Thursday, May 28, 2015

Preview of William Moulton's "R/evolution"

William Moulton's R/evolution. Photo courtesy of R/evolution.

Does the future scare you? It should if you’ve paid attention to any of the dystopian movies, books, and television shows that clog our media channels.  The future they paint seems distinctly unpleasant — dismal, war-ravaged, and filled with evil, authoritarian governments. The cause of all this agony? Us. Through ignorance, carelessness, and passivity, humanity will wreak unimaginable horrors on itself.

“R/evolution,” a two-act musical with book by William K. Moulton and M. M. De Voe and lyrics, music, and dance by Moulton, tackles head on why, exactly, humans can’t forge a brighter future than these nightmare scenarios. Moulton posits it is our emotions — not the safe, small ones like delight and annoyance but the big, all-encompassing ones such as rage and euphoria — that precipitate our past and future miseries. These feelings cause individuals and societies to act in reckless ways, our rational thoughts unable to quell our inner tumult. Moulton says, “Our own survival is in question. It will continue to be because of the crazy, emotional lives we live.”

The musical takes place 150 years in the future, a time in which... 

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

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Impressions of Alonzo King LINES Ballet

Alonzo King LINES Ballet in "Writing Ground." Photo by Margo Moritz.

Alonzo King has an opinion, a strong one, of what dance should, and should not, be. Dance should be briskly paced, vigorous, and brimming with whiz-bang extensions, turns, and leaps. Men should be lithe hunks while women should be leggy and pliable. Everyone should perform as if his or her life depends on it. Dance should have commotion, sensationalism, and intensity; stillness and subtlety may be perceived as boring and should be avoided. When it works, his opinion thrills with visceral bravura.

King’s domain is contemporary ballet, a slippery term that evades a pat definition. Using elasticity and torque as his tools, he yanks and twists ballet’s rigid academicism into something deliciously unstable. In the three pieces showcased at The Joyce, everything is tilted and tweaked: wrists flip, necks flick, arabesques tip, and spins slide into squats. This is ballet on Red Bull.

To read my Impressions of Alonzo King LINES Ballet, please visit The Dance Enthusiast.

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Dance Enthusiast Hits the Streets: "All Over Westbeth"

WestFest's "All Over Westbeth." Photo courtesy of WestFest.

Dance often architects the space in which it appears. Using the four-cornered stage like a frame, choreographers exploit lights, props, and scenery to enhance their creations. Site-specific work turns this conceit on its head. Instead of using the space to suit their work, dance-makers must suit their work to the space, their pieces created in response to the contours and stimuli of a given environment.

WestFest’s “All Over Westbeth” takes advantage of the site-specific possibilities of the Westbeth Artists Community, an enormous complex in the far West Village. A former Bell Laboratory, the buildings were repurposed in the 60s to provide inexpensive housing for creators of all stripes. Curators Carol Nolte and Carol Mendes say, “WestFest itself was born from the idea of embracing the outstanding artist history at the Westbeth's building.” In “All Over Westbeth,” residents lead tours through the sprawling compound for small groups to witness short spurts of dance unfolding in the most unexpected of places.

The tour begins...

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