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January/February 2000 Newsletter from New York City

 

By Jennifer Leake Ó

After a whirlwind wind-up to the turn of the century, the welcoming of a new millennium, and all too many Nutcracker performances, I haven’t come up for air until now. I apologize for depriving you of a January preview. How about one for February instead? I hope you didn’t miss New York’s Altogether Different festival after I left you without a newsletter, because it was absolutely worth seeing. Nevertheless, in our city that never sleeps, you’ll always find something new.

February got off to a good start with Twyla Tharp’s new choreography for New York City Ballet’s winter 2000 season, running through end of the month. Twelve of NYCB’s finest dancers were chosen to bring a breath of fresh air to the Balanchine repertoire performed by the company on continuum, with Tharp’s new interpretation of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. With all due respect to the great late Balanchine, there is nothing like a change of pace and style. Tharp subverts classical ballet moves, by pushing them off center, twisting body parts at the end of a perfectly executed pirouette, and has the male dancers catch their partners while suspended in the midst of a leap, only to transition them into an awkward landing. The ebb and flow of different characters moving across the stage in duets, sextets, quartets and as a collective, in “The Beethoven Seventh” makes reverent and admirable use of Beethoven’s classical score and celebrates the infinite possibilities that classically trained dancers offer the contemporary choreographer. For the sake of a comparison, Tharp’s new, quirky, fast moving, supremely musical glimpse of the many faces of human interaction could be likened to William Forsythe’s (Frankfurt Ballet) “In the Middle Somewhat Elevated.”
Both dances bring smiles to the faces of their awestruck viewers, while marveling at the unlimited possibilities of the dancers body.

Anna Kisselgoff, the New York Times, sums up Tharp’s newest production: “Here is Tharp the Wise, a mature choreographer no longer making fun of the academic idiom. Like many modern-dance choreographers, she has often sought to explore new movement rather than to accept ballet's 350-year-old classical vocabulary as a given. But "The Beethoven Seventh" is a neo-Classical ballet that meshes with its music."

Even in the material world of our contemporary society one is able to find FREE CONCERTS of the highest caliber. On February 3, Ballet Argentino performed in the Winter Garden of The World Financial Center (West Street between Vesey and Liberty Streets, Lower Manhattan) in a festival titled “Celebrate Buenos Aires.” Jennifer Dunning wrote in the New York Times: “The accent was on entertainment in five dances that also made the most of the performers.” The five dances are: Julio Lopez's "Kicho," Ana Marie Stekelman's new "Zita Tango," as well as her upbeat "Mambo Suite," Osar Araiz's "Adagietto," and Alberto Mendez's "Suite Generis." Celebrate Buenos Aires -- continuing through March 26 -- offers even more free programs of music and dance including a tango and modern dance piece by Tangokinesis on March 9. www.worldfinancialcenter.com

Feb. 10-13 @ 8:30PM - Danspace Project will present a new music/dance/theater piece based on 20 poems by W.H. Auden, titled “Tell Me The Truth About Love” at St Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery. “Love’s” collaborators include: choreographer Terry Creach, performer Tom Bogdan, composer Paul Boesing, and artist Jim Hodges.

Feb. 17 @ 12:NOON (FREE EVENT): The Elinor Coleman Dance Ensemble in “Concerts 2000” will present the work of Elinor Coleman with 7 other dancers. The venue: Smith Hall Theatre College of Mount Saint Vincent, 6301 Riverdale Avenue, Riverdale (at West 263rd). A DTW event.
Feb. 24-26 @ 8PM: The Elinor Coleman Dance Ensemble in “Concerts 2000” will present 3 evenings of Elinor Coleman’s work with 7 other dancers. The venue: Context Studio’s Theatre, 28 Avenue A (between 2nd & 3rd Sts). A DTW event.

Feb 17-March 5, Thurs-Sat @ 8PM, Sun @ 3PM: Dance Theater Workshop (DTW) welcomes the return of Big Dance Theater for its sixth season in “Another Telepathic Thing,” a dance/theater piece on life, death and money. “Thing’s” creators are: Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar with 4 company members, and composer Cynthia Hopkins.

