Dresden Semperoper Ballett

Dresden Semperoper Ballett at the Joyce Theater: a lovely performance and an educational curtain chat.

My favorites tonight go to both of David Dawson’s choreographies. The U.S. premier of “5” is lively and dynamic. The five dancers not only filled the stage and appeared to jump out of the stage at times, with the incredible amount of energy they had. I enjoyed the playfulness of the dancers and their interactions with the audience, especially by the lead dancer Alice Mariani. “On the nature of daylight” is also playful, with fun lifts while turning. The U.S. premier of “Vertigo Maze” has a satisfying sense of synchronization, partnering, mirroring amongst the dancers, that escape my ability to describe/articulate in words.

Three things I learnt from tonight’s curtain chat with Dresden Semperoper Ballett.

The difference in funding in Germany vs. U.S. (rather, the lack of funding in the U.S.) means that while Dresden Semporeoper Ballett still needs to fill the house (they’re 93% soldout yearly), they can take greater risks in programming and allow dancers to explore and immerse in many different styles. From Gaga to Martha Graham. From performing modern dance one night to Swan Lake the next.

The company advocates an open culture. Artistic director Aaron Sean Watkin describes his philosophy as treating every dancer like an adult, as a person, and not just an extra dancer. By instilling confidence in the dancers, they become more pro-active in their learning. Dancers should be thinking and filling their minds with information, and be more mentally than physically tired. I like the philosophy!

Finally, I also learnt something new about the Germans. Germans love to learn the ideas behind a piece of choreography, and seek out the program notes!