Merce Cunningham Centennial Celebration

Merce Cunningham (1919-2009) April 16 marked the centennial of choreographer Merce Cunningham's birth.  His artistic legacy is that his modern dances, many set to music by his creative and life partner John Cage, will forever be modern. Following Cunningham's directive, his company disbanded after his death at 90 - but not the teaching, training, archiving and performing spanning 70+ years.  The Merce Cunningham Trust's world-wide celebration included a definitive program April 17-21 at the Joyce of three classics performed by three companies.   The Merce Cunningham Trust defines the Cunningham Technique as "a rigorous form of training designed to create strength and flexibility of both the body and

Ballet Hispánico at the Joyce

Sombrerísimo. Photo: (c) Susan Bestul

"We did it!" was heard behind the curtain following Ballet Hispánico's world premiere of Edwaard Liang's El Viaje (The Journey).  And yes, they sure did in a creatively diverse program at The Joyce through Sunday, March 31. All three ballets explored community.  Notes accompanying El Viaje describe it as an "exploration of identity and the ghosts of a former life."  The ghost is a woman (Melissa Verdicia) in red - the great dance color signifying uniqueness, magic or sensuality.  Here, she is an exile from China and/or Cuba (hence red).  She moves away and occasionally joins male and female dancers dressed in pale colors.  It's apparent she

Dancing When Everyone’s Looking: Two Dance Celebrations

With Nutcrackers, Rockettes and Viennese waltzers, Thanksgiving to New Year's is the solitary time of the year when the general public shows an interest in dance.  Before the holiday rush there were two dance celebrations - one marking an anniversary and the other a look into the beginnings of extraordinary career - with varying success.   Balanchine: The City Center Years Starting on Halloween and ending on November 4, 2018, New York City Center jointly commemorated their 75th Anniversary and the prolific 15 years (1948-1963) George Balanchine and New York City Ballet were there.  In 1943, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia created the New

Dance: The Joyce Ballet Festival

The annual Joyce Ballet Festival showcases the incredibly high level and high-energy of American ballet.  This is a time of reflection, renewal and reconfiguration in ballet, and the two companies described here are conduits of that positive change. Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami (June 26-27) Ballet may never rate as high as Disneyland, but Miami now has two major dance companies  Dimensions Dance Theatre, founded in 2016 by former Miami City Ballet married principles Carlos Guerra and Jennifer Kronenberg, opened The Festival on June 26.  Founded in 2016, the company's gifted, personable dancers have already mastered an eclectic repertory. Guerra and Kronenberg themselves

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