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BWW Review: An Excting Evening with FALL FOR DANCE 2015 PROGRAM ONE

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This past Wednesday kicked off the 12th edition of the annual Fall for Dance Festival, which will feature 20 acclaimed dance companies and artists from around the world at the New York City Center. Fall for Dance is a two-week festival that has become a cultural staple here in New York-a commitment to making dance accessible to everyone by providing an opportunity for audiences to enjoy a wide array of artists from around the globe at a affordable price. This year's festival will consist of five unique programs, in addition to several pre-show events which include dance lessons and panel discussions with choreographers, artists, and dance educators.

The evening opened with the beloved Miami City Ballet performing Allegro Brillante, choreographed by George Balanchine and performed to a score by Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky. This piece was originally premiered right here at the City Center in March 1956. Balanchine once said this piece "contains everything I know about the classical ballet- in thirteen minutes." And he wasn't lying! The dancers lit up the stage as they did everything from pirouettes, padashas, fouettes, leaps and so much more! The dancers graced the stage as they glided through space showcasing their lovely long lines. Often times, it looked like they were flying, especially when they leaped and jumped with such height. There is something beautiful when a dance has the influence of Russian romanticism.

The doug elkins choreography, etc. performed the next piece, Hapless Bizarre, by Artistic Director Doug Elkins, explores the intersections between physical comedy, choreography, flirtation, and romance. It gives you a swing feel with the dancers' smooth and athletic moves, cool lifts, and fun atmosphere. Elkins' lovely use of humor and music, shows the power of storytelling through dance.

The following piece, Murder Ballades by Justin Peck, the L.A. Dance Project brought an interesting flare to the stage. Inspired by the historic American folk songs known as murder ballads, this piece, although bright and athletic on the outside, contains the dark undertones that slowly seep through. In this contemporary piece the ballet choreography is performed in sneakers as opposed to the traditional ballet slippers. There are also some street dance elements infused in the choreography with quick and sharp movements. The contrast between the curvaceous contemporary movements and the sharp, angular street dance moves, show the struggle that not everything is how it seems. It is always refreshing to see the classics done with a contemporary twist. It was a very exciting and upbeat dance, leaving the audience wanting more!

The final piece, Che Malambo, choreographed by Artistic Director Gilles Brinas and company, comes from Argentina to bring traditional malambo dancing for their Fall for Dance debut. In this percussive dance and music spectacle, this powerhouse all-male company of 14 dancers celebrates the South American cowboy traditions of the gaucho. The malambo began in the 17th century as competitive duels that would challenge each man's agility, strength, and dexterity. This high-energy piece is full of fast, yet precise footwork, rhythmic stomping, lively drumming on the bombos, and the amazing whirling of the boleadoras (lassos with stones at the end). This thrilling piece left you memorized by the rhythms of the drums and captivated by their intricate footwork. Definitely a crowd-pleaser, as the audience was brought to their feet for a standing ovation at the end.

It is easy to see why Fall for Dance is such a popular event in New York and why it consistently sells out every show year after year. Only here can you experience such diverse choreography from companies and artists across the world on one stage in one night. It is truly a vibrant gathering of old and new audience members, with a wide variety of artists that has become a staple in the cultural life of the city of New York.


The 2015 Fall for Dance Festival runs now through October 11 at the New York City Center. Tickets are still available and can be purchased online at www.NYCityCenter.org, by calling CityTix at (212) 581-1212, or in person at the City Center box office. Don't miss this amazing event, because there is so much more to come and see!

Photo Credit: Rose Eichenbaum


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