The work, a quiet, dreamlike trio titled O zlozony / O composite, will be part of PAB’s “Balanchine and Beyond” program, Jun 9–12. Also on the program are works by Balanchine, Hans Van Manen and Jean-Pierre Frohlich.
Paris Opera Ballet dancers in O composite, photo by Julieta Cervantes @2009
O composite was originally made for Paris Opera Ballet in 2004. The French adore Trisha Brown and many of her pieces premiered in Paris, so it makes sense that the French companies (Lyon Opera Ballet has also done a Brown ballet) got to her first. The original cast of O composite was three of Paris Opera’s most glamorous étoiles: Aurélie Dupont (now the artistic director of the company), Manuel Legris and Nicolas Le Riche. They infused her choreography with a rich, velvety smoothness.
I say “brave” because the choreography has no multiple turns or extravagant leaps guaranteed to thrill an audience. But it casts a certain spell, so subtle are Brown’s movements and so mysterious is Laurie Anderson’s soundtrack of whispered poems (in Polish) and sputtering noises.
Angel Corella, newly at the helm of PAB, told me recently that when he was in Spain, he was aware of Trisha Brown’s impact when her company performed there, so he is totally behind this project.
Neal Beasley watching PAB dancers Lillian DiPiazza and Aaron Anker rehearsing O composite, photo by Alexander Iziliaev
It will be interesting to see how the PAB dancers negotiate Brown’s slippery movement and elusive imagery. Former Trisha Brown dancer Neal Beasley, who is setting the trio on PAB dancers, said in this blog that capturing her sometimes off-balance quality has a lot to do with trust.
PAB’s performance of O composite concludes a yearlong celebration in Philadelphia called “Trisha Brown: In a New Body,” organized by Lisa Kraus. There have been performances by the Trisha Brown Dance Company, classes and talks (some of them given by me) to acquaint Philly’s audience with the work of this beloved modern master. No doubt Philly’s most active dance website, thinkingdance.net, will have plenty to say about this meeting of the minds: the ballet mind and Trisha Brown’s postmodern mind.
It's not often that a dance video provokes bona fide cackling in our office, but this new episode of BroadwayWorld TV's improv-based series "Turning the Tables" is just too real. For this episode, seven Broadway pros were invited to a mock dance call. With series regulars Ellyn Marie Marsh, Andrew Briedis, Andrew Chappelle and Julia Mattison running the "audition," disaster and hilarity (mostly hilarity) ensue.
First of all, it's amazing to see Broadway dancers like Neil Haskell, Eloise Kropp and Samantha Sturm try to keep straight faces with the amount of deadpan shenanigans happening at the front of the room. And if you've ever been to a Broadway dance call, you're going to be struck by just how on point the jokes are. Plus, it's just really, really funny.
Watch now. Thank us later.
"I don't cook for just one or two people," says James Whiteside, stirring a pot on his stove. "My mom taught me to cook and she had five kids. So when I do cook, I go in!"
Aside from breakfast (usually bacon, egg and cheese on an English muffin), the American Ballet Theatre principal rarely cooks for himself during ABT's seasons. He prefers to "forage" for his lunch and go out or order in for dinner, saving the real cooking for when he has friends or colleagues to feed. "I like to have a lot of people tell me my food is delicious," he quips.
We're not sure what we did to deserve the livestream generosity the dance world is giving us these days, but this weekend, it's getting even better.
PC Joe Toreno
L.A. Dance Project, Benjamin Milliepied's trendsetting contemporary troupe, has been in residence at The Chinati Foundation for the past few days. This weekend, they're showing us what they've come up with—for three days straight.
To create great work, choreographers need the freedom to tackle difficult subjects and push physical limits. But when your instruments are human beings, is there a limit to how far you should go? Five choreographers open up about where they draw the line.
Restaurants have always been a great source of survival gigs for dancers. But today's top chefs aren't just looking for waiters to carry dishes to the table. They're hiring choreographers to give the staff dance-like skills and compose a sort of choreography for the dining room.
Leslie Scott, artistic director of dance theater company BODYART, is one of those choreographers. After working in more typical food industry jobs for 10 years, she's been tapped by top restaurants in both New York City and Los Angeles to lead workshops that finesse servers' non-verbal communication and navigation of tight spaces.
Back in 2002, dancer and choreographer Jonah Bokaer founded an art space in Brooklyn called Chez Bushwick. As Manhattan and Brooklyn were quickly becoming unaffordable, and many studio spaces were closing, Bokaer seized upon "creative placemaking"—the idea that the arts can play an integral role in community-building—before it became a buzzword. "We have been sustaining and maintaining one of the most affordable dance studios in New York State since the very beginning of my career," he says.
Fifteen years later, the challenges for choreographers in expensive urban centers continue unabated, and Bokaer has found his original mission magnified. While Chez Bushwick remains a haven for the next generation, there is also a growing number of young dancemakers who have been inspired to create their own residencies, communities and, ultimately, opportunities.