SUSAN YUNG is a New York-based culture writer.
MAR 2018 | Dance
New York City Ballet, as an organization, currently exists in a state of suspended animation between the resignation artistic director Peter Martins—accused of emotional and physical abuse of the dancers and cleared by a perhaps less than impartial arbiter—and the appointment of a successor, for whom the search is underway.
JUNE 2018 | Dance
In Carousel, the stage is often crammed with props such as wooden pallets, lobster pots, and clambake detritus, leaving little space for the dancers. But Peck guides the action vertically by inserting jumps and spins; arms and legs make variegated shapes to add visual interest.
JUL-AUG 2018 | Dance
American Ballet Theatre (ABT) took a gamble on commissioning tap choreographer Michelle Dorrance to create a pièce d’occasion for its 2018 Spring Gala. The wisdom of the choice became apparent in the first moment, when three women struck the floor, one-two-three, with their spotlit pointe shoe toes. How ingenious, and in retrospect natural, to use the toe shoe as a percussion instrument, rather than denying its proclivity to thump and clack with each step—something all ballerinas are trained to avoid. Dorrance allows ballerinas to embrace their physical selves, tethered to earth by gravity just like the rest of us. Her use of tap is not just percussion; it’s overturning a whole aesthetic and artistic dogma
MAR 2017 | Dance
The rapid artistic evolution of Justin Peck continues to speed forward. His recent New York City Ballet (NYCB) premiere of The Times Are Racing may harken the pioneering sneaker dances of Jerome Robbins, which are playful, street-wise, and express the pleasures and angst of adolescence.
JUNE 2017 | Dance
Generating new movement ideas is difficult for choreographers, particularly when creating full-length dances. It’s so challenging that most of the big ballet companies continue to rely on narrative staples from centuries ago.
SEPT 2017 | Dance
George Balanchine’s Jewels (1967) is in the repertory of many of the world’s renowned ballet companies, and the 2017 Lincoln Center Festival presented the iconic work with three of the best troupes, each performing one section.
NOV 2017 | Dance
Fall for Dance has been evolving since its inception in 2004, for better or worse becoming a somewhat more serious affair and less of a dance rave.
MAR 2016 | Dance
It takes a classic ballet with good bones, like Swan Lake, to withstand centuries of interpretations. Tchaikovsky’s timeless score is often the binding agent among variations, and the key dances by Petipa/Ivanovthe pas de deux, the quartetoften remain intact.
JUNE 2016 | Dance
The Mark Morris Dance Group presented two New York premieres as a part of its spring season. Alongside two older pieces, the repertoire showed the range of Morris’s smaller-scale concert performance choreography, encompassing rituals and formalism both ornate and more classical in nature.
SEPT 2016 | Dance
Good news: the L.A. Dance Project (LADP) is back at full strength, with artistic director Benjamin Millepied able to refocus on the company now that he has left his post at the Paris Opera Ballet.
NOV 2016 | Dance
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.
OCT 2015 | Dance
On the brink of the end of paper, I was attracted to the idea of a book that cant forget it has a body, Jonathan Safran Foer said in a New York Times interview about his art book, Tree of Codes, the inspiration for the dance theater collaboration recently presented at the Park Avenue Armory. Foers book reduces and remakes Bruno Schulzs The Street of Crocodiles (Tree of Codes is a trimmed version of the title) by literally excising words, leaving gaps, and transforming the texts meaning.
MAR 2011 | ArtSeen
Looking at the work of John McDevitt King, the word perfectionor some attempt to achieve itstubbornly recurs. In the graphite fields of shading that precisely describe volume and light, and yet retain the warmth of the human touch.
MAY 2009 | Dance
With springs overdue arrival comes the promise of viewing things with fresh eyes.
SEPT 2009 | Dance
Belgian Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui has choreographed Orbo Novo for Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, to be performed at the Joyce Theater from Oct 20-25.
JUN 2007 | Dance
Ohad Naharin, artistic director of Batsheva Dance Company based in Tel Aviv, was recently in residence at Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballets Chelsea studio teaching a training method he developed called gaga.
DEC 07-JAN 08 | Dance
Trisha Brown Dance Company performs at the Joyce Theater Feb 5 10 in a program featuring I love my robots (2007), If you couldnt see me (1994), and Foray Forêt (1980). Susan Yung recently spoke with Trisha Brown in her Soho loft.
