Barnett Serchuk

Barnett Serchuk Writer/Interviewer--Broadwayworld Dance.




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BWW Dance Interview: Stefanie Nelson - Artistic DirectorBWW Dance Interview: Stefanie Nelson - Artistic Director
Posted: Dec. 8, 2017


BWW Dance Interview: Adam Sklute of Ballet WestBWW Dance Interview: Adam Sklute of Ballet West
Posted: Oct. 10, 2017


BWW Review: Pennsylvania Ballet's SLEEPING BEAUTYBWW Review: Pennsylvania Ballet's SLEEPING BEAUTY
Posted: Oct. 27, 2017


BWW Dance Review: The Juilliard School Presents NEW DANCES: EDITION 2017, December 10, 2017BWW Dance Review: The Juilliard School Presents NEW DANCES: EDITION 2017, December 10, 2017
December 16, 2017

Juilliard Dance Division need not worry about future applicants. Judging by the sheer amount of talent exhibited by the graduating classes of 2021, 2020, 2019, and 2018 on stage, there could very well be an artistic explosion coming our way in the dance world. Talent. Is it a God given? Is it something studied? Or taught? I suppose we could discuss these for ages, but one thing is clear: the abundance of talent in the dance world is beyond comprehension. You can criticize the choreography, but the dancers themselves-no. How do you put all this into words? Maybe, WOW!! I know that it's not high toned, but what the hell else do you say?

BWW Dance Interview: Stefanie Nelson - Artistic DirectorBWW Dance Interview: Stefanie Nelson - Artistic Director
December 8, 2017

Stefanie Nelson is the Artistic Director of Stefanie Nelson Dancegroup, a New York City-based contemporary performance ensemble. Her work distills deeply personal ideas into highly kinetic, expressive, and provocative works that are rooted in cross-media collaboration with artists working in music, video, and visual arts. Described as 'instinctual, untamed, and edgy,' Nelson's dances have been presented at some of the foremost contemporary performance venues in the United States, including Joyce SoHo, Dance Theater Workshop, LaMama Moves!, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, and Jacob's Pillow, and internationally in Canada, Mexico, and Italy, among others. Nelson is an accomplished teacher as well as the founder and artistic director of DANCE ITALIA, an annual summer dance intensive held in the cities of Agropoli and Lucca, Italy. She recently served as a Choreography panelist for New York Foundation for the Arts Artists' Fellowships and curated a series How high is the ceiling in my glass castle? (and other perceived limitations) at Triskelion Arts in Brooklyn. www.sndancegroup.org

BWW Review: Hofesh Shechter's GRAND FINALE at BAMBWW Review: Hofesh Shechter's GRAND FINALE at BAM
November 18, 2017

Hofesh Shechter must be one angry choreographer, judging by his 'Grand Finale,' which I saw on November 10, 2017 at BAM. He gets right up in your face, so the loudness and grimness of the whole thing didn't surprise me-rather it just reiterated everything I've felt before when viewing one of his productions. I can't speak for anyone else, and, judging by the audience response at the end-whoops, screams, standing ovation-I am probably in the minority. What was a 2+ hour presentation with intermission could have been whittled down to 35 minutes. If there was ever too much of anything, this was definitely it.

BWW Review: Dresden Semperoper Ballett, November 3, 2017BWW Review: Dresden Semperoper Ballett, November 3, 2017
November 11, 2017

Having been to Dresden and only seeing the opera, I was very curious as to what the ballet company had to offer. Luckily, I was not disappointed.

BWW Review: STABAT MATER at the NYC White Lights Festival 2017BWW Review: STABAT MATER at the NYC White Lights Festival 2017
November 5, 2017

With this in mind, I approached Jessica Lang's production with trepidation, a lot of it I might add: Was this going to be overbearing, over the top precious, continually weepy or just plain meaningless?

BWW Review: Troy Schumacher's TRANSLATION at Skirball Hall, October 27, 2017BWW Review: Troy Schumacher's TRANSLATION at Skirball Hall, October 27, 2017
November 3, 2017

If I were to use one word to describe Troy Schumacher's BalletCollective, it would be 'intriguing.' So should I go a bit further in this analysis: weird, inspiring, frustrating, slow, pedantic, moving? Probably more. It's just that Schumacher evidently has so much talent, yet he's still at a crossroad in his career, at least as far as I can tell. He has a million ideas, some scattered, some focused, and he has not yet fused them together so as to present the true choreographer that he aspires to be.

