To read commentary from a particular country, simply click the indicated country link. Though he lived in the 16th century, his works have shaped the way students everywhere use the English language in declamation and think of drama as a literary form.
Both Emily Coates and Emmanuele Phuon sharing a program at Danspace were conceptually rigorous, engaging, and supported by collaborators with their own impressive backgrounds.
But it was the act of physicalizing thoughts and theory, the uncanny combination seeing past, present and future embodied, the visualization of abstractions as well as realities of life, without pretension, that made the evening a memorable one.
Coates and Yale physicist Sarah Demers have been collaborating for some time and have co-authored a book on physics and dance forthcoming from Yale University Press. A History of Light brings together their knowledge across disciplines to highlight connections, such as the simple idea that the ballerina Vera Karalli is still with us via films through the magical use of light.
There is plenty of humor — Ms. Coates evokes light though the use of her hands and gestures, eyeline, and the steady stream of movement in her solos. She juxtaposed past and present by folding into bodily shapes and contortions on a foam mattress, right underneath a film of Karalli dancing the Dying Swan.
Somehow, these series of images came across as related. Supported by her fellow performer and sound designer Zai Tang, through movement and spoken word Ms. Phuon weaves a compelling narrative that is both intensely personal and vast in its references to the outside world.
Yet what could have been a tedious relaying of memories turned into an absorbing journey we gladly end up taking with her.
Coates, Phuon, and their collaborators showed, once again, how dance is more, always more, than just its purported sensuous physicality. Even in this digital, virtual age, there still remains a magical sense of defying gravity, of achieving the impossible and performing feats that are practiced to the point of near perfection, all while understanding that things can still go wrong onstage.
Do we as the audience secretly hope something does go awry? Yes; if only so that we might catch, for an instant, the astute reactions of professionals at work.
Set against a cobalt blue backlight that remains constant throughout the entirety of the show, the performance opens with The Four Temperaments, danced by The Joffrey Ballet.
At times, the costuming of the men, composed of white tops and black tights, felt as though Balanchine had multiplied himself, stretching his technique through the limbs of dancers who continue to prove the prowess of his movement.
The roles within The Four Temperaments were that of traditional male and female, bringing with them sexual undertones that were both artistic in nature and vague in narrative.
The choreography was also very depictive of the classical, symphonic score, written by Paul Hindemith and conducted by Andrews Sill.
Immediately, the audience is captivated by the strong physical relationship that both dancers have to the ground and to one another.
Throughout most of the dance, Marchand stands solidly atop a modest and functional first position, sending his energy not only toward his turnout, but through his own, rooted base and into the lithe, twisting balances of Park.
They made full use of the weight of their head, arms, upper torso and overall port de bras, which gave their movements both a finished look and clean, consistent execution. Tereshkina and Kim were able to enthrall the audience with some very risky and exciting moves Tereshkina and Kim were able to enthrall the audience with some very risky and exciting moves as well, in particular, a partner lift in which Tereshkina performes a glissade, soubresaut then fish-dives, torso-first, into the woven net of the arms of her partner.The Taming of the shrew / William Shakespeare.
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