Fall for Dance Starts with a Bang

September 22, 2009

—or four bangs if you consider how great each piece was in its own way. Nijinskys
Afternoon of a Faun,
danced by Boston Ballet, is a piece of history. The gorgeously drippy/trippy Bakst scenery, the strangely Egyptian faun and his statue-ish nymphs, Debussy’s flute music calling you to a faraway place, all remind you of how intense Nijinsky must have been as a person and a dancer.

The dancers in Paul Taylor’s romp, Offenbach Overtures,
dashed around happily and clunkily, entertaining us with goofy humor. For pure dance, Ohad Naharin’s duet B/olero ripped the extreme movement out of two young women. And Savion Glover worked up to a fever pitch while conducting his musicians in The StaRz and StRiPes 4EvEr for NoW —and for the icing on the cake, had a killer unison section with two other tappers.

OK, I’m biased. I am an advisor to the festival, so I want everything to go well. But it was one of those nights when all performers felt the embrace of the audience. We were with them all the way. Special kudos to Parisa Khobdeh for being hilarious as a tipsy person teetering around in Offenbach,
and to Iyar Elezra in Naharin’s duet for attacking movement in a way that’s so unusual I can barely describe it, except to say that she has a force and sensuality that’s captivating. And thanks to Savion for reminding me that every dancer really wants to conduct.

What a great night! And by the way, it began with Capezio presenting its annual award to Arlene Shuler, president & CEO of City Center, who thought up this whole festival and made it happen, for only $10 a night.