Dance Reviews

A close-up image of white cloth undulates gently on a large projection screen set upstage. In front of it, a cameraman sits behind a table, facing the audience. His lens is trained on the bundle of white cloth draped on an easy chair set immediately downstage, its back to the...
This return of Miami City Ballet felt like lifting the curtain on a new, wide-open moment. Fifteen years have passed since MCB last visited Berkeley’s Cal Performances; ten years have passed since MCB founding artistic director Edward Villella stepped down. The world is now post-covid (sort of), and the dance...
“Do you feel you’ve changed as an artist?” Peter Boal, the artistic director of Pacific Northwest Ballet asked the choreographer Alexei Ratmansky at a pre-performance talk here in Seattle recently. The two men had been discussing Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, the country in which Ratmansky spent his early years,...
A three-quarter-mile stroll through grounds once devoted to horses led audience members, toting lawn chairs and picnic fare, to a broad meadow set with an outdoor stage, gleaming grand piano perched atop, purple shades of the Catskill range visible in the distance. The late summer day could not have been...
The aesthetic is clear: a laboratory, all clean, ergonomic surfaces and clinical shiny spaces. Like any future focusing corporation, this is full of smiley, benign worker ants in preppy, GAP like workwear. But this is no prosaic company—this is Nu Life,  run by the sinister, megolamaniacal Dr Coppelius. Prototypes of...
Australasian Dance Collective revived their sold-out production of “Aftermath” for Brisbane Festival—the city’s annual multi-arts festival that runs for the month of September. Created by Amy Hollingsworth and Jack Lister, the production was a collaboration performed by the company to the score composed by vocalist and songwriter Danny Harley of...
Last night, in the Upstairs Studio of Dancehouse, Emily Bowman and Joey Lehrer performing as [ two for now ] became an ocean conveyor belt in “Weathering.” ‘You be the warm shallow current, and I’ll be the cold and salty deep current,’ Bowman might have said to Lehrer before they...
There’s something about an outdoor venue that fills a performance with possibility, ease, and the right energy for change and open mindedness. Maybe it’s the open air—which pops the confines of the proscenium like a bubble—that creates a place where dance-goers can relax: stretching out on a blanket, feeling their...
I have to admit, I’ve been putting off writing this review for quite a while. I’ve tried multiple times, but each attempt has only resulted in me staring at the blank, white expanse of my Google document, failing to figure out how to put the experience of watching American choreographer...
Explicit content may refer to a parental advisory warning label used by the music industry, but add an ‘s’ to ‘content’ and it is more likely that the explicit contents choreographer Rhiannon Newton is referring to come from the physical act of unfurling something to reveal what lies within. The...
With the house lights still raised, renowned American dancer and choreographer Trajal Harrell stands downstage left, just across from two lines of slick, black piano stools. Wearing a white shirt and black trousers, as well as a frilly, floral dress that is hung around his neck, Harrell waits calmly and...
Alan Cumming has never been one for half measures—whether taking on the iconic Emcee in “Cabaret” in 1993, garnering him a Tony award, Dionysus in a gospel tinged version of “The Bacchae,” or portraying every single role in his much acclaimed, raw and visceral one man Macbeth in 2012 (an...
Three dancers are encircled by waves of green and blue light. Laurel Lawson, a white dancer with cropped hair, bends backward, arms curved over head and torso, as she hovers above the stage. Alice Sheppard, a multiracial Black woman with short curly hair and coffee-colored skin, also hovers behind Laurel, partnering her and cradling her legs and wheels. Jerron Herman, a  Black man with blonde hair, balances on one foot, embracing Alice and Laurel’s wheels and peering over at Laurel with curiosity. Photo by Robbie SweenyLaurel Lawson, a white dancer with very short cropped hair, bounds toward the camera: wheelchair high off the ground, arms open and reaching. A mask of delicate gold wire and lustrous pearls covers half her face. The stage floor below her is drenched in blue light; the same light gives her pale skin a light violet glow. A strand of silver barbed wire appears, close up, in the upper corner. Photo Robbie Sweeny/Kinetic Light. 
Two dancers roll onstage, crossing each other to create diagonal lines with elastic ropes made to look like barbed wire. They grab bungee-like cords that hang from the rafters and clip them into the harnesses around their torsos. With one hand holding the line and the other holding the wire,...
After the pandemic shutdown, it felt so good to be back in REDCAT’s beautiful black box space for its annual three-week New Original Works Festival (NOW). Currently in its 19th edition—a feat in and of itself, the theater having opened in 2003—the celebrated series features nine premieres by some of...
I am sitting at a bar with a glass of wine waiting to watch Danish choreographer Mette Ingvarsten’s “The Dancing Public” as part of Tanz im August festival. Part dance party, part spoken word concert, the piece, according to press materials, aims to consider the 14th-17th century phenomenon of dancing...

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