Four solid performances tonight.
“Beach Birds” by CNDC Angers is perhaps my favorite Merce Cunningham choreography so far. I really enjoyed the nature-inspired movements — which felt like anything from a chirping bird playing in the forest, to saplings springing out of the soil. The music sounded like a gentle stream and the occasional breeze in the background, and complemented the movements perfectly. The last third of the piece became more abstract, and felt like more general geometric shapes to me.
I also like the variation of movement styles and the energy in Alicia Graf Mack‘s “Come Sunday”, and the powerful message of love in MADBOOTS Dance‘s “For Us”. Finally, it’s great fun to see Stella Abrera, Robbie Fairchild, and Gabe Stone Shayer do something completely different from classical ballet in “Unveiling” by Sonya Tayeh.
My favorite tonight goes to “Dare to Wreck” by Madeleine Månsson and Peder Nilsson of Skånes Dansteater, for some of the most amazing partnering that I’ve ever seen.
For context, Madeleine danced mostly in a wheelchair tonight, but this is *not* an “inclusion” performance to make a statement that dance is for everyone. This is *not* a choreography where a disabled dancer traced the approximate path of movements that had been created for another able-bodied dancer, to make a statement that they’re just capable. No no no no no.
“Dare to Wreck” is a showcase of what a wheelchair dancer can accomplish that no “able-bodied” dancers could even dream of. Madeleine could accelerate so rapidly and maintain such a high speed as she dashed across the stage, because she had wheels. The wheels also allowed her to decelerate and interact with Peder in ways not possible to other dancers.
I love the connection between Madeleine and Peder, both emotionally and technically. I love the the weight-sharing, weight-shifting, lifts, and aerials. I love all the creative and unexpected points of contact. I love the speed of their movements. I love the interaction between the dancers, the chair, and the wheels — like the way the wheels spin while Madeleine is lifted high in the air. Bravos!!
I also thoroughly enjoyed “At the Wrong Time” by Mariinsky Ballet featuring a trio of lovers. I love the different personalities on stage, especially the girl portrayed by Maria Shklyarova. I love the movement vocabulary, which looked like ballet movements inspired by Jazz-era ballroom steps. They look so much fun to dance!!!
WOW. JUST WOW.
Malevo owned the stage tonight. For a second night in a row at New York City Center, tap dancing took the cake at Fall for Dance. However, Malevo is waaaay beyond just tap or “Argentine folk dance” as the group describes itself.
It’s the most energetic and most energizing show I’ve seen in a long time — combining tapping/clogging, drumming, precision footwork, lighting, sound, and so much more.
Other memorable performances tonight include the unusual, unexpected, and wild French hip-hop dance company Compagnie Dyptik, and the beautiful Washington Ballet.
Caleb Teicher and Company with Chris Celiz owned the stage tonight, with their tap dancing and beatboxing collaboration.
I love the way Caleb’s dancers move their bodies and interact with one another, in addition to tapping.
I also looooove the way Caleb introduces comedy into tapping. It’s absolutely ingenious how an extra sound, a prolonged pause, or the dragging the side of his tap shoe across the stage at just perfect moment could bring the audience to laughter.
His choreography was creative, ever-changing, and I wanted more after the 30-minute performance!
Still love the beautiful “Solo Echo” choreographed by Crystal Pite and performed by Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, after seeing tonight’s program for a second time.
Immensely enjoyed the powerful aerials by the men of San Francisco Ballet in “Concerto Grosso.” Bravos to Max Cauthorn, Diego Cruz, Esteban Hernandez, Wei Wang, and Lonnie Weeks.
Also, finally met up with fellow dancer and enthusiastic supporter of dance, @dea_dance, after first meeting on instagram. Here’s to a great upcoming season of dance! 😃
Tonight’s program opened with a bang! Absolutely stunning performance of “Solo Echo” by Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Choreographed by Crystal Pite. Flawlessly executed by the seven amazing dancers with impeccable techniques: Jacqueline Burnett, Kellie Epperheimer, Michael Gross, Elliot Hammans, Alice Klock, Kevin Shannon, and Florian Lochner (replaced Andrew Murdock).
Beautiful combination of contemporary, modern, jazz, and ballet. So much power and emotion in the individual dancers. What’s more, I love how the group moves and flows as one. Definitely one of my favorite pieces, out of all five programs in this year’s festival.
San Francisco Ballet came out flying (figuratively and literally) with “Concerto Grosso” choreographed by Helgi Tomasson that showcased their five gorgeous male dancers.
Danza Contemporanea de Cuba capped the night with energetic formations of 24 dancers.
Finally saw Abraham.In.Motion (and Connie Shiau) perform at the NY City Center. Tonight’s world premier of “Drive” didn’t have (at least to me) the charged political statements or the emotional pains that I had read much about in Kyle Abraham’s work. Artistically, I loved the style, the body language of the dancers, the sharpness of the movements, and the responsiveness to the music. I felt connected to the dancers and the scene — set through lighting, movements, and music — that reflects New York.
Abraham.In.Motion is presenting “Dearest Home” in Purchase on Oct 20-21. Should I go see it???
Also loved Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart’s US premier of “Streams” choreographed by Andonis Foniadakis. Smooth flowing movements with sharp emphases. Like ocean waves approaching a beach. Something is always happening. Something is always building up. You never know what to expect, when the waves would collide, or how the waves would break. The dancers could be going in 13 different directions and, BOOM, they were suddenly in unison creating a big splash on stage. Everything then fades away, and we await the next wave of approaching dancers.
This contemporary-themed evening closed with Ballet BC’s “Bill” choreographed by Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar. 16 dancers in nude full body suits with their hair dyed in white. There was nothing to focus on except for the 16 bodies. And boy were they gorgeous! Incredible movement quality from each of the dancers, but it’s the group’s synergy, slight contrasts between the dancers, and interactions that made this piece so mesmorizing.
Finally, saw Sara Mearns in yet another dance genre… learning to hip hop with Honji Wang!
p.s. Had a serendipitous conversation with former MOMIX dancer Taz Loft tonight. Meeting interesting people and fellow dance lovers: That’s why we live in this city! Also, MOMIX!! 😍
Learnt a little more about classical Indian dance tonight from a Czech Indian dancer.
Still love Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. The ballerina chest bump before the finale (what a way to end a ballet parody, right?) actually reminded me of a personal story… but let’s leave that offline!
ABT’s Souvenir d’un lieu cher is also lovely. On this fourth occasion seeing the performance, I interpreted the choreography differently. I always thought the dance was the stories of the two couples. Tonight, I had the strange feeling perhaps it’s actually the dream/desire of one of the girls?
Featuring a full company of male dancers on pointe, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo won the most applaud (and laughters) tonight with their comic presentation of Paquita. More than just comedy, their technical works including the fouetté sequences (16? More than 16? I was mesmorized and wasn’t counting) were equally impressive too!
German Cornejo’s Tango Fire is still so amazing on the second night. I can’t stop searching for more of them…