JUN 2006 | Dance
Of modern dance’s pioneering choreographers, precious few are represented in extant companies.
MAY 2018 | Dance
Jane Comfort and Companys 40th Anniversary Retrospective demonstrated how the choreographers work engages with audiences, while proving its wide-range and resistance to definition.
JUL-AUG 2018 | Dance
Modern dance choreographers have been planning for their legacies in various ways. Some have chosen to disband their companies; others have, at times with the help of their boards, chosen successors. Michael Novak, a distinguished dancer with Paul Taylor Dance Company since 2010, was recently named Artistic Director Designate of the Paul Taylor Dance Foundation. I sat down with him at the Foundation headquarters in lower Manhattan.
FEB 2017 | Dance
Dance can be rewarding for its simple humanity and kineticism, particularly in the hands (and feet, and legs, and torsos) of accomplished companies like the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, which had its annual month-long run in December.
MAY 2017 | Dance
The annual three-week Paul Taylor American Modern Dance season is always an impressive physical and mental tour de force for the company. Perennial questions anticipate the run: what premieres will Taylor present and how will they fit into his oeuvre?
JUL-AUG 2017 | Dance
Classical ballet is in ascendance, and it’s growing more diverse. Nearly a decade ago the life of classical ballet was in question.
OCT 2017 | Dance
Implied in Crossing the Line Festival’s title are several possible interpretations of the phrase—crossing borders, boundaries of the known, even perhaps going too far.
DEC 17-JAN 18 | Dance
When Mark Morris has the opportunity to choreograph on a large scale, he has historically created some monumental pieces—L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato; Grand Duo; The Hard Nut; and Mozart Dances, to name a few.
MAY 2016 | Dance
Miami City Ballet brings challenging repertory to the Koch Theater stage, a run that includes George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, Alexei Ratmansky, Justin Peck, and Liam Scarlett, with accompaniment by the New York City Ballet Orchestra (helmed by Gary Sheldon).
JUL-AUG 2016 | Dance
There’s a quiet revolution underway at ABTin its spring season, an impressive half of the repertory is by Alexei Ratmansky. The latest addition is The Golden Cockerel, a full-length spectacle originally created in 2012 for the Royal Danish Ballet, which loaned the lavish costumes and scenery by Richard Hudson (based on early 20th-century designs by Natalia Goncharova).
OCT 2016 | Dance
Mozart Dances (2006) is one of Mark Morris’s grandest and most pleasurable artistic achievements. This evening-length work in three sections elucidates the prominent themes in Mozart’s compositions with choreography that holds its own when paired with the music that has intimidated many choreographers.
NOV 2016 | Dance
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.
DEC 15-JAN 16 | Dance
In this era of crowd-sourcing, a sharing economy, and a Socialist garnering widespread support as a presidential candidate, BalletCollective makes sense. This ballet troupe is not leaderlessTroy Schumacher is the director and choreographer, and Ellis Ludwig-Leone is composer and music director.
FEB 2009 | Dance
Doug Varone founded his New York-based company, Doug Varone and Dancers, in 1986. In addition to choreographing for his own company, which has toured the world, he has directed and choreographed opera, theater, and musical theater. Doug Varone and Dancers will perform at the Joyce Theater from February 24 through March 1.
MAY 2009 | Dance
Mikhail Baryshnikov has become such a familiar presence in New Yorks cultural world that its easy to take him for granted.
MAR 2007 | Dance
Michael Trusnovec joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in 1998, and won a 2006 Bessie Award for his body of work with the company. In the Paul Taylor Dance Companys March 2007 season at City Center, 32-year-old Trusnovec can be seen in 13 of 18 dances
JUL-AUG 2007 | Dance
In this modern world, we conduct our lives through a surprising amount of mediation and simulacrum. We rely on computers for most basic informationtime, outside temperature, current headlines.
FEB 2006 | Dance
A recent diablog on Artsjournal.com centered on whether New York is the dance capital of the world. It raised as many questions as it answered, but it underscored what we jaded New Yorkers can take for grantedthe considerable wealth of all kinds of dance, from large companies to open class schools.
OCT 2006 | Dance
What July/October activity in New York takes you on a three-hour sojourn filled with twists and turns, heroes, villains, and colorful minor characters, leading to either triumph or heartbreak?