Klock in William Forsythe's Quintett. Photo by Todd Rosenberg, Courtesy Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Densely dimensional, unpredictable, strangely graceful and wild, Alice Klock's dances are like elegant ribbons caught in hopelessly tangled knots. In 2018, she'll choreograph more works than she did the year before, extending a trajectory that's continued throughout her still-brief career.
While her early premieres were in-house affairs at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, where she also dances, Klock is increasingly sought-after as a guest choreographer. She has recently added to her resumé the International Beethoven Project, Neos Dance Theatre, the Nexus Project, NW Dance Project, Visceral Dance Chicago and, later this year, Whim W'Him.
Hubbard Street asked the willowy wunderkind, now 29, to be its second-ever Choreographic Fellow beginning last fall. She and Hubbard Street artistic director Glenn Edgerton redesigned the position, orginated by Alejandro Cerrudo, to allow Klock greater flexibility in pursuing freelance opportunities while fulfilling her performance duties during her seventh season with the company.
"I'm excited to grow that position and to do everything I can with it," she says, while noting that her other two titles—dancer and (prolific) painter—remain just as important.
"Strangely enough, those three facets of my artistic self feel like very different beings," says Klock, who shares her artwork on klockonian.com. "Each of them uses its own part of my creativity, but they all perfectly triangulate each other, which keeps me balanced."
Tony Testa leads a rehearsal during his USC New Movement Residency. Photo by Mary Mallaney/Courtesy USC
The massive scale of choreographing an Olympic opening ceremony really has no equivalent. The hundreds of performers, the deeply historic rituals and the worldwide audience and significance make it a project like no other.
Just consider the timeline: For most live TV events like award shows, choreographers usually take a month or two to put everything together. For the Olympics, the process can take up to four years.
But this kind of challenge is exactly what Los Angeles choreographer Tony Testa is looking for. He's currently creating a submission to throw his hat in the ring to choreograph for Beijing's 2022 Winter Games.
In a studio high above Lincoln Center, Taylor Stanley is rehearsing a solo from Jerome Robbins' Opus 19/The Dreamer. As the pianist plays Prokofiev's plangent melody, Stanley begins to move, his arms forming crisp, clean lines while his upper body twists and melts from one position to the next.
All you see is intention and arrival, without a residue of superfluous movement. The ballet seems to depict a man searching for something, struggling against forces within himself. Stanley doesn't oversell the struggle—in fact he's quite low-key—but the clarity with which he executes the choreography draws you in.