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New Chamber Ballet Opens Its 2008-2009 Season at City Center Studios

- Onstage with the Dancers

Joseph Patelson Music House

160 West 56th Street
New York, NY 10019

New Chamber Ballet

Artistic Director: Miro Magloire
Dancers: Emily SoRelle Adams, Damien Johnson,
Elizabeth Brown, Maddie Deavenport, and Emery LeCrone

Erik Carlson on Violin
Melody Fader on Piano


Jennifer Drake
September 5, 2008


Cascade (World Premiere): Choreography by Lauren Toole, Music by Paul Hindemith, “Sonata for Violin and Piano in E major”, Music performed by Melody Fader on Piano and Erik Carlson on Violin, Danced by Emily SoRelle Adams, Damien Johnson, Elizabeth Brown, and Maddie Deavenport, Costumes by Candice Thompson.

Klavierstuck: Choreography by Miro Magloire, Music by Karlheinz Stockhausen, “Klavierstuck IX”, Music performed by Melody Fader on Piano, Danced by Emery LeCrone and Emily SoRelle Adams, Costumes by Candice Thompson.

Sonatine (World Premiere): Choreography by Miro Magloire, Music by Karlheinz Stockhausen, “Sonatine for violin and piano”, Music performed by Melody Fader on Piano and Erik Carlson on Violin, Danced by Maddie Deavenport, Costume by Candice Thompson.

Dreams: Choreography by Miro Magloire, Danced by Elizabeth Brown, Emily SoRelle Adams, Emery LeCrone, Costumes by Candice Thompson.

Arachnophilia (World Premiere): Choreography by Constantine Baecher, Music by John Cage, “Nocturne and Six Melodies for Violin and Piano”, Music performed by Melody Fader on Piano and Erik Carlson on Violin, Danced by Emily SoRelle Adams, Elizabeth Brown, Maddie Deavenport, Damien Johnson, and Emery LeCrone, Costumes by Candace Thompson.

Tonight, at City Center Studios, Miro Magloire’s New Chamber Ballet had its Season Premiere, which was filled with just that… Premieres, plus several works brought back to life from Miro’s rather extensive back pocket.

The show began with a new choreographer (yet familiar face), New Chamber Ballet’s own Lauren Toole, with her debut work Cascade, danced by Emily SoRelle Adams, Damien Johnson, Elizabeth Brown, and Maddie Deavenport, plus musicians Melody Fader on piano and Erik Carlson on violin. Out with an injury, Ms. Toole shows that therapy comes in many ways. This piece was beautifully assembled with its music and space. In Ms. SoRelle and Mr. Johnson’s lively pas de deux, they were able to embrace with ebbs and turns that became lifts, following the music. When Ms. Deavenport and Mr. Brown danced, they played with the music in a very “Balanchine-esque” sense, eating up space in sweeping motions of cat and mouse. The piece ended with the whole cast dancing on, then off stage. Lauren was modest to bow from the ‘other side of stage’, but was center stage throughout.

After a short pause, the next piece began with a twist; the piano was set up in the middle of the dance space. Klavierstuck was choreographed by Mr. Magloire, who explained that he was always “against seeing the musicians and hearing the dancers, but as you can see I have broken both rules”. At the start of the piece, the pianist (Melody Fader, playing beautifully, with vigor) and two dancers (Emery LeCrone and Emily SoRelle Adams) were all placed at the pianist’s bench. With several sessions of notes pounded in a row, one dancer rose at the end, then trickled down again. The pounding began once more, with the other dancer rising, as if awoken. With that second dancer rising, Melody played on at center stage and center light, and the dancers became the background.

It was certainly a twist, but a delightful one. At times the performers seemed to talk without words and had secrets without mouths… They’d walk with a hand at the other’s ear, and the dancer “listening” drew the audience in, wishing it knew this secret. As the piece wore on, it speeded, then slowed, as the dancers in the background would follow to the front, to the side, and even behind the piano. The dance interaction was like the closeness of the pianist’s hands. Then, with a flick of Melody’s hands, the piece halted.

Maddie Deavenport’s Sonatine premiered next. Both pianist and violinist added romance, even for this solo. Mrs. Deavenport’s height enabled her to hit the heights of the notes and depths of the ground she danced on. With legs like shoots, as the tempo picked up, she moved swiftly and danced with the piano. Then, in turn, she became the violin, playing it coy. The piece seemed to play on both the feminine side of masculine and the masculine side of feminine. All in all, strangely enough, I felt Ms. Deavenport held her own in this love triangle of one.

Another of Miro Magloire’s pieces came back to life, Dreams, danced by Emily SoRelle Adams, Elizabeth Brown, and Emery LeCrone, and it felt like a dream. Without music, only whispers, clicking, and soft hissing at random, the dancers found rhythm. Like a dream, when you find yourself immersed in confusion and that place between reality and sleep, the dancers would be still and move their hands in unison. Then they’d start again, one leaving the ensemble to dance to the other’s sounds, then stop suddenly and be still once again. Each completed a solo and rose, before they stood together in a line, hunched over, hands to mouth. “Clicking” noises began, and they moved in unison, walking, silently in an abstract ensemble, so the audience wasn’t sure whose extremity belonged to whom. The dancers left each other in the same manner, and the stage was now bare.

The program ended with another World Premiere, by Constantine Baecher, inspired by Louise Bourgeois’ spider sculptures and the music of John Cage, called Arachnophilia, and it was danced by the entire company. For Bourgeois, the spider was a metaphor for her mother, and each spider sculpture she created was inspired by their relationship. Seven sections shared the theme, but remained separate. Crawling, each dancer danced separate parts of the same solo. Ms. Fader and Mr. Carlson played Cage’s “Nocturne and Six Melodies for Violin and Piano”, as the ensemble again danced in different heights, different timing, and different spaces. Particularly notable was the pas de deux between Elizabeth Brown and Damien Johnson. In a frenzy of off-balance leans and turns, they created tug and pull tension to this suspenseful dance. They had the best chemistry of the evening. Individual solos moved with different emotions. As the piece ended, the dancers had crawled to different spaces and, metaphorically, to a different time.

Tonight was a wonderful launch of New Chamber Ballet’s 2008-2009 Season.

New Chamber Ballet
Courtesy of Kristin Lodoen

Elizabeth Brown
Courtesy of Kristin Lodoen

Miro Magloire
Courtesy of Thilo Weiss

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