New York Notebook

February 28, 2012

That Evergreen Theme, the Artist’s Sacrifice

The great sculptor Auguste Rodin approaches a huge block of stone to begin shaping The Gates of Hell. Gradually hands, feet, and heads are revealed as he chips away, and finally we see a mass of people. So goes a pivotal scene in Boris Eifman’s newest ballet, Rodin. Known for his emotional and erotic movement, the Russian choreographer thrusts his dancers into super-dramatic situations. Rodin, he says, “is about the price that a genius has to pay for the creation of an immortal masterpiece.” The ballet elicited huge applause at its premiere in St. Petersburg last fall, with people crowding in to sit on the stairs. Now the Eifman Ballet brings it to City Center, March 9–11.

—Nina Alovert


Eifman Ballet enacts Rodin’s
Gates of Hell. Photo by Nina Alovert.



Up Against the Wall

Four hardscrabble dancers bang up against a wooden wall in between boisterous games and tender moments. But the most moving part of Risa Jaroslow’s Resist/Surrender (2006) is when a motley bunch of ordinary-to-goofy men (a fireman, a teacher, a security guard) make an entrance in T-shirts and boxer shorts. They aim for the same kind of rituals as the real dancers; it’s oddly touching—and very funny. For her 25th-anniversary season, Jaroslow reprises this vivid work along with a new, intergenerational trio called Girls Girls Girls. Abrons Arts Center in NYC from March 9–11. —Wendy Perron


Paul Singh in
Resist/Surrender. Photo by Anja Hitzenberger, Courtesy Jaroslow.



Big Doings at the House of Martha

Continuing in the direction of less Graham and more Other, the Martha Graham Dance Company presents works by Mary Wigman and Anna Sokolow in addition to reviving Graham’s satirical Every Soul Is a Circus (1939). Yvonne Rainer and Lar Lubovitch try their hand at Lamentation Variations, and Miki Orihara marks her 25th year with the company. Plus the results of a video contest on the theme of Inner Landscape. At the Joyce, March 13–18. A gala at New York City Center on March 14 will be graced by superstars Fang-Yi Sheu and Diana Vishneva (see Oct. “Quick Q & A”).

—W. P.


Miki Orihara in Graham’s
Satyric Festival Song. Photo by John Deane, Courtesy MGDC.