A weekly, highly personal and subjective list of performances and artists we want you to know about:
The interactive mishmash BLANKLAND by Boombat Gesture Performance Group, at Vital Joint (109 Meserole St.. in Brooklyn 1/27-28). was described by a sharp-eyed dancer friend as “kooky and weird and absurd and DIY and funny and gross.” Could be just what the doctor ordered.
Amanda Loulaki is an evocative dancer whose works are edged with fierceness. Her latest, “house of winds: a process for Untitled 2” at Gibney Dance from Feb 2-4, promises another rush.
I’m going to be in San Francisco this weekend, and I’m also going to be more long-winded than Martha this week – here’s what I would be seeing if I were staying in town.
On Friday and Saturday at the University Settlement, The Construction Company is presenting four works by dancers with distinguished careers: Alan Good and Ellen Cornfield were alums of Merce Cunningham, Sally Bowden and Rebekah Windmiller are restaging solos they originally danced at The Construction Company on new dancers – Windmiller’s passing her solo, “Lean,” on to her daughter Kalliope Piersol.
The city that never sleeps is going to be up all night thinking on Saturday. The Brooklyn Public Library is hosting A Night of Philosophy and Ideas from 7 pm to 7 am, featuring “all-night marathon of philosophical debate, performances, screenings, readings, and music.”
The bill includes site-specific performances of Trisha Brown’s “In Plain Site” and “Skymap” featuring some magnificent women from the earlier days of the company, including Iréne Hultman and Vicky Shick. Brown’s choreography, loose and flowing, requires a deceptive virtuosity: it often looks as if the dancer is doing ordinary movement – yet that ordinary movement takes rigorous control. Drink your espresso and stay up, because everything – the performances and the discussions with over 50 top philosophers from around the world – is all free.
Whether you call it “The Fairy’s Kiss” or “Le Baiser de la Fée,” Stravinsky’s ballet to Hans Christian Andersen’s tale is legendarily hard to stage: Balanchine tried a few times, never satisfied with the technical limitations on staging the ending: an endless alpine climb by the hero towards his destiny – or doom. Now, Alexei Ratmansky’s is taking on the challenge for Miami City Ballet. It will premiere on February 10 in Miami (I’m seeing it in March in Fort Lauderdale) but you can see a preview on January 29 & 30 at Works & Process at the Guggenheim Museum. To learn more about Miami City Ballet and new choreography, check out my report on their new works in ’15 and a talk I had with two MCB dancers (and good friends) Michael Breeden and Rebecca King, the proprietors of the Conversations on Dance podcast.
Cover: BLANKLAND Photo © Walter Wlodarczyk
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