New York Notebook

November 23, 2009



Rebel Without a Pause

Rasta Thomas has set hearts racing with his magnetic energy and powerful movement since he won the men’s (senior division) gold at USAIBC in

1998. Feeling limited by the traditional ballet world, he started his own company in 2007. The Bad Boys of Dance bring “Rock the Ballet,” a mix of jazz, hip hop, tap, gymnastics, and ballet, to the Joyce for a three-week run. The program has reportedly got screaming audiences on their feet in Europe and has enjoyed a similar response touring in the U.S. The enthusiasm stems from the terrific troupe of men Thomas has assembled from competition, Broadway, and ballet backgrounds. Dec. 15–Jan. 3. See —Kina Poon



An Uptown Nutcracker

Dances Patrelle’s Yorkville Nutcracker is like a Christmas kiss to New York City. The party scene takes place in the mayor’s Gracie Mansion; the snow scene travels through Central Park; and the Bronx Botanical Garden hosts an international roster of dancers. Artistic director Francis Patrelle takes advantage of NYC’s vast pool of ballet talent, casting dozens of students from studios like Ballet Academy East, The Ailey School, and 92nd St. Y Harkness Dance Center. For Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier, he hires two of the city’s top dancers, usually stars from New York City Ballet or American Ballet Theatre. All that’s missing is the mistletoe. Dec. 10­–13 at The Kaye Playhouse. See —Jennifer Stahl



Yamazaki in a Fishbowl

Danspace Project’s presentations in St. Mark’s Church can feel like being in a fishbowl, replete with in-the-round possibilities, so it’s fitting that the new work by Bessie Award–winning Kota Yamazaki—(Personal or Visionary Aspect of) Fishing—plumbs the confines of an aquarium. The five dancers, in addition to performing, become part of visual artist Cécile Pitois’ manipulable web of flexible fishing lines. The resulting architecture morphs with the kinetic, emotional dynamics of the dancers and their interactions with each other and their—our—environment. Dec.17–19. See —Susan Yung



Pitured: Rasta Thomas and company. Photo by Oliver Fantitisch, Courtesy Rasta Thomas.