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Fall for Dance: Shantala Shivalingappa, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Jodi Melnick, Ka Leo O Laka I Ka Hikina O Ka Lā
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Fall for Dance: Shantala Shivalingappa, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Jodi Melnick, Ka Leo O Laka I Ka Hikina O Ka Lā

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NY City Center
Fall for Dance – Program IV

Shantala Shivalingappa
Pacific Northwest Ballet
Jodi Melnick
Ka Leo O Laka I Ka Hikina O Ka Lā

At New York City Center
www.nycitycenter.org

Arlene Schuler, President & CEO
Stanford Makishi, Artistic Advisor
Clifton Taylor, Festival Lighting Director
Kurt Fischer & Leon Rothenberg, Festival Sound Supervisors
Press: Helene Davis Public Relations


Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 4, 2012


Shantala Shivalingappa
Shiva Ganga (NY Premiere): Choreography conceived, directed, and danced by Shantala Shivalingappa, Artistic Director: Savitry Nair, Lighting and Production Manager: Nicolas Boudier, Lighting by Marie-Josée Pétel, Sound by Gary Miller, with a live music ensemble on vocals, nattuvangam, percussion, mridangam, and flute.


Shantala Shivalingappa danced Shiva Ganga, about Shiva, the Lord of Dance, and Ganga, the Goddess of the river Ganges. Ms. Shivalingappa was accompanied by four onstage musicians on vocals, nattuvangam, percussion, mridangam, and flute. She danced on many levels, including one dance on bent knees, near the floor, evoking, perhaps, a closeness to the river. The earlier dance was more focused, with arms and feet and hands in twirling, rapid, rippling gestures. It began with “Ohm” and ended with crunched rotations. The warm spotlights showcased City Center’s recent renovations, with improved lighting effects, as well as enhanced sound and sightlines. The historical theater is always a delight to explore, with Moorish, mural ceilings and exotic architecture. It’s a perfect venue for exotic dance.


Pacific Northwest Ballet
Pas de Deux from Carousel (A Dance) (2002): Choreography by Christopher Wheeldon, Music by Richard Rodgers, Arranged and orchestrated by William David Brohn, Staged by Jackie Barrett and Damian Smith, Costumes by Holly Hynes, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Production Stage Manager: Sandra Barrack, Performed by Carla Körbes and Seth Orza.


Wheeldon’s Carousel (A Dance) is one of the most elegant of his ballets, and the Pas de Deux is popular in galas and festivals. This was my favorite work on tonight’s program, the fourth in a series of five, in 2012’s Fall for Dance. Seth Orza and Carla Körbes, originally in New York City Ballet, were accompanied by City Ballet’s Alan Moverman on piano. This pas de deux is a “salute to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel”, evoking a compelling courtship, expressed in enchanting partnered dance. It also exudes a contrasting sense of urgency, torment, and indecision. The choreographic details include each dancer pushed and pulled by his/her own desire and destiny.


Jodi Melnick
Solo (Re)Deluxe Version (2012): Choreography by Jodi Melnick, Music by Steven Reker and People Get Ready, Costumes by JEM, Lighting by Joe Levasseur, Performed by Hrisotula Harakas, Jon Kinzel, Jodi Melnick, Kayvon Pourazar, Musicians: Steven Reker, Luke Fasano, James Rickman, Jen Goma.


Jodi Melnick’s Solo (Re) Deluxe Version), which premiered this year, presented the most interesting image of the stripped, rear wall, with bright red pipes, black wires, and varied lighting dimensions. It also presented the least interesting dance of the Fall for Dance season so far. Ms. Melnick tosses a silver jacket, dancers lean then twitch against the walls, motion is careless, casual, and costumes are too. The entire work seemed amateurish and ambivalent. Music is of the electronic sort, with four live musicians, who also wrote the score. Everything seemed improvised, with some silence, then some sound, then walking back and forth, etc., etc. A hip swings out, a head swings sideways, and so on. Three dancers eventually join Ms. Melnick in this simplistic scenario.


Ka Leo O Laka I Ka Hikina O Ka Lā
Hula Kane: The Ancient Art of Hawaiian Male Dance (World Premiere): Choreography by Kumu Hula Kaleo Trinidad, Music: Traditional Hawaiian Songs, Staging and Costumes by Kumu Huma Kaleo Trinidad, Lighting by Sarah Sidman, Production Manager: Sarah Sidman, Performed by a Dance Ensemble of eleven, Live music female ensemble.


A huge audience surprise tonight was a male ensemble of eleven, called Ka Leo O Laka I Ka Hikina O Ka Lā, from the Hawaiian Islands. They dance Hula Kane: The Ancient Art of Hawaiian Male Dance. Many in the audience went wild, when they saw the almost bare young men in green loincloths and leafy garlands on their heads. The Artistic Director, Kumu Kaleo Trinidad, choreographed the work and designed the skimpy, colorful costumes. The men were never campy, but rather took this performance quite seriously and reverently. The timing and synchronization of the look-alike ensemble’s pelvic hula shaking was astounding. Nobody missed a beat. The men later added giant green matching bows onto the loincloths, for ornamental effect. Rear stage was an ensemble of female percussionists, to brace the dancers into sharp rhythm, and these women were conservatively dressed in purple, not to distract from the men. One older male vocalist chanted throughout the dance. This chorus line of young Hawaiian men, gyrating and pulsating to exotic drums and chants, will surely return, with the warm reception they received tonight.



Shantala Shivalingappa
in "Shiva Ganga"
Courtesy of C.P.Satyajit



Pacific Northwest Ballet
Pas de Deux from Wheeldon's "Carousel (A Dance)"
Courtesy of Angela Sterling



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