New York Notebook

September 30, 2009



Don’t Break the Scenery

From ropes to mirrors to giant spinning wheels, Deborah Colker has used extravagant props to challenge the minds of her audiences and the bodies of her dancers. When Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker comes to City Center this month, the Brazilian choreographer brings one of her most innovative works, 4 x 4. She explores ways to incorporate four visual arts modes (installation, sculpture, painting, and moving art) into contemporary dance. The work’s final section has dancers move through 19 ceramic vases with only a little more than three feet of space between them. “Dancers have to work with this restriction,” Colker explains, “but at the same time be free inside of this new space.” Oct. 22–25. See or —Rachel Zar


Everything at Once

“Jealousy is a dance in which everyone moves,” writes poet Anne Carson. And jealousy—as well as love, hate, anguish, passion and self-abnegation—moves the dancers of William Forsythe’s Decreation, inspired by Carson’s writing. This tough and enthralling 2003 work, which opens at BAM’s Next Wave Festival Oct. 7, is as operatic and theatrical as it is choreographic. The spasmodic, extreme, improbably coordinated movement is both permeated and generated by speech; the text, like the dance, is refracted from one person to another. Lover, demon, victim, persecutor, martyr are seen to be within us all. Decreation’s raw evocation of the power and danger of love is often hard to watch—but impossible to ignore. —Roslyn Sulcas



Three in One

This fall American Ballet Theatre is packing three premieres into a single week. Artist in residence Alexei Ratmansky will make a piece to music by Scarlatti (I’ve been waiting for someone to use this light-filled music). Aszure Barton will use Ravel, and Benjamin Millepied will use David Lang. It could be a pretty great mix. Also on the bill are Robbins’ charming duet Other Dances and a revival of Clark Tippet’s Some Assembly Required from 1989. But don’t head for the usual City Center, because this year it’s at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, Oct. 7-10. See —Wendy Perron



Photo: Deborah Colker’s 4 x 4. Flavio Colker, Courtesty Colker.