Claudia Schreier and Company

I get to see 12 ballet companies at four shows and one studio rehearsal this weekend. I’m super excited!

Only in New York, can you find such a high concentration of dance talents… where budding choreographers (under 25 years old), rising stars (Claudia Schreier, Jeffery Cirio, Gemma Bond), and world-class ballet companies (Bolshoi Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, and New York City Ballet) are all presenting in the same city at the same time.

The first of the twelve…

Claudia Schreier showcased six works at the Joyce Theater tonight featuring ballerina extraordinaire, Wendy Whelan. Her company also included Unity Phelan (one of my favorite NYCB dancers), Amber Neff (who stepped into and danced beautifully in Emery LeCrone’s shows earlier this week), and other amazing dancers.

In extensive collaboration with composers and musicians, Claudia’s pieces featured live piano, string instruments, and chamber choir. There’s great depths in the music throughout the night. If anything, judging by the number of audience members who looked left during the show (towards the area where the musicians sat), the music might have even overpowered the dance. The movements on stage, though beautiful, felt slow in comparison to the tempo and rich development of the music.

Everyone views dance differently; music lovers may respond more strongly to this performance. Her second and final show is tomorrow (Saturday) at the Joyce Theater Ballet Festival.

Emery LeCrone Dance

The Joyce Theater Ballet Festival opened tonight with a performance by and reception with Emery LeCrone Dance.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show which consisted of five works: three World Premiers, a U.S. Premier created in 2016, and an excerpt from Emery’s debut at the Joyce in 2015.

What I like the most about tonight is seeing Emery’s emerging style. She has a “contemporary lyrical” interpretation of ballet. I love how beautifully and gracefully her dancers moved across the floor. Grand jetés lingered in the air, as if the dancers could stretch time. Lifts descended slowly, softly, and elegantly. Yet, periodically, ballerinas would accelerate out of a chaînés with an outburst of emotion.

Her company featured several dancers over 6 feet tall. Combined with costume designs that showcased the dancers’ bodies, Emery created a distinct visual style that accentuated height on stage. She also experimented with music. Four of the five choreographies tonight were done to live music including one with vocals.

Altogether, I had a wonderful experience. My favorites go to “Beloved” and “Time Slowing, Ending” which I thought were the smoothest and most elegant of her work tonight.

Emery LeCrone Dance is performing at the Joyce for two more nights until July 20th. Check them out!

Also look forward to seeing Claudia Schreier and Company, Cirio Collective, Gemma Bond Dance, and Amy Seiwert’s Imagery over the next two weeks!