If Simone Biles, Baryshnikov, Michelle Kwan, Mr. Wiggles, and Bruce Lee somehow had a baby, that child would be an ideal candidate for the Compagnie Hervé Koubi. The French-Algerian Koubi—who got a doctorate in pharmacology before doing a 180 into choreography (and in his case, it was probably a 540)—brought his jaw-dropping fusion of athletic styles to the Joyce this week in a new work titled “Sol Invictus” (invincible sun). This was another fascinating submission from the Van Cleef & Arpels Dance Reflections curators. Koubi’s 18 dancers pulled off stunts I would not have believed were humanly possible. A reverse worm! Slides across the floor on heads, knuckles, and kneecaps! There were multiple iterations of what appeared to be inverted ice skating scratch spins performed on heads and palms of hands. Dancers circled the stage in a variety of aerial tricks, including back handspring manèges in which only one hand or foot touched the ground in between rotations. If his dancers were not disproving gravity, they were low to the ground with their legs hovering above it as if they were on imaginary pommel horses.
At 82, Twyla Tharp shows no signs of slowing down. She brought two world premieres and an all-star revival to the Joyce this week. The newest dances made it clear that although she’s still a dynamo, aging is very much on her mind. She is exploring wistful terrain these days, but she is doing it with her characteristic humor and high step count.Continue Reading