BWW Review: NEW CHAMBER BALLET Soothes at City Center Studio 5
Picturesquely unadorned, City Center Studio 5 is a blank canvas. Therein, minds move bodies, and bodies stir minds. Choreographer Miro Magloire is a soft-spoken German visionary, and now an artful resident of New York. New Chamber Ballet, the love child of Magloire is a wellspring of opportunity for American dancers, six of whom graced the studio floor to rehearse steps and posture before Magloire's modest presence, his unmistakable visage light with the smile of a reputable life well-lived. Among his accomplishments are fifty ballets, not to mention a practitioner's ear for musical composition and a pioneering sense of purpose in the international dance community.
The air of confidence is communicable under the soft lighting of the studio, as the choreographer himself greets a late summer audience who show visible appreciation for chamber ballet amid the warp and woof of midtown Manhattan after Thursday's rush hour. A most delicate, precious ambiance fills the studio as red wine and brownies are served, while the dancers and musicians ready themselves for In The Parlour, the first piece of the evening, set to Mozart's Violin Sonata in E Minor, K. 304. The worldly pianist Melody Fader enlightens Mozart with a most riveting, heartfelt interpretation as dancers Sarah Atkins, Elizabeth Brown, and Holly Curran muse on themes of space, both symbolic, abstract and territorial.
The resurrection of Morton Feldman, through his Extensions ,3 ever so harmoniously fills the background for Glove, a sparsely set piece costumed by Candice Thompson. Before each new piece, Magloire most relishes in speaking about the musical composition and how that inspired the dance. He paced the evening as charmingly as the feet of the dancers, his very voice an embodiment of the grace of chamber ballet, soothing the urbanized nerves like an aged wine. Fader performed La Mandragore by French composer Tristan Murail with a lofty might, her approach scintillating in its strength and steady in its beauty.
After premiering Gravity, Magloire's final presentation, titled Friction, is in collaboration with the eccentric New York composer Richard Carrick. There is an irrepressible wonderment to the form of chamber ballet, which amid the grappling violence of daily city life in Manhattan is a welcome invitation into a more breathable air, where silence speaks in music and dancers step lightly towards the inner horizons of such ingenious visions. It is New York, after all. Only a floor above City Center Studio 5, Woody Allen began writing with Mel Brooks. "If those walls could talk," reads the plaque outside the 56th Street entrance. Like the art lovers who share space within the walls of City Center Studios, the walls may simply express a genuine thank you.
Photo Credit: Kristin Lodoen Linder