Review – FALL FOR DANCE Brings Gotham's Dance Companies Back To The Delacorte

For the first time since the 1980s, dance returned to Central Park's Delacorte Theater this week for two special performances of Fall For Dance, presented as a partnership between The Public Theater and New York City Center.

The program featured four of New York's top dance companies in a delicious sampler of the works that can be enjoyed at City Center's upcoming 10th Annual Fall For Dance Festival, running from September 25th through October 5th.

Under a bright, full harvest moon, the STREB Extreme Action Company opened the evening with a performance of Artistic Director Elizabeth Streb's wild creation, Human Fountain. A company of twenty dancers, following the loudly barked instructions of their "action engineers," climbed up a four-leveled, multi-cubed frame rising over thirty feet in the air and took turns falling onto a stage-sized mattress; forward, backwards and upside-down in various styles of dives making patterns that imitate a fountain's descending streams of water. Microphones amplified the sounds of their landings like splashes and each dancer then quickly climbed back up the tower to take another plunge in the continuous water show.

Next was Ronald K. Brown's company, Evidence, performing Upside Down. With upstage drummers, a D.J. and vocalist Wunmi Olaiya providing the music of Fela Kuti, the ensemble of dancers used dynamic African movements to portray a community that mourns the loss of one of their own with a passionate demonstration of solidarity; a lively honoring of the passing of a soul to its ultimate destiny.

Two male and two female members of New York City Ballet danced Ulysses Dove's Red Angels, an abstract piece set to Richard Einhorn's electric violin scoring played by Mary Rowell. The quartet displayed muscular sensuality in multiple combinations of relationships.

The Paul Taylor Dance Company closed the evening with Esplande, a rather merry piece utilizing Bach's Violin Concerto In E Major, where the nine-member ensemble whimsically frolicked with joyous sprints and leaps in between more somberly textured moments.

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