Joyce Ballet Festival Program C, or The Art of the Arabesque

Joseph Gordon (in blue) & David Hallberg (in maroon) in "Songs of a Wayfarer" Photo: Maria Baranova

  Arabesque: "One of the basic poses in ballet, arabesque takes its name from a form of Moorish ornament. In ballet it is a position of the body, in profile, supported on one leg, which can be straight or demi-plié, with the other leg extended behind and at right angles to it, and the arms held in various harmonious positions creating the longest possible line from the fingertips to the toes. The shoulders must be held square to the line of direction. The forms of arabesque are varied to infinity...Arabesques are generally used to conclude a phrase of steps, both in

The Perfect Fit by Joshua Turchin

The Perfect Fit by Joshua Turchin The Perfect Fit is an extraordinary achievement for a 12 year old. I am truly impressed by Joshua Turchin who, not only wrote the book, music and lyrics but also performed in the show! What a multi-talented, ambitious and brave young man. The Perfect Fit is about a group of young teens pursuing their dreams as musical theatre performers and musicians. Turchin has taken the adage to heart: ‘write what you know’, and I think it was the best choice he could have made. The show has a very talented cast of triple treats. Carly Gendell,

Yang Liping Contemporary Dance’s ‘Under Siege’ at Mostly Mozart

Photo: Rosie Marinelli (Lincoln Center)

  Since there is no longer a Lincoln Center Festival (the moral being never hire a former college president who believed locals could summer in Salzburg or other pricey European festivals just like ex-colleagues and students/alums can), Mostly Mozart successfully transitioned to a more inclusive schedule.  Choreographer/Director Yang Liping's Under Siege, an entertaining retelling of the Ancient Chinese Chu-Han Contention may seem a bit of a stretch, but at its conclusion when pieces of red paper symbolizing dead warriors and one fiercely loyal maiden fell,  its message is very clear: a world without harmony.is dangerous. Audiences filing in to the Koch Theater saw the

THE BLACK CLOWN Theatricalizes the Experience of Black Americans at the Mostly Mozart Festival

The triumphant, masterful production of The Black Clown—that performed its New York City premiere from July 24-27th as part of the 2019 annual Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival—offered a theatricalized glimpse into the journey and experiences of a Black person in America. When I encountered what bass-baritone Davóne Tines—who performed the title role and adapted the piece along with composer Michael Schachter from Langston Hughes’ poem about a Black man’s resilience against a legacy of oppression—said about The Black Clown, I knew had to witness it firsthand: “When I first read The Black Clown it was like receiving a revelation that

DRAGON SPRING PHOENIX RISE at The Shed is a 21st Century Kung Fu Spectacle

Swords whizzed past heads close enough to cut their opponents’ hair; dancers dropped from or rose to the sky like celestial beings dangling on a mere thread; acrobatic action scenes shifted into nightclub extravaganzas complete with vogueing routines; fire and water danced alongside the performers as elemental partners, adding to the danger and thrills. A dream team of talents was assembled to realize co-conceiver and director Chen Shi-Zheng’s vision that was initially inspired by observing Bruce Lee’s audition tape for his film debut at age 18. All of this and more came together to create Kung Fu spectacle Dragon Spring

“Freddie Falls in Love” at the Joyce Theater

Choreographers have a default line in interviews that is some variant of “I tell stories through dance.” Much of the time, though, I watch their work and wonder what the story might have been about. Mercifully, Al Blackstone has created a story that runs the length of “Freddie Falls in Love” that is actually a story with a beginning, a middle and an end. There are characters who are not just dancers in a pose, and there is conflict and resolution. There just isn't any talking. The term “dansical” is over-used in some quarters, but here it fits like a

A STRANGE LOOP Raises the Bar for Queer Black Representation and Sets a New Standard for Musicals Today

I first encountered A Strange Loop in 2015 at the Musical Theatre Factory when it was still located in a gay porn video warehouse above (the original) Drama Bookstore just around the corner of Port Authority. It was a mixed bag evening with various composers and lyricists trying out their works on performers, both eager to be heard amongst an audience of supportive peers instead of cruel critics. The song, which is the second-to-last 13 o’clock number for A Strange Loop now called “The Memory Song,” featured lyrics sung in rapid speed with mournful wailing by Larry Owens (the unconventional

Midsummer Dance Card: Tradition Defined

The Royal Danish Ballet's Ulrik Birkkjaer and Gudrun Bojesen. .Photo: Dave Morgan

  A delightful part of ballet history was at the Joyce July 7-14. The Dance is an art because it demands vocation, knowledge, and ability. It is a fine art because it strives for an ideal, not only in plastic but also in lyrical respect. The beauty to which the Dance ought to aspire is not dependent upon taste or pleasure, but is founded on the immutable laws of nature. Dancer/Choreographer August Bournonville (1805-1879) Let's start with the finale.  Ida Praetorius and Ulrik Birkkjaer, who danced so beautifully earlier in the evening, rejoin their colleagues.  They are the first of several couples performing tarantellas with stunning degrees

“Dog Man the Musical” at the Lucille Lortel Theatre

Dog Man the Musical comes from the pen of one of the most banned authors in America today. Dav Pilkey is the man who gave us the “Captain Underpants” series. And as you might expect, there is an entire swathe of old-school educators (bureaucrats) and parent do-gooders who feel his work corrupts the youth. They gave Socrates hemlock for the same reason. In truth, Pilkey's got kids reading, which is a step in the right direction. As a book, Dog Man has sold 23 million copies and has been translated into 21 languages – nothing succeeds like success. The man's detractors

Final Performances of Megan Monaghan Rivas’s ‘Three Musketeers: 1941’ This Weekend!

All for One (left to right): Christina Liang, Ashley Bufkin, Essence Stiggers, Kate Margalite, & Ella Dershowitz. © ClintonBPhotography

    Even if King Arthur didn't return to the aid of Great Britain during World War II, other heroes like Wonder Woman, Captain America, Sherlock Holmes and The Scarlet Pimpernel aided the Allies.  Now they are joined by Megan Monaghan Rivas's Three Musketeers: 1941 at the Jeffrey and Paula Gural Theatre at A.R.T./New York Theatres.  June  27-30 are Rivas's likable re-imagination's final performances.  Hopefully her smart update will find audiences beyond NYC. Commissioned for the Women in Theatre (WIT) Festival, the four loyal guards are now dedicated female Resistance fighters.  The time transition is so smooth that there's no need to be familiar with the 1844

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