The Joyce Theater presented two festive tap shows this December: Dormeshia’s soulful “And Still You Must Swing” as well as a three-week residency by Dorrance Dance—featuring the premiere of a tap “Nutcracker Suite” to Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s funky arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s ubiquitous holiday score. Dorrance’s programming changes weekly, but each show closes with the new “Nutcracker.” This comes to 21 performances, far more than most regional ballet companies and even American Ballet Theatre (with 12). Could a tap company loosen ballet’s yearly stranglehold on this Christmas classic?
Dorrance Dance's “Nutcracker Suite.” Photograph by Christopher Duggan
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