A weekly, highly personal and subjective list of performances and artists we want you to know about:
It’s not just their remarkable dancing chops, but their joyful dance chemistry that make Wendy Whelan and Brian Brooks irresistible. The duo brings “Some of a Thousand Words” to The Joyce Theater through March 5. Whelan, still the dancer who comes to my mind when someone says the word “ballerina,” retired from New York City Ballet in 2014, but has continued to dance in more contemporary work. Brooks’ dancing and his choreography embrace athletic, angular movement that tests balance and endurance. After working together on one segment of her post-ballet quartet “Restless Creature,” Whelan connected with Brooks in a partnership that has lasted. Their new work is danced to live music by Brooklyn Rider; they will also perform a current iteration of their first solo together, “First Fall.”
Jack Ferver can be so irritating; his oddly egocentric dance and performance persona gets under my skin. And, boy, is that more important than ever in art. A hilarious performer, Ferver often starts from places of pain and memory, and then tears into his (and our) layers of internal complexity. His work “Everything is Imaginable” is a work about living a queer life out loud with courage, and features Lloyd Knight of the Martha Graham company and James Whiteside of American Ballet Theatre. A studio showing will happen at New York Live Arts on March 3-4 at 6 pm.
“Please Note: This performance contains nudity,” reads the taped notice on the door of the Kitchen stage this week. Not surprising, since the artist-in-residence is the magnificent Jen Rosenblit, whose work is built on her own body, like a rebellious beacon in a world that is obsessed with skinny perfection. Rosenblit is neither skinny nor perfect. She fills a room with the intensity of her questions, partnering with other blazing artists (currently Geo Wyeth) to demand our attention, and she is magnetizing. Rosenblit and Wyeth’s new work, “Swivel Spot,” is a companion piece to her 2016 “Clap Hands,” and will premiere at the Kitchen on March 1-4.
Sometimes to be inspired, you need to get out of town. If you time it right and have access to wheels, a cross-Florida trek can reward with you with a great weekend of ballet in contrasting styles that only make it more interesting.
Starting March 10, Sarasota Ballet will be performing the Ashton double bill of your dreams: “Scènes de Ballet” and “The Two Pigeons.” For those with “Balanchine eyes,” “Scènes de Ballet” is the Rosetta Stone – Ashton’s approach to abstraction and Stravinsky. It’s musical, chic and the confident declaration of a style. “The Two Pigeons,” a tale of a young couple and the lessons they learn about fidelity, is told with not just with sensitivity, but also extraordinary musicality and partnering work. The male lead will be danced at the evening performances by ABT’s Marcelo Gomes.
Jumping into a car and heading across Alligator Alley, you’ll wind up at Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale. Alexei Ratmansky is working on a new version of “The Fairy’s Kiss” as part of Miami City Ballet’s third program – read Martha’s report on a sneak preview a few weeks ago at Works & Process. Beyond the splashy premiere, our spies tell us that Jeanette Delgado leading “Walpurgisnacht Ballet” is everything – an event worth traveling for on her own.
Cover: Wendy Whelan and Brian Brooks in “Some of a Thousand Words.” Photo © Nir Arieli.
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