Monday, July 10, 2017

IMPRESSIONS: Jody Oberfelder Projects’ "The Brain Piece"

Hannah Wendel, Pierre Guilbault, and Mary Madsen in Jody Oberfelder's The Brain Piece at New York Live Arts. Photo by Christopher Duggan.

Every day, beneath our skin, a delicate ballet performed by our organs unfolds. Working with each other and independently, these body parts keep us alive and in pursuit of life. Yet their processes can remain unfamiliar, even unnoticeable, to us.

Choreographer Jody Oberfelder has been on a kick bringing these biological structures to the stage. After studying them intensely and dialoguing with experts, she creates a dance that explores an organ’s real and metaphorical form and function.

Several years ago, she premiered 4Chambers, a site-specific immersive performance dedicated to the heart. The experience, equally exhilarating and discomfiting, allowed a small audience to follow dancer-docents through four “chambers” and two “arteries.” Each space required participation, whether it be dancing with a performer or answering deeply personal questions.

Now she’s back with The Brain Piece, which received its debut at New York Live Arts. Unlike 4Chambers’ almost claustrophobic linkage of person to material, The Brain Piece is . . . 

To read the balance of my review, please visit The Dance Enthusiast.

Monday, June 26, 2017

IMPRESSIONS: American Ballet Theatre's "Whipped Cream"

Alexei Ratmansky's Whipped Cream for American Ballet Theatre. Photo by Gene Schiavone.

Are you the person who orders dessert first, sugar and spice and everything nice your vice of choice? If so, American Ballet Theatre has just the treat for you. Whipped Cream whisks together choreography by Artist-in-Residence Alexei Ratmansky with a little known score and libretto by Richard Strauss and fanciful sets and costumes by Mark Ryden.

Whipped Cream charmed California during its world premiere in March before receiving its New York debut in May. If you missed it, a week’s worth of performances will occur at the end of June as part of ABT’s season at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Like many story ballets, the illogical plot exists solely to . . .

To read the balance of my review, please visit The Dance Enthusiast.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

IMPRESSIONS: Armitage, Buglisi, Monte, Muller LIVE!

Ahmaud Culver and Megumi Eda in Karole Armitage's Walls with costumes by Alba Clemente. Photo: Peter Speliopoulos.

Festivals feel like the dance version of a cocktail party. Chockablock with short pieces and myriad viewpoints, they afford audiences the opportunity to get acquainted with usually emerging choreographers in a convivial environment.

But what if you knew all the choreographers, were familiar with their aesthetics? Well, then it becomes a feast, filled with substantive fare that makes you yearn to spend more time with each artist.

For five days in June, four lauded and long-on-the-scenes companies take the stage at New York Live Arts with six works by five choreographers. While the hallmarks of a festival — diversity, brevity — are on display, as a whole, the show acts as a testament to the power and ingenuity of female artists.

Choreographer . . .

To read the balance of my review, please visit The Dance Enthusiast

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

TDE Hits the Streets: New York Meets Havana

New York Meets Havana at the Museum of the City of New York. Photo by Museum of the City of New York.

New York City makes music that’s all its own: the shrill clang of a subway station, the impatient honk of a cab driver, the plaintive wail of a busker, the relentless throb of eight million hearts beating with ambition. Salsa — rife with layered rhythms, sunny harmonies, and seductive melodies — acts as both a movement and music that exemplifies the tempo and tenor of New York City.

An exhibit opening June 14 at the Museum of the City of New York entitled
Rhythm & Power: Salsa in New York unpacks the Cuban, Puerto Rican, and American influences that birthed one of the world's preeminent social forms. In anticipation of this exhibit, which is curated by Derrick León Washington, the museum held an event celebrating the cultural collision that defines Salsa — New York Meets Havana. Over four hours, curious newbies and seasoned dancers delight in spicy dancing and icy mojitos.

Activities take place in the museum’s white-marble lobby under a waterfall of lights that . . .

To read the balance of my article, please visit The Dance Enthusiast.