I can’t remember the first time I saw “Swan Lake” or “Serenade,” but I will never forget the first time I saw Jerome Robbins’s “Dances at a Gathering.” I was twenty-six and had just flown from California to New York City for the first time in my life. Equally frightening: I had just received a marriage proposal from the man I’d begged, for years, to marry me—and suddenly I wasn’t sure whether I should marry him. I sat smack in the middle of the orchestra section for a New York City Ballet matinee and up went the curtain and out came the man in brown (Damian Woetzel, I was very lucky in my casting). He touched the ground and strolled with his head tilting as though to take us back in his memory. And then the stage was filled with his friends, dancing for one another like real people with distinct personalities, playing games like lambs, pausing in moments of intimacy as though shocked by the seriousness of love.
Maria Kochetkova and Steven Morse in Robbins' "The Cage." Photograph by Erik Tomasson
The son of a painter and a set designer, director/choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot was, it seems, destined to have a life in the theater. Born and raised in Tours, in central France, in 1960, he studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire Nacional de Région de Tours before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes.Continue Reading
One would think that a dance inspired by the events of the January 6 insurrection—yes, a dance!—would not be the ideal stuff of theater, but the eight members of Laurie Sefton Creates (formerly Clairobscur Dance Company), succeeded in giving life to Sefton’s premiere “Herd. Person?”, while the dance, itself, was occasionally problematic.Continue Reading