Review – FALL FOR DANCE Brings Gotham's Dance Companies Back To The Delacorte

September 18
2:27 AM 2013

For the first time since the 1980s, dance returned to Central Park's Delacorte Theater this week for two special performances of Fall For Dance, presented as a partnership between The Public Theater and New York City Center.

Review – FALL FOR DANCE Brings Gotham's Dance Companies Back To The DelacorteThe program featured four of New York's top dance companies in a delicious sampler of the works that can be enjoyed at City Center's upcoming 10th Annual Fall For Dance Festival, running from September 25th through October 5th.

Under a bright, full harvest moon, the STREB Extreme Action Company opened the evening with a performance of Artistic Director Elizabeth Streb's wild creation, Human Fountain. A company of twenty dancers, following the loudly barked instructions of their "action engineers," climbed up a four-leveled, multi-cubed frame rising over thirty feet in the air and took turns falling onto a stage-sized mattress; forward, backwards and upside-down in various styles of dives making patterns that imitate a fountain's descending streams of water. Microphones amplified the sounds of their landings like splashes and each dancer then quickly climbed back up the tower to take another plunge in the continuous water show.

Next was Ronald K. Brown's company, Evidence, performing Upside Down. With upstage drummers, a D.J. and vocalist Wunmi Olaiya providing the music of Fela Kuti, the ensemble of dancers used dynamic African movements to portray a community that mourns the loss of one of their own with a passionate demonstration of solidarity; a lively honoring of the passing of a soul to its ultimate destiny.

Two male and two female members of New York City Ballet danced Ulysses Dove's Red Angels, an abstract piece set to Richard Einhorn's electric violin scoring played by Mary Rowell. The quartet displayed muscular sensuality in multiple combinations of relationships.

The Paul Taylor Dance Company closed the evening with Esplande, a rather merry piece utilizing Bach's Violin Concerto In E Major, where the nine-member ensemble whimsically frolicked with joyous sprints and leaps in between more somberly textured moments.

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Michael Dale After 20-odd years singing, dancing and acting in dinner theatres, summer stocks and the ever-popular audience participation murder mysteries (try improvising with audiences after they?ve had two hours of open bar), Michael Dale segued his theatrical ambitions into playwriting. The buildings which once housed the 5 Off-Off Broadway plays he penned have all been destroyed or turned into a Starbucks, but his name remains the answer to the trivia question, "Who wrote the official play of Babe Ruth's 100th Birthday?" He served as Artistic Director for The Play's The Thing Theatre Company, helping to bring free live theatre to underserved communities, and dabbled a bit in stage managing and in directing cabaret shows before answering the call (it was an email, actually) to become's first Chief Theatre Critic. While not attending shows Michael can be seen at Citi Field pleading for the Mets to stop imploding. Likes: Strong book musicals and ambitious new works. Dislikes: Unprepared celebrities making their stage acting debuts by starring on Broadway and weak bullpens.

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