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Fall for Dance: Martha Graham Dance Co., Tangueros del Sur, Morphoses/The Wheeldon Co., Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal
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Fall for Dance: Martha Graham Dance Co., Tangueros del Sur, Morphoses/The Wheeldon Co., Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal

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New York City Center
Fall for Dance – Program II

Martha Graham Dance Company
www.marthagraham.org/company

Tangueros del Sur
www.franciscoynatalia.com/press.php

Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company
www.morphoses.net

Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal
www.grandsballets.com/en

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Press: Helene Davis Public Relations



September 24, 2009

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
September 24, 2009


Martha Graham Dance Company
Diversion of Angels (1948): Choreography by Martha Graham, Music by Norman Dello Joio’, Costume Design by Martha Graham, original Lighting by Jean Rosenthal, Adapted by Beverly Emmons, Production Manager: Anne Posluszny, Performed by Katherine Crockett, Samuel Pott, Blakely White-McGuire, Maurizio Nardi, Jennifer DePalo, Lloyd Knight, and an ensemble of five.


Diversion of Angels, with The Couple in White (mature love), The Couple in Red (erotic love), and The Couple in Yellow (adolescent love), was, as always, a splash of flashing colors in a love garden of dancers. Blakeley White-McGuire and Maurizio Nardi, as The Couple in Red, were especially radiant in their fiery interpretation. One of today’s most interesting dancers is Katherine Crockett, and, partnered with Samuel Pott, as The Couple in White, Ms. Crockett was voluptuous and important, as she embodies Martha Graham’s artistic genius for new audiences, year after year. Jennifer DePalo and Lloyd Knight were The Couple in Yellow, and they danced with vigor and enthusiasm. The combination of the three couples was enticing, as Ms. Graham designed this enchanting work, so in contrast to her darker pieces. Six other dancers, in flesh colored leotards and costumes, are participants in this imaginary love garden.


Tangueros del Sur
Romper el Piso (excerpt) (World Premiere): Choreography by Natalia Hills, Musical Direction and Arrangements by Patricio Villarejo, Costumes by Jean Luc Don-Vito, Hair and Make-Up by Jean Luc Don-Vito, Production Manager: Carlos Enrique Diaz, Musicians’ Ensemble on Cello, Keyboard, Bass, Guitar, Bandoneón, Performed by Natalia Hills, Gabriel Missé, Mariano Bielak, Paula Gurini, Ivan Terrazas, Carlos Barrionuevo, and Mayte Valdes.


I have been impassioned by Tango music and dance for over a decade and had particularly looked forward to Romper el Piso, choreographed by Natalia Hills, who often partners Gabriel Missé. With a live onstage ensemble of five Tango musicians, the seven dancers presented some dramatic choreography, replete with extended exits, entrances, and bows. It seemed less the Tango milonga-style that I know so well (partnered social dance) and more a percussive version of Tango folkloric styling. Yet, when Ms. Hills and Mr. Missé danced, the edge, eroticism, and electricity sparked. The company exuded the requisite seriousness, maturity, and exoticism of the Argentine Tango genre, and the forceful boléos and ganchos seemed effortless and seasoned.


Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company
Softly As I Leave You (World Premiere): Choreography by Lightfoot León, Music by Arvo Pärt and Johann Sebastian Bach, Staged by Paul Lightfoot and Sol León, Costumes by Lightfoot León, Original Lighting by Tom Bevoort, Lighting Recreated by Mary Louise Geiger, Production/Stage Manager: Danielle Ventimiglia, Performed by Drew Jacoby and Rubinald Prank.


I’ve always been a fan of Christopher Wheeldon’s choreography, especially his numerous works for New York City Ballet. When he started his own company, I was eager for new works of the breathtaking sort to which I had become accustomed, like After the Rain, but his own short seasons began with mixed results. Tonight’s choice of Softly As I Leave You, choreographed by Lightfoot León, was so painful to watch, that I literally decided to skip Wheeldon’s upcoming season, here at New York City Center, as each of those two scheduled programs included this work. Drew Jacoby and Rubinald Pronk perform in and around an onstage box, with outsized angst and anguish, flailing about, in dreary lighting. To make this experience all the worse, Paul Lightfoot and Sol León use Arvo Pärt’s exquisite music that’s so evocative of After the Rain, Wheeldon’s gorgeous, sensual ballet. He should have showcased one of his own works tonight, with such a selection of stirring ballets, instead of this vapid, tedious production.


Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal
Noces (2002) Choreography by Stijn Celis, Music by Igor Stravinsky, Costumes by Catherine Voeffray, Lighting by Marc Parent, Performed by the Company.


Les Noces, originally choreographed in 1923 by Bronislava Nijinska, Nijinsky’s sister, was alluded to tonight in Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal’s Noces, created by Stijn Celis in 2002. I say “alluded to”, as this newer ballet is decidedly different from Nijinska’s as well as from Jerome Robbins’ version, and Celis’ ballet literally involves attacks, rapacious violence, along with tribal ritual that devolves into camp and burlesque. Having described this ballet as so avant garde, it ironically seemed fitting to celebrate the Ballets Russes with such an unconventional, shocking production. Parisian audiences were said to faint, scream, and leave the theatre on viewing some of Ballets Russes’ new works, but tonight there was no such mayhem.

Each white bridal costume was different, and make-up included rouged cheeks and ghost-like paleness. The choreography was evocative of Ballets Russes’ Petrushka, with its tragic puppets and frightening figures. This was no ingénue wedding, but rather an inebriated catastrophe. The men were predators, and the bride the prey. Freud would have loved it.



Tangueros del Sur
in "Romper el Piso"
Courtesy of Carlos Furman




Tangueros del Sur
in "Romper el Piso"
Courtesy of Carlos Furman




Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company
in "Softly As I Leave You"
Courtesy of Erin Baiano




Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal
in "Noces"
Courtesy of Serguei Endinian




Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal
in "Noces"
Courtesy of Serguei Endinian




For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net