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Fall for Dance: American Ballet Theatre, Colin Dunne, Ballet Hispanico, Introdans
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Fall for Dance: American Ballet Theatre, Colin Dunne, Ballet Hispanico, Introdans

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NY City Center
Fall for Dance – Program III

American Ballet Theatre
Colin Dunne
Ballet Hispanico

At New York City Center

Arlene Schuler, President & CEO
Mark Litvin, Sr. VP & Managing Director
Stanford Makishi, Artistic Advisor
Ilter Ibrahimof, Artistic Advisor
Clifton Taylor, Festival Lighting Director
Leon Rothenberg, Festival Sound Supervisors
Press: Helene Davis Public Relations

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 1, 2013

American Ballet Theatre
The Moor’s Pavane, Variations on a Theme of Othello (1970): Choreography by José Limón, Music by Henry Purcell, Arrangement by Simon Sadoff, Direction and Reconstruction by Clay Taliaferro, Performed by Francisco Ruvalcaba (Guest Artist), Thomas Forster, Stella Abrera, Julie Kent.

Having Francisco Ruvalcaba in this four-dancer cast was a brilliant move, not to diminish past Ballet Theater performers who dance The Moor, but Mr. Ruvalcaba is the quintessential Moor, in the mood and gestures of the original Limon choreography. Henry Purcell’s score is structured and graceful, which enhances the shock value of the fate of The Moor’s Wife, Julie Kent. Mr. Ruvalcaba was relentlessly intense, studied, frowning, overflowing with angst and revenge. As His (The Moor’s) Friend, Thomas Forster, on the other hand, seemed too mild for this piece, with its visual violence in the finale. He needs more spark. Stella Abrera, as His Friend’s Wife, flowed in circular fashion, as the repetitive choreography and music moves the momentum and shifts the drama. Ms. Kent was perfectly cast, with her stage magnification of vulnerability and repressed terror. The ballet is also called “Variations on a Theme of Othello”, and its presentation is certainly a variation, not a recreation.

Colin Dunne
The Turn (2013): Choreography by Colin Dunne, Music and Live Sound Processing by Linda Buckley, Lighting and Production Manager: Michael O’Connor, Musicians: Katherine Hunka, Violin, Anna Cashell, Violin, Cian O Dúill, Viola, Rudi de Groote, Cello, Performed by Colin Dunne.

This dance segment was quite boring, with Colin Dunne kicking and tapping his step dance shoes in monotonous fashion. The music was not engaging, a score by Linda Buckley, “The Turn”, with live accompaniment on two violins, viola, and cello. Obviously, this piece, choreographed by Mr. Dunne, himself, could have been improvisational, as it was rhythmic foot percussion to strings. Nothing about the performance made me want to see more.

Ballet Hispanico
Sombrerísimo (World Premiere): Choreography by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Music by Banda Ionica, Costume Conception by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Costume Development and Construction by Diana Ruettiger, Lighting by Joshua Preston, Production Manager: Lutin Tanner, Performed by Christopher Bloom, Jamal Rashann Callender, Alexander Duval, Mario Ismael Espinoza, Marcos Rodriguez, Joshua Winzeler.

Ballet Hispanico brought a vibrant ensemble of seven male dancers in sombreros, which they toss and grab and switch with aplomb. This presentation was engaging and unique, two attributes often attributed to Ballet Hispanico, one of the finest dance companies in New York. Annabelle Lopez Ochoa created choreography and costume conception, and she deserves kudos for double design success. The men shake, twist, jump over each other, and so on, with creaking and windy electronic effects. The audience was vocally energized.

Sinfonía India (US Premiere): Choreography by Nacho Duato, Music by Carlos Chavez, Scenery by Walter Nobbe, Costumes by Nacho Duato, Lighting by Nicholas Fischtel, Performed by the Company.

The ritual dances of the Mexican Indians are celebrated here by Nacho Duato, an au courant choreographer in today’s dance community. With sweeping lifts and legs outstretched, this ensemble of ten, from Holland, wowed the audience, with the work infused with Carlos Chavez’ “Sinfonía India”, Symphony No. 2. In beige costumes by Nacho Duato, the motion swirls, so the skirts become circular and fascinating, as the bare-chested men lift and turn their partners. Dancers, in ballet slippers, against Walter Nobbe’s scenery, kept the fervor high.

Ballet Hispanico
in "Sombrerísimo"
Courtesy of Paula Lobo

in "Sinfonía India"
Courtesy of Hans Gerritsen

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at