apollo.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Apollo, Orpheus, Agon – New York

★★★★✰   There has been a generational shift at New York City Ballet, that much was clear last night in a program of Stravinsky ballets that included two major débuts and several smaller ones…

Anne Souder and Xin Ying in Martha Graham’s Hérodiade.© Melissa Sherwood. (Click image for larger version)

Martha Graham Dance Company – Graham Deconstructed: El Penitente, Hérodiade – New York

★★★✰✰   Both El Penitente and Hérodiade are from the 40’s, a period when Graham was transitioning from exploration of American and Native-American themes to a more mythical mode.

Rosas in Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s The Six Brandenburg Concertos.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Some Memorable Performances of 2018 – New York

Other years have been more exciting, I think, but this one has had its share of remarkable performances, including a few thrilling ones. Here, in no particular order, are the ones that really stood out, for one reason or another.

Tenzin Niles and Ines Gout in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – The Nucracker – New York

★★★✰✰   Come hell or high water, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker will return to New York City Ballet, filling the theatre night after night. Balanchine made a ballet built to last, and it has not disappointed.

AAADT in Rennie Harris' Lazarus.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – Lazarus, Revelations – New York

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Lazarus, Revelations ★★★★✰ New York, City Center 30 November 2018 www.alvinailey.org www.nycitycenter.org Forward to Ailey In March of 1958, Alvin Ailey presented his first evening of dance, at…

Polina Semionova in La Bayadère.© Yan Revazov. (Click image for larger version)

Staatsballett Berlin – La Bayadère (premiere of Ratmansky reconstruction) – Berlin

★★★★✰   In the last several years, the choreographer Alexei Ratmansky has developed a sideline to his main choreographic efforts: the reviving of ballets by Marius Petipa in a way that represents the original choreography with as much fidelity as possible…

Miami City Ballet in Serenade.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

City Center Balanchine Festival – Miami City Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet, Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet

★★★✰✰   It’s fascinating to see how Balanchinean charm and wit are interpreted by dancers for whom the Balanchine repertoire is more of a foreign language.

Joaquin de Luz in Watermill.© Rebecca Greenfield. (Click image for larger version)

Jerome Robbins / Luca Veggetti – Watermill – New York

★★★✰✰   I was happy to discover that, yes, in fact, something about this more intimate, immersive setting did alter the work’s energy and rhythm, its overall feel.

ABT in Jessica Lang's Garden Blue.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Fall Gala + Symphonie Concertante & Garden Blue 3bills – New York

★★★✰✰   The fall season is too brief, particularly because it always feels as though it takes the company a few days to warm itself up. The dancing at the gala on Oct. 17 was a little slapdash, but by Friday things had begun to settle.

Eleanor Hullihan, Lee Serle, Jin Ju Song Begin and Marc Crousillat in Long Run.© Ben McKeown. (Click image for larger version)

Tere O’Connor Dance – Long Run – New York

★★★✰✰   Long Run is maniacally well constructed, intently and precisely performed, vigorous, and smart, and yet almost completely resistant to interpretation.

Rosas in Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker's The Six Brandenburg Concertos.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker / Rosas – The Six Brandenburg Concertos – New York

★★★★✰   At moments, I was ecstatically aware of the beauty of the body in motion.

Taylor Stanley in Kyle Abraham’s The Runaway, in costumes by Giles Deacon.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Fall Gala: The Exchange, Judah, The Runaway – New York

★★★✰✰   No evening of new works is perfect; the excitement lies in the hope that at some point some magic will happen. And in that solo for Taylor Stanley by Kyle Abraham, we got a glimpse of that magic.

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

New York City Ballet – Jewels & All Balanchine 4bill – New York

★★★★✰ The company seemed to be dancing with a special ferocity, as if to prove its worth and convince the world that this enterprise is, indeed, worth preserving and saving.

Virgil Gadson in Spaces.© Lawrence Sumulong. (Click image for larger version)

Wynton Marsalis, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra & Damian Woetzel – Spaces – New York

★★★✰✰   The dance comments, illustrates and riffs on ideas and sounds in the music. Like Marsalis’s compositions, it’s neither banally literal, nor thoroughly abstract, but lies somewhere in the middle, deriving its inspiration and energy from currents in the music.

Lauren Post and José Sebastian in Zhongjing Fang's Seen by Two.© Rod Brayman. (Click image for larger version)

Co.Lab Dance – Seen by Two, Almost Ritual, The Bright Motion, Sketches – New York

★★★✰✰   What will Co.Lab become? I look forward to finding out. Meanwhile, it’s simply encouraging to see these dancers and emerging choreographers create something of their own.

Isabella Boylston in Whipped Cream.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Whipped Cream – New York

★★★★✰   The audience laughs, the company looks great, the orchestra… sounds full and vibrant, and you leave the theatre with a rare feeling of joy. Lightness of spirit and complexity of execution in one delightful package.

Choreographer Lauren Lovette working with Ashley Bouder on Red Spotted Purple.© Gibney/Ashley Bouder - from Instagram original.

Ashley Bouder Project – Red Spotted Purple, Duet, Alas, Symbiotic Twin, In Pursuit Of – New York

★★★✰✰   Bouder’s pick-up ensemble of eight, which she refers to as an arts collaborative, reflects her ideals. It is racially diverse; the choreographers include both men and women. Not all the choreographers are white. This should be par for the course, but it’s not.

Zurich Ballet in Swan Lake.© Carlos Quezada. (Click image for larger version)

Zurich Ballet – Swan Lake – Zurich

★★★✰✰   But, at least to my eye, the production’s triumph is its final lakeside act. There, the formations of swans, as originally choreographed by Lev Ivanov, become intricate, delicate, lyrical, and intensely moving.

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

American Ballet Theatre – Harlequinade (premiere) – New York

★★★★✰   Harlequinade is pure entertainment, a work of art whose entire raison d’être rests on its charm and stylishness. If you require that your art contain deeper meanings, read no further…

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