We are here to encourage the development of gifted young singers and to stimulate the growth of New York City's invaluable chamber opera companies. But we will not neglect the Metropolitan Opera either. Get ready for bouquets and brickbats.

Saturday, October 5, 2013


The Black Swan Pas de Deux
We "Fall for Dance" every year, joining hordes of New Yorkers willing to wait in line for $15 tickets to see diverse dance companies strut their stuff, aiming to win the hearts and minds of people who may not have otherwise been exposed to dance performance.  Although there is an attempt to demonstrate this diversity, there is very little nourishment for those of us whose affection lies with classical ballet.  We have not succeeded in appreciating companies that produce works that look embarrassingly dated nor companies that knock themselves out trying to be original, nor companies that appear to be everyday people wearing unbecoming street attire showing us what their aerobic classes at the health club look like.  We are alone in our state of disinterest.  The audience appears to go wild with whoops, hoots and wild applause no matter who is dancing.

Interestingly, it is the drag ballet company Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo who demonstrated the most respect and reverence for the dedication, artistry and hard work mastering classical technique.  Their campy sendups of our classical treasures manage to delight the uninitiated with their humor and simultaneously impress us balletomanes with their stunning technique.  Their Black Swan Pas de Deux was the highlight of the week.

American Ballet Theater performed José Limon's "Moors Pavane" with Julie Kent and Stella Abrera looking marvelous.  But with so little classical ballet on the five programs, we had hoped they would have chosen to demonstrate something from the classical canon. demonstrating the glories of point work... like The Black Swan Pas de Deux for example.  Perhaps they didn't want to be outshone by the "ladies" of The Trocs!

More was hoped for also from the Royal Ballet.  Two beautiful dancers with beautiful bodies performed some beautiful moves in a piece commissioned for the festival.  They were on point.  As an added benefit, they performed to live music by Arvo Part, although the cello playing was a bit unfortunate.  The sad part was that Liam Scarlett's choreography was devoid of meaning and feeling.

As for the rest of the programs, there was a lot of sound and fury without significance.  Unmusical music, uninspired gyrating, lots of herky-jerky-twerky motion, rolling around on the floor, ersatz copulation, meaningless rushing to and fro.  Long on energy, short on artistry.  Lest you conclude that we just hate modern dance, stand by for our review of Lars Lubovich later this month.  Now there's a choreographer who knows what to do with dancers!

© meche kroop

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