It’s been a surprisingly good year for female ballet choreographers. It could be a side effect of the political climate, or simply numbers—that half the population just might be able to create noteworthy dances as well as the other half, given the chance. In any case, American Ballet Theatre (ABT) commissioned Jessica Lang to create Her Notes, which had its world premiere in the company’s brief fall Koch Theater season.
In the 70s, dancing and sex were not at all dangerous, and there was a lot of both going around, the performer, choreographer, dance curator, and educator Ishmael Houston-Jones told me in a coffee shop this October. There was a sort of exuberance, especially coming after Stonewall and 69. There was this feeling in the gay world that life was this celebration. And suddenly 1981 happens, and its like a brick wall.
New York City Ballet (NYCB)’s recent tradition of holding a fall fashion gala has evolved from a somewhat crass leveraging of the influential world of haute couture into a fuller consideration of the conceptual possibilities of fashion as explored through dance. In the recent gala, this shift was brought into high relief by the juxtaposition of the season’s most interesting premiereUnframed, by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, with costumes by Rosie Assoulinwith a section from Bal de Couture by Peter Martins, costumed by Valentino, from the first fashion gala in 2012.
Tykulsker and her performers explore physical extremes and community cohesion at the heart of these tensions at levels ranging from the interpersonal to the national. The piece is a mash-up of postmodern disorder that mirrors the senselessness of violent incidents and the randomness of whether they get attention. The piece is coupled with Jennifer Harges movement installation Mourn and Never Tire, which serves as inspiration for her black community and a eulogy for black lives lost to police brutality.
If every one of your dance projects has felt dramatically different from the last, in terms of aesthetic goals, rehearsal process, or performance procedures, it is overwhelming to grapple with each individual experience, let alone sum them up in a coherent statement. To describe what kind of dance you do is to draw a box around different experiencesdancesthat you yourself designed to be unique. Just because the moth and the peregrine both have wings does not mean they behave, grow, or migrate in the same ways.