Here’s my Best of 2007 List. What’s Yours?

December 30, 2007

Seems like everyone is rounding up their personal faves of 2007, so I thought I would throw mine into the fray. This is an entirely subjective list. Everything is in NYC unless otherwise specified.

Please tell me your top picks of 2007 (just three please) by emailing me at

[email protected]



(Listed alphabetically within each category.)


Best Dancers

• Aesha Ash, for her radiance in Morphoses, the Wheeldon Company’s debut

• Jon Bond of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, for his hyper-articulate dancing and improvising in Naharin’s

• Kathleen Breen Combes, Boston Ballet, for her freshness and wholesome allure

• Julie Diana of Pennsylvania Ballet, City Center, for her sweetness and elegance, making me think of Audrey Hepburn

• Katie Duck, for her grounded yet wacky improv at Movement Research Fall Festival

• Saar Harari, for his jittery, pretzely dancing in
Part II
with LeeSaar/The Company, 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Festival

• Ian Robinson, for his manic but super focused energy in both Complexions and [bmjdanse] (formerly Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal)

• Daniel Ulbricht of New York City Ballet, for his joyful dancing, over-the-top leaps, and witty accents

• Christopher Vo, still a student at Juilliard, for his full-bodied sexiness and slyness in Juilliard’s revival of Tharp’s
Deuce Coupe


Most dependably exciting dancers (alphabetically)

Ashley Bouder, Herman Cornejo, Carmen deLavallade, Marcelo Gomes, Sarah Lane, Jodi Melnick, Louise Nadeau, Noelani Pantastico, Desmond Richardson, Matthew Rushing, Linda Celeste Sims, Lisa Viola, Wendy Whelan, Damian Woetzel


Most overwhelming farewell:
Alessandra Ferri of American Ballet Theatre, for her exquisitely emotional dancing as Desdemona, Manon, and Juliet.



Best Choreography (listed by title)

(“Genocide”), Compagnie Jant-Bi’s powerful collaboration by Germaine Acogny and Koto Yamazaki (2000), 651 Arts

• Christopher Wheeldon’s lushly inventive
Fools’ Paradise
, City Center

The Language of Walls
by the hectic but intriguing group Club Guy and Roni, Jacob’s Pillow

• Aszure Barton’s highly volatile and slightly scary dance about relationships,
Les Chambres des Jacques
for [bjm_danse] (formerly Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal), the Joyce

• Mats Ek’s poignant duet
(2005), Fall for Dance, City Center

• From Argentina, Grupo Krapp’s wild and wayward
at International Festival Extremadura, in Monterrey, Mexico

• Alexei Ratmansky’s mysterious and slinky
Middle Duet
(1998), performed by the Kirov at Fall for Dance

• Rushes,
the dreamlike world premiere for Pilobolus by Inbal Pinto, Avshalom Pollak and Robby Barnett, at the Joyce Theater

• Susan Marshall’s outrageously imaginative
Sawdust Palace
, Bard College’s Spiegeltent

• Second Signal
(2005), the driving group piece with Kodo drummers by Henri Oguike, Jacob’s Pillow

• Ohad Naharin’s deeply human
(2005) for Batsheva Dance Company, BAM’s Next Wave Festival

• William Forsythe’s
Three Atmospheric Studies
(2006), marked by an urgency uncannily like war but carried out with utter precision by The Forsythe Company, BAM

• Val Caniparoli’s delightful and witty romp,
(2001), as performed by Pacific Northwest Ballet, Celebrate Seattle Festival


Best “other” type of creation

Slow Dancing,
by David Michalek, a night-time installation projecting ultra slow-mo dancers onto huge screens at Lincoln Center Festival, making them look like gods and goddesses


Best one-time event

Gypsy of the Year’s melding of the generations in its Celebration of the 50th anniversary of
West Side Story


Best Book

Chance and Circumstance: Twenty Years with Cage and Cunningham
(Knopf) by Carolyn Brown, who tells the story of two giants of American dance with poetic sensitivity and alarming honesty