Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Top 5 at Fall for Dance

Last week City Center's annual awesome Fall for Dance season wrapped up - and what a fun season it was! I was lucky enough to see 4 of the 5 programs this year (the most I've ever seen at these festivals) and it was such a treat to see the diversity of dance and the genuine enthusiasm of audiences across the board.

Because Fall for Dance tickets are only $10 it seems to draw a different crowd than the typical concert dance lovers. These people hoot and holler and give standing ovations to nearly every artist - and though many deserve this fanfare year-round, it's only at the festival that people really show that support. It makes for a fun atmosphere and a good time. The cheap drinks and cool people watching in the Fall for Dance lounge certainly help, too!

Though there were quite a few pieces on the various programs that stood out, here are my top 5 Fall for Dance 2010 favorites:
1. TIE: Miami City Ballet
and Dresden Semperoper Ballett

Okay, I can't decide. I just love Tharp and Miami's "The Golden Section" was thrilling! I really like their dancers and they had killer energy throughout the whole piece. It was also cool to see dance to David Byrne's music, whom I danced with at Radio City a while back! But I also enjoyed being introduced to Dresden Semperoper Ballett in the Forsythe piece "The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude." Those dancers were so smiley and looked like real people rather than cookie-cutter ballerinas. Both works are ones I'd just love to dance, and being injured made me appreciate them just a little bit more, I think.

2. Gallim DanceTheir piece "I Can See Myself in Your Pupil" was definitely a crowd pleaser and...I fell for it. Andrea Miller's super athletic go-go-go choreography is in your face. The dancers, in bright colors, each had a personality of their own that shone through strongly. They were a hit!

3. Keigwin & CompanyI like everything I see by Keigwin. It's easy to literally be blinded by the light in his piece "Megalopolis," with its set of flouresant lighting. The dancers had sparkly, robotic-looking costumes and danced in sharp, angular, otherworldly movements. Very cool.

4. Russel Maliphant CompanyI always wonder at these things why some companies choose to (or are chosen to) show a long solo at Fall for Dance. Both this year and last year there were a number of solos that just...could've been shortened or, better, cut out completely. But Maliphant's "Afterlight (Part 1)" was gorgeous! The images onstage looked like an optical illusion. The dancer spun centerstage below dim projected light patterns, his strong arms rotating fast like a flip book. It was haunting.

5. TIE: ABT and San Francisco Ballet
Both are beautiful ballet companies, and both presented gorgeous pas de deuxs. I saw ABT's "Thais Pas de Deux" at the Met with the same cast last spring (Hee Seo and Jared Matthews) and it was just as lovely. Hee Seo has the most luscious bourres and footwork. But it was my first time seeing Yuan Yuan Tan from SFB and wow, she's huge! I mean, skinny, tiny, but so tall! I sat literally in the front row center just beneath her, which I guess made her seem even more tall, but wow. Such beautiful lines and smooth partnering. The piece itself was just okay ("Diving into the Lilacs") but the dancers really make it. 

Runner-Up: Paul Taylor"Company B" is always a favorite, but I was excited to see newer works by other companies this time.

Side note: To be fair, the program I didn't see included Company Rafaela Carrasco, NYCB, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane, and Companhia Urbana de Dança.

Looking forward to next year's Fall for Dance!


Rachel said...

I have to agree that Miami City Ballet and Dresden Semperoper Ballett were two of the best, though NYCB doing Red Angels was phenomenal as well. I loved Gallim not only for their talent and energy but also for their ability to draw excitement from the audience. Unfortunately I didn't get to see any of your other top ratings other than ABT. While the dancers were gorgeous (Hee Seo... WOW) I wish they would've chosen a pas de deux that showed them off a bit more. Already excited for next year's festival as too!!

Taylor said...

Hi Rachel,
Yep Gallim definitely got the audience going! Glad you liked Miami & Dresden good!