Review Roundup: A LETTER TO MY NEPHEW at Brooklyn Academy Of Music
A LETTER TO MY NEPHEW continues performances through October 7 at Brooklyn Academy of Music as part of the 2017 Next Wave Festival. A LETTER TO MY NEPHEW is an intimate, impressionistic collage for nine dancers, setting a portrait of Jones's beloved nephew Lance T. Briggs-a talented dancer who struggled with illness and addiction-against the political landscape of the present. Composed like a series of postcards sent home from a fabled liberal Europe, A Letter to My Nephew launches a swirl of images around Briggs' ever-present hospital bed: a vogue ball, a breathtaking vista, a scene of forced migration.
The cast stars Vinson Fraley Jr., Barrington Hinds, Shane Larson, I-Ling Liu, Penda N'diaye, Jenna Riegel, Christina Robson, Carlo Antonio Villanueva, and Huiwang Zhang.
A LETTER TO MY NEPHEW was choreographed by Bill T. Jones with Janet Wong and the Company, with an original score by Nick Hallett, set design by Bjorn Amelan, lighting design by Robert Wierzel, costume design by Liz Prince, projection design by Janet Wong, and sound design by Samuel Crawford.
Let's see what the critics had to say!
Brian Seibert, The New York Times: As usual, Mr. Jones's current crew of dancers is diverse, attractive, strong and supple. They shine in brief solos, same-sex duets of fraught tenderness and multiple struts down the catwalk, sharing the credit for choreography with Mr. Jones and Ms. Wong. "Letter" is less text-heavy than Mr. Jones's recent "Analogy" series, and yet the dancing still seems hemmed in by the stagecraft... "Keep fighting," Mr. Jones writes in his letter, and it's a kind of encouragement that everyone can applaud and absorb. But there are more effective and direct means of delivering that message, and they don't require an audience.
Adrian Dimanlig, Interludes: There's no doubt that Mr. Jones has secured his status as one of the giants in contemporary dance, having transcended performing arts genres to choreograph for the likes of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Lyon Opera Ballet... Thus, it's with great disappointment to report that A Letter to My Nephew is largely a muddled hodgepodge of ideas that never quite gels. The premise, at least, is intriguing - Letter is a tribute of sorts to Mr. Jones' nephew Lance T. Briggs.
Photo: bam.org/ Wisdom Digital Media