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BWW Review: FALL FOR DANCE – La Compagnie Hervé Koubi, Steven McRae, Pam Tanowitz, Alvin Ailey


Always a great treasure to the city, New York City Center's Fall for Dance opened its second program with great anticipation. For an affordable price, audiences get a glimpse of the wonderful world of dance, with access to some of the field's greatest visionaries from around the globe. With a roster that included breathtaking athleticism, a comical tap solo, intriguing minimalist ballet, and an entrancing African-urban fusion, Fall for Dance's second program of 2015 did not let the audience down. There is no wonder that this is perhaps one of the hottest tickets in town!

La Compagnie Hervé Koubi opened the show with What the Day Owes to the Night. In the silence, the men gradually began moving, and in a kaleidoscopic burst, began creating an amazing moving picture onstage as each dancer engaged in gravity-defying spins and athletic wonders. However, this was not just any magnificent display; there was something much deeper present. The dance created pulling patterns between fast, athletic, and contained movement to slow and sustaining reaches. Dancers went swiftly from complex and intricate floorwork to jumps and lifts that made them soar through the air. In these patterns between chaos and stillness, something richer was found. After such astounding feats, the men slowed down to a simple phrase. In low light, the movement of their arms created a work of art along the muscles on their backs. And in that silence, there was a sense of peace in the air. Innovative yet ritualistic, absolutely impressive and equally inspiring, La Compagnie Hervé Koubi opened the show with great delight.

No stranger to the Fall for Dance stage, Steven McRae presented a most comical tap solo Czardas. Combining wonderfully executed ballet and intricate rhythms that turned already impressive chaînés turns into even more impressive musical marvels, Steven McRae displayed mastery of both forms. Add a dash of comedic timing and what was presented was pure magic.

Choreographer Pam Tanowitz presented One Last Good Chance, a Fall For Dance co-comission with Vail International Dance Festival. The dance featured a trio of promising young dancers from American Ballet Theatre together with the Flux Quartet and Greg Saunier, who composed the music. The stage was completely bare and the quartet was in full view. In simple costumes, the dancers continued the minimalist expression with sharp phrases of folding and unfolding patterns and synchronized and syncopated partnerwork. They controlled their movements with tension and speed yet danced with such ease and control. Simple yet captivating, Pam Tanowitz, the dancers, and musicians had done wonders with so little.

Alvin Ailey Paul Kolnik.JPG" align="right" width="300" />Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater ended the show with Ronald K. Brown's Four Corners. This piece depicted angels of the four corners of the earth, but unlike the often airy and light depictions of angelic bodies, these angels were vibrant and grounded to the earth where their feet had touched. With a beat that carried the rhythm throughout the dance, Ronald K. Brown's choreography had taken the simple pulse and created such mesmerizing intricacies around it. The patterns and phrases were breathtaking at every moment. The dancers would go into fast African-style movements grounded low then suddenly stop to an upright stance. In that moment, all movement was suspended and breaths were held until the dancers fell into sensuous hip swaying that entranced the audience. Such a pattern repeated throughout the piece and without fail captured the audience's attention each time. The vibrancy of the music, the abandon of the dancers, and the remarkable visual display were a wonderful way to end the show.

La Compagnie Hervé Koubi, photo credit: Julieta Cervantes

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, photo credit: Paul Kolnik

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From This Author Jessica Abejar

Jessica Abejar is an artist with a love of storytelling. As a dancer/choreographer, she most recently performed at World Youth Day in Brazil, where she (read more...)