BWW Review: Pennsylvania Ballet's SLEEPING BEAUTYBWW Review: Pennsylvania Ballet's SLEEPING BEAUTY
October 27, 2017

Occasionally, we go to 'Sleeping Beauty' muttering under our breath, 'I've already seen it 10,00 times. Yet another.' We get to our seats and wait for the overture to begin. Some of us know the score so well that we could hum it along from memory. Like all great music, it remains lodged in our innermost brain, as much a part of our defining personalities as our IQs. The orchestral leader enters; we can look at our watches, tap our feet, look around the auditorium. Is there someone I know? And then the brass, the cymbals. We switch to a receptive mode. The Lilac Fairy's theme starts, and we are transformed yet again to the magic realm of this iconic ballet. It never fails. It is a ballet that continues to enthrall us; it's great and can't be labeled. It's there-and always will be. Lucky for us!

BWW Review: JOSHUA BEAMISH's Saudade at BAMBWW Review: JOSHUA BEAMISH's Saudade at BAM
October 18, 2017

Good news: we are finally seeing same sex couples in dance. A rarity is now becoming something of a mainstream occurrence as we move into a new realm of sexuality actually being presented on stage. For gay men, and I include myself, we have waited a long time to see this, free from any kind of misrepresentation that smacks of hypocrisy, insensitivity or comic put-downs. We can now examine ourselves in the art of Terpsichore -not only on small stages, but in the repertory of New York City Ballet, the company where women were on pedestals and men their adoring cavaliers.

BWW Dance Interview: Adam Sklute of Ballet WestBWW Dance Interview: Adam Sklute of Ballet West
October 10, 2017

Adam Sklute was named Artistic Director of Ballet West in 2007, Since then he has expanded Ballet West's repertoire, visibility, and overall outlook with exciting company premieres; increased touring and public exposure and greater focus on Ballet West Academy.

BWW Review: Tiler Peck Triumphs in New York City Ballet's SWAN LAKE, September 28, 2017BWW Review: Tiler Peck Triumphs in New York City Ballet's SWAN LAKE, September 28, 2017
October 2, 2017

Peter Martins' production of the full-length 'Swan Lake' has always been something of a curiosity to me. So many associate the ballet with intense dramatic overtones, or, in New York City Ballet's one act Balanchine version, with poetic musings, that when we see this version we are puzzled. Yes, the dancers look great, but what else is there? And a 'Swan Lake' that leaves you feeling empty and hollow is not a 'Swan Lake' at all.

BWW Interview: Ximena Garnica of FRANTIC BEAUTYBWW Interview: Ximena Garnica of FRANTIC BEAUTY
September 14, 2017

The multidisciplinary duo Ximena Garnica and Shige Moriya and the LEIMAY Ensemble return to BAM Fisher with FRANTIC BEAUTY, the newest evening-length work representing the mid-point in their BECOMING pentalogy. Combining the LEIMAY Ensemble's signature physicality layered over vivid visual landscapes, this world premiere reflects on society's pursuit of and relationship to beauty. The piece features an original score by Emmy-winning composer Jeff Beal (House of Cards).

BWW Review: Jonah Bokaer Presents His Riveting Solo THE DISAPPEARANCE PORTRAITS at Cooper HewittBWW Review: Jonah Bokaer Presents His Riveting Solo THE DISAPPEARANCE PORTRAITS at Cooper Hewitt
September 5, 2017

It is always a pleasure to acknowledge a rare, unique voice in the dance world. I say this with pleasure after viewing Jonah Bokaer's 'The Disappearance Portraits' on August 24, 2017, at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. I have been following Mr. Boaker's work for a number of years but never had the occasion to write about him. Thus, I now luckily have the opportunity.

