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Fall for Dance: Brian Brooks Moving Company/Juilliard Dance, The Australian Ballet, BJM – Les Ballets Jazz De Montreal, Rennie Harris Puremovement
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Fall for Dance: Brian Brooks Moving Company/Juilliard Dance, The Australian Ballet, BJM – Les Ballets Jazz De Montreal, Rennie Harris Puremovement

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NY City Center
Fall for Dance – Program IV

Brian Brooks Moving Company/Juilliard Dance
The Australian Ballet
BJM – Les Ballets Jazz De Montreal
Rennie Harris Puremovement

At New York City Center

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

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 16, 2014

Brian Brooks Moving Company with Juilliard Dance
Torrent (2013): Choreography by Brian Brooks, Music by Max Richter, Original Costume Design by Fritz Masten, Additional Costumes by Karen Young, Lighting by Nicole Pearce, Rehearsal Director and Coach: Risa Steinberg, Production Stage Manager: Tricia Toliver, Performed by the Company.

This surprisingly refreshing work, choreographed by Brian Brooks for a collaboration of dancers from his Moving Company and those from Juilliard Dance, is completely unpredictable and mesmerizing. The line of dancers moves like a river, one small motion from one dancer’s head or arm leads the next dancer to move, and when ripples of motion lead to the end of a line, the last person disappears and returns on the opposite end. Each visual action is sequential and syncopated from the previous one, with quietude and lyricism. In fact, the Max Richter score is a re-composition of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. Thus, the element of nature and weather. The ensemble is composed of eight Brian Brooks dancers and eighteen Juilliard dancers, yet they move as one. Costumes, designed by Fritz Masten, evoke street attire.

The Australian Ballet
Ostinato (World Premiere): Choreography by Tim Harbour, Music by Bill Evans, Lighting by Darren Conway, Production Manager: Darren Conway, Piano: Brian Cousins, Performed by Daniel Gaudiello, Ty King-Wall, and Robyn Hendricks.

The Australian Ballet was represented tonight by three members of its Company, Daniel Gaudiello, Ty King-Wall, and Robyn Hendricks. The Bill Evans score is ambient and esoteric, like a daydream, as the three dancers shift partners. In Tim Harbour’s choreography, the men dance separately, then in various pas de deux, as one man watches, then three solos, then all three together. The dramatic intent is kept light, as Ms. Hendricks tries out each partner, peaking at one, as she dips under the arms of the other. Her short silky tutu flows in the breezy back and forth.

BJM – Les Ballets Jazz De Montreal
Closer (2012): Choreography by Benjamin Millepied, Music by Philip Glass, Costumes by Simon Bélanger and José Manuel St.- Jacques, Original Lighting Design by RS Murray, Lighting Reconstructed by D. Ranger, Production Manager: Daniel Ranger, Piano: Brigitte Poulin, Performed by Celine Cassone and Alexander Hille.

Benjamin Millepied, one of the current “go-to” choreographers, and a retired City Ballet principal, has choreographed Closer for Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal. Brigitte Poulin, pianist, plays Philip Glass’ “Mad Rush”, with hypnotic momentum. Any Glass score enhances the related choreography, as Glass uses echoing and repetitive phrases that rivet the senses. Celine Cassone and Alexander Hille dance a pas de deux, using every level of the stage. One lies down, one carries aloft, and cool passion endures. When Ms. Cassone leaps into her partner’s arms, she then climbs up his chest. The lighting design adds shades of blue and gold, seemingly in coordination with the costumes, as the warmly lit performers gaze directly into the audience. This is a ballet I would like to revisit.

Rennie Harris Puremovement
Students of the Asphalt Jungle (1993): Choreography by Dr. Rennie Harris, Music by Goodman, Rewritten by Darrin Ross, Costumes by Dr. Rennie Harris, Lighting By Pamela Hobson, Stage Manager: Bob Steineck, Performed by the Company.

In other Fall for Dance programs, the wild, propulsive piece seemed to open the evening. Tonight, the Rennie Harris Puremovement’s “Students of the Asphalt Jungle” ended the evening, and it’s a good thing. I think the audience was as drained psychically as the dancers were drained physically. Nine men pay homage to their African ancestors, in street dance motif, ŕ la africaine. Nine muscular, young men packed a wallop, mid-air, as they started out in ensemble, then in acrobatic solos, creating not only gravity-defying falls and leaps, but death-defying, in some cases. Most people would expect a hard fall onstage, but these men miss disaster with ease. This dance requires amazing prowess and courage. Like other works in the Fall for Dance Festival, some may not call this movement dance. It’s a combination of street dance, hip-hop, athletics, and styles in progress. In fact, if there’s a new dance style movement, in this genre, I am sure Dr. Rennie Harris will be its artistic designer.

Jesse Obremski and Amanda Mortimore
in Brian Brooks' "Torrent"
Courtesy of Rosalie O'Connor

The Australian Ballet's Robyn Hendricks
in Tim Harbour's "Ostinato"
Courtesy of Georges Antoni

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