Wednesday, August 9, 2017

IMPRESSIONS: Ballet Festival at The Joyce with Emery LeCrone, Claudia Schreier, Jeffrey Cirio, Gemma Bond, and Amy Seiwert

Gemma Bond's Then and Again at The Joyce Theater. Photo by Rod Bravman. 

Tradition exerts a strong pull. When the future looms opaquely, relying on proven methods is understandable, prudent even. Yet traditions must expand to accommodate new ideas. Otherwise, they calcify, existing because they’ve always existed, not because they’re relevant to the here and now.

In dance, ballet can stand for tradition. And what a tradition it is, filled with swooning beauty and technical wizardry. But audiences diversify and attitudes evolve and ballet must reflect that while still staying, discernibly, ballet. Choreographers of ballet have the exhilarating — and daunting — mission of choosing what to add, subtract, or preserve.

The Joyce Theater celebrates five clearly articulated visions with Ballet Festival. Designed to introduce audiences to choreographers who create work outside of large companies, the twelve-day event features four women and one man — a refreshing ratio in a world where the choreographers are overwhelmingly male.

Three choreographers receive their Joyce debut (Claudia Schreier, Jeffrey Cirio, and Gemma Bond) while two return (Emery LeCrone and Amy Seiwert). Regardless of their experience, all believe in the relevance of ballet to the 21st century. The question is . . .

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