BWW Review: Amy Seiwert's WANDERING at the Joyce Theater, July 27, 2017BWW Review: Amy Seiwert's WANDERING at the Joyce Theater, July 27, 2017
July 30, 2017

Franz Schubert's Winterreise is one of music's supreme compositions of all time. A desolate song cycle depicting a traveler on a savage winter journey through a fierce snowy environment and an anguished mental state, it has long been a favored recital offering by both men, and sometimes women, singers.

BWW Review: Alexei Ratmansky's WHIPPED CREAM at ABTBWW Review: Alexei Ratmansky's WHIPPED CREAM at ABT
July 5, 2017

A few years ago I bought a recording of Schlagobers, which had been written by the venerable Richard Strauss for the Vienna State Opera Ballet in 1924. I had a difficult time listening to the music-it didn't gel, nor did it leave any imprint on my mind. I suppose there was a reason for it not having many recordings-compare this with Rosenkavalier. I remember doing some research on this project: Strauss was serving as co-director of the Vienna State Opera with Franz Schalk and wanted to raise the prestige of the ballet wing after it had been decimated in the First World War. As a devoted admirer of Diaghilev company, for which he had once written Josephslegende, Strauss went about composing and writing his own libretto for what was to become Schlagobers, choreographed by Heinrich Krller, who devised a mass spectacle that required 287 costumes at a cost of four billion kronnen, becoming known as the 'billionaire's ballet.' And at a time when inflation was climbing minute by minute.

BWW Review: L.A. DANCE PROJECT: Stellar Dancers, Yet a Lost Mission StatementBWW Review: L.A. DANCE PROJECT: Stellar Dancers, Yet a Lost Mission Statement
June 20, 2017

I don't know if it was me, but attending L.A. Dance Project on June 14, 2017, was a bit dispiriting. If this was an evening meant to deliver the L.A. Dance Project message: 'we're here folks, watch out, we're going to overtake the dance world,' it didn't register. What should have been a strong cold brew was tepid tea.

BWW Dance Interview: Mark d'At-PaceBWW Dance Interview: Mark d'At-Pace
June 18, 2017

Broadwayworld Dance recently conducted an interview with Australian ballet dancer Mark d'At Pace, find out about his life and career.

BWW Review: ABT's THE GOLDEN COCKERELBWW Review: ABT's THE GOLDEN COCKEREL
June 12, 2017

I was very excited to see ABT's 'The Golden Cockerel 'on June 2, 2017. Having heard so much about it, and having read extensively about the Fokine ballet production from 1937, not to mention watching the enticing video on YouTube, I was looking forward to a very magical evening. I can't say that this promise was fulfilled, even if it did offer intermittent pleasures. But after leaving the theater following this two act extravaganza, I began to wonder what exactly it was that ABT had to offer and why they are presenting this piece, as it does not seem destined for a long life in the repertoire-or if it's just waiting to be taped for 'Great Performances' on Channel 13. Or perhaps there is nothing that could be mined from the ballet at all!

BWW Review: New York City Ballet presents George Balanchine's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAMBWW Review: New York City Ballet presents George Balanchine's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
May 31, 2017

Reviewing George Balanchine 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' on Wednesday, May 24 was like visiting an old friend. My father took me to see it as a child soon after it opened in 1962, and while the memory fades as we grow older, Gloria Govrin in the role of Hippolyta bounding around the stage remains steadfast, never diminishing. Thank you, New York City Ballet, for the recollection and for a wonderful theatrical evening.

BWW Review: PENNSYLVANIA BALLET Closes the Season with a Ballerina's Farewell PerformanceBWW Review: PENNSYLVANIA BALLET Closes the Season with a Ballerina's Farewell Performance
May 22, 2017


BWW Review: New York City Ballet's All Christopher Wheeldon ProgramBWW Review: New York City Ballet's All Christopher Wheeldon Program
May 5, 2017

New York City Ballet's 'All Wheeldon' program, part of the Here/Now series on April 30, was, in most cases, a great success. Wheeldon is now a celebrity choreographer. He is followed everywhere, has received abundant awards for his ballets and Broadway productions. Together with Justin Peck and Alexander Ratmansky, all City Ballet past or present artists-in-residence, he has come to many to represent ballet's future, although what that future is remains a question mark.



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