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Fall for Dance: La Compagnie Herve Koubi, Steven McRae, Project FFD: Pam Tanowitz, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
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Fall for Dance: La Compagnie Herve Koubi, Steven McRae, Project FFD: Pam Tanowitz, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

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NY City Center
Fall for Dance – Program II

La Compagnie Hervé Koubi
Steven McRae
Project FFD: Pam Tanowitz
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

At New York City Center

Arlene Schuler, President & CEO
Mark Litvin, Sr. VP & Managing Director
Stanford Makishi, VP Programming
Clifton Taylor, Festival Lighting Director
Leon Rothenberg, Festival Sound Supervisor
Joe Guttridge, Director, Communications

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 3, 2015

La Compagnie Hervé Koubi
What the Day Owes to the Night (2013): Choreography by Hervé Koubi, Music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Costumes by Guillaume Gabriel, Lighting by Lionel Buzonie, Performed by the Company.

This Algerian, slow-motion martial arts piece for a dozen, bare-chested men was lengthy and dangerous. One never knew what to expect next, as a performer was tossed high into the air, to be caught, last minute, by a group of fellow dancers. Spinning on heads, in hip hop fashion, climbing up each other’s chests, sliding through legs, catapulting, cartwheeling, and so on, was Hervé Koubi’s design. The white costumes looked like skirts over leggings, as the bare-footed ensemble moved to Bach’s “Hamza El Din”. I happened to be seated next to the costume designer and behind the choreographer and was glad the audience gave them vocal adulation...

Steven McRae
Czardas (US Premiere): Choreography by Steven McRae, Music by Vittorio Monti, Costumes by Steven McRae, Lighting by Nicholas Houfek, Production Manager: Nicholas Houfek, Performed by Steven McRae.

Whenever Steven McRae, of the Royal Ballet, is performing, it’s a must-see event. Tonight was no exception. Mr. McRae danced a brief, self-choreographed solo, called “Czardas”, to a score by Vittorio Monti. This dance was visually casual, as Mr. McRae wore stretch jeans and a stretch white shirt in sequences of twirling, tapping, stomping, and jumping. I could not stop remembering him as Oberon in The Royal’s recent performance of Ashton’s The Dream, and wished he was still in the Mendelssohn moment, but any chance to see Mr. McRae is momentous. It was especially impressive to see his rapid tap dance to dervish, Hungarian rhythms, as well as a Flamenco poise with extended leg flourishes.

Project FFD: Pam Tanowitz
One Last Good Chance (NY Premiere):, Choreography by Pam Tanowitz, Music by Greg Saunier, Costumes by Reid Bartelme, Lighting by Davison Scandrett, Music Performed by Tom Chiu on Violin, Conrad Harris on Violin, Felix Fan on Cello, Caleb Burhans on Viola, Greg Saunier on Drums, Dance Performed by Tyler Maloney, Calvin Royal III, Devon Teuscher.

The Pam Tanowitz premiere of “One Good Last Chance” was hugely disappointing, in view of the extreme shared talent of three dancers from American Ballet Theatre, Devon Teuscher (soloist), Calvin Royal III (corps), and Tyler Maloney (apprentice). In fact, Ms. Teuscher and Mr. Royal have performed in some of the most poignant pas de deux in company repertory this past couple of years. Ms. Tanowitz’ atonal, quasi-esoteric, minimalist, start-stop exercise in soporific motion was not among the best of the Fall for Dance offerings, either tonight, or in previous seasons. Greg Saunier’s “Quartets” #1 and #2 were played on two violins, flute, viola, and drums (Mr. Saunier). This is not music I’d wish to hear again.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Four Corners (2013): Choreography by Ronald K. Brown, Music by Carl Hancock Rux and Artists, Costumes by Omotayo Wunmi Olaiya, Lighting by Al Crawford, Production Stage Manager: Kristin Colvin Young, Performed by the Company.

Remarkably, until this fourth work tonight, there had been but one female dancer onstage, Ms. Teuscher, in the irritating work above. It was thrilling to see familiar women from the Ailey Dance Theater: Rachael McLaren, Demetia Hopkins-Greene, Ghrai DeVore, Akua Noni Parker, Sarah Daley, and Fana Tesfagiorgis. Ronald K. Brown’s Four Corners, to a pulsating score by Carl Hancock Rux, evokes African dance motifs along with modern dance movement. The above ensemble of six women was joined by five men, Glenn Allen Sims, Jamar Roberts, Yannick Lebrun, Vernard Gilmore, and Jeroboam Bozeman. But, it was the women’s ensemble in softly curved, blue and purple dresses and head scarves, that caught my eye in synchronized lines of fluidity and spirituality.

La Compagnie Hervé Koubi
The Company in Hervé Koubi's "What the Day Owes to the Night"
Courtesy of Julia Cervantes

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
The Company in Ronald K. Brown's "Four Corners"
Courtesy of Paul Kolnik

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