BWW Reviews: Kathryn Posin Brings Contemporary Ballet and Voices of Bulgaria and America To the 92nd St. Y
From a modern dance education, Kathryn Posin has emerged as a contemporary ballet choreographer. In the program, she presented, October 17, 18, & 19th, at the 92nd St. Y, with Associate Choreographer/Associate Artistic Director Momchil Mladenov, her long time collaborator, the girls danced on pointe, in every ballet. The vocabulary is decidedly classical with a contemporary approach, meaning that the movement dictionary is enlarged to include today's culture. Emil Tabakov, acclaimed Bulgarian conductor and composer, who had a hand in this production, was in attendance at the 10/17, 8:00 PM performance, which I was fortunate to see.
I had hoped to see the dynamic Amar Ramassar, New York City Ballet principal, who was in the publicity shots, but he did not perform at this performance. Never the less, all the dancers (3 of them Bulgarian) were classically trained, good looking, and capable. It is a pleasure, for me, to see serious, full out dancing. That said, there was one dancer who was a true ballerina, in the highest use of that term, Venezuelan born Yumelia Garcia. She was fully engaged, generously sharing her spirit with the audience in every role she danced.
In Motivy, music by Tabakov, the live music was a double bass, played superbly by Victoria Tsvetkova, accompanying Violetta Angelova and Boyko Dossev in their pas de deux. It seemed like a pas de trois, including the musician.
Fly, Fly My Sadness is a very unusual pairing of Mikail Alpern and the Mongolian Tuvan Throat Singers with two dancers, portraying modern life, as we know it in the west. The Mongolian Tuvan Throat singers, performed here (canned) by Huun-Huur-Tu with the Bulgarian Voices Angelite, sing two notes at one time. This produces a haunting, other worldly sound. Ryan Redmond entered on a scooter and scooted around the stage. Megan Dickenson entered the stage from the opposite side, with ear buds in her ears, carrying a phone and using it in the variety of ways we use our cell phones, today (yes, wearing pointe shoes). The dancers were each in their own worlds until they got together, at which point they shared their toys. The juxtaposition of these contemporary modalities with the ancient music was bizarre. This, of course, stimulated conversation after the performance.
The final piece of the evening was Buried Cities, the story of the statue of the Thracian Sofia, Goddess of Wisdom, which comes to life and returns from the millennia to the streets of a Bulgarian city today. This large production employed all ten dancers, beautifully costumed by Hristiana Mihaleva. The music for this story, again, was by Tabakov. As the Thracian Goddess of Wisdom, Sofia, Violetta Angelova was larger than life, her best dancing of the evening. Again, Garcia shone, as the red stripe of the Bulgarian flag. There was so much going on in this work; I would like to see it on a stage, rather than the studio, where it was shown. The dancers, the music, and the costumes worked well together to create the desired atmosphere.
I would be happy to see all the works of the Kathryn Posin Dance Company on a stage, to have a better perspective and an unobstructed view. Contemporary ballet deserves to be elevated to fully appreciate it.