As I watched this evening of works made by 13 choreographers who grew up in the NYC-based after school dance program run by Ellen Robbins, I couldn’t help but think of a heated debate the dance community took up sometime in the aughts over the question, can choreography be taught? Peter Martins, then director of New York City Ballet, claimed it could not. Nearly everyone else disagreed. Surely this Dances By Very Young Choreographers alumni concert erases any lingering doubt. Robbins, now in her 41st year of teaching, produces a public show every year of the remarkable creations of her young makers, ages six to eighteen. One can assume many now populate arts audiences everywhere. And then there are those featured in this alumni concert at New York Live Arts, who go on to dance degrees and performance careers of their own.
“Switchbacks” by Saskia Globig and Michael Ipsen, part of Dances by Very Young Choreographers Alumni Concert. Photograph by Alice Chacon
When a choreographer takes on volcanic and iconic works from American musical giants like Leonard Bernstein and John Adams one move they could take is to cool them down with a couple of more soothing European works in between.Continue Reading