Feb. 17-19 @ 8PM, Feb. 20 @ 3PM: The Juilliard Dance Ensemble’s annual spring dance performances return, this time with 3 world premieres and a New York premiere. The Juilliard Orchestra, will play for all performances.
The venue: The Juilliard Theater, 155 West 65th St.

The words of Oscar Wilde: “Color speaks to the soul in a thousand different ways,” are the first ones we read in the Joyce Theater’s Spring 2000 program. What do we expect on reading this introduction? A season of diverse and supremely colorful dance works, of course! The Joyce’s line-up of guest troupes includes:
Feb. 8-13, Tues-Sat @ 8PM, Sunday @ 2PM: Japan’s controversial H.Art Chaos, performing artistic director Sakiko Oshma’s full evening work titled “Secret Club: Floating Angel 2000.”
Feb. 16-20, Wed-Fri @ 8PM, Saturday @ 2 & 8PM, Sun 2 & 7:30PM: Deborah Colker’s Companhia de Danca from Brazil, in “Rota.”
Feb 22-27, Tues-Fri @ 8PM, Sat @ 2 & 8PM, Sun @ 2PM: The Washington Ballet under the new artistic director Septime Webre, performing Jiri Kylian’s “Nuages,” Nacho Duato’s “No Floresta,” and more.
Feb 29-Mar 5, Tues Gala 7:30PM, Wed-Fri @ 8PM, Sat @ 2 & 8PM, Sun @ 2 & 7:30PM: Donald Byrd/The Group in Byrd’s “Jazz Train” and “In a Different Light: Duke Ellington.”
Address: 175 Eigth Avenue (at 19th Street). See the Joyce’s website for more! www.joyce.org

Feb 16-19 at the BAM Harvey Theater: the arts organization 651 Arts, founded in part by the Brooklyn Academy of Music, will present performances, master classes, lectures and discussions in a new yearly serious called "Black Dance: Tradition and Transformation." The series will hone in on the past, present and future of black choreography with performances, master classes, lectures and discussions. See BAM’s website for details: www.bam.org.

Feb 9-12 & 16-19 @ 8PM: The Kitchen will be home to Molissa Fenley for her first solos, “Island,” and three other works; “Weathering,” “Voices,” “On the Other Ocean,” “I and you resemble each other now,” and a special event titled “Provenance Unknown” - a solo with live accompaniment by cellist Joan Jeanrenaud ­ to a Philip Glass score (first week only). A post-performance discussion will be held Feb. 10th.
Feb 18 & 19 @ 6:30PM: “Two on Two” by choreographer Iréne Hulman, in collaboration with composer Matthew Suttor. A post-performance conversation with the artists will follow each performance. The venue: The Kitchen, 512 West 19th St. See www.thekitchen.org for more details.

Feb 28 @ 5-7PM, another free event to remember: The Caroline & Theodore Newhouse Center for Dancers, familiar as Career Transition for Dancers (CFTD) and The miller Institute will host a career conversation addressing “Opportunities in Performing arts Healthcare.” The venue: The Kathryn & Gilbert Miller Healthcare Institute, 425 West 59th street, suite 6A (between 8th & 9th Avenues).

Feb 29-March 12 (varying performance times) at the City Center: Paul Taylor Dance Company will open it New York 2000 season with two New York premieres: “Lost, Found & Lost” and “Piazzolla Caldera” (Matthew Diamond’s film showing the making of Caldera was quite a hit in New York’s Film Forum last year). Taylor’s City Center season continues with three mixed programs of his works, including: Esplanade, Sunset, Arabesque, Cascade, Le Sacre Du Printemps (the rehearsal), Aureole, Big Bertha, Syzygy, and Company B.

If you’re… crazy about watching people move, have a penchant for experimental theater, feel energized when you hear South American rhythms, and are looking for something altogether different, please visit the Daryl Roth Theatre (Union Square East at 5th St) and catch DE LA GUARDA. You might even learn to fly while you’re there! Telecharge: (212) 239 6200

For more diversity in dance don’t forget all those Broadway and Off-Broadway musicals: Cats, Contact, Swing, The Lion King and the list goes on. Check out www.culturefinder.com


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