BWW Reviews: Ballet Next Performs at New York Live Arts
Ballet Next Performs at New York Live Arts
On Wednesday, January 15, 2014, Michele Wiles presented the second evening of performances of her new company, Ballet Next, at NYLA.
Michele Wiles--former American Ballet Theatre principal--is both Artistic Director and Principal Dancer. Her appearance on the stage commands attention, as her strength and magnetism pull the audience right in. Ms. Wiles has gathered a gifted group of classically trained dancers to join her in the company; it's a pleasure to see beautiful ballet dancers utilizing their considerable talents in contemporary ballet choreography.
The company is performing an evening of works by Brian Reeder, who has danced with ABT, New York City Ballet, and William Forsythe's Ballet Frankfurt. As choreographer, Reeder has created or restaged his ballets on ABT, ABT Studio Company, Washington Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, among other ballet companies. His work has been produced multiple times at the Guggenheim Museum in NYC, and he has been the recipient of several grants and fellowships, including The New York Choreographic fellowship.
Having followed Ballet Next for the past two plus years, I can see the growth in each of Reeder's ballets, which have been performed by the company previously at The Joyce Theater and as works in process at Alvin Ailey and at MMAC. Each of the pieces has been reworked and/or expanded, as the evolution of a ballet invites, making each ballet stronger. They all present a different side of Reeder and the dancers.
First on the program was Different Homes, a pas de deux danced by Michele Wiles and Jens Weber-- former principal with the Berlin Ballet and the Ballet De Monte Carlo--to "Cello Suite no. 1" by Benjamin Britten, played admirably by Elad Kabillio, Ballet Next's Music Director. The premise of this pas de deux is that the two dancers never contact each other by allowing their palms to touch. Wiles is a force whose talent embraces and illuminates even the confines of a grand theater like the Met. We now have the pleasure of experiencing her up close in the intimate theater of NYLA, where she appears larger than life. Jens Weber is an attentive partner, working with Wiles to create a riveting duet. Together they present an appealing partnership.