What Wendy's Watching: NYCB Reprises Its Immigrant Ballet—With Passion
Fourteen dancers troop in, all with suitcases as though just getting off the boat. They seem tired and anxious; they don't know what to expect in this new country.
Italian choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti created Oltremare for New York City Ballet in 2008. This ballet plunges the dancers into a world where they have to fight for their survival. He portrays the plight of seven immigrant couples with force, passion and inventiveness. He has given the dancers feisty duets that are continually surprising. They roll, they pounce, they hurl themselves at each other. They are drumming up the courage to face the hardships of a new life. This immigrant ballet is even more relevant now than it was 10 years ago. We've all become aware of the risks of immigrating to this country and the precariousness of staying here. The NYCB dancers perform this ballet with a fierceness that makes it exciting to watch.
I've been struck by Bigonzetti's hugely inventive partnering before, especially with his Festa Barocca for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
This is Bigonzetti's third piece for NYCB; all have music by his frequent collaborator, Bruno Moretti. The choreographer was briefly director of La Scala Ballet and before that, the longterm director of Compagnia Aterballetto. He has made dozens of works for both ballet and modern companies including Stuttgart Ballet, English National Ballet, Ailey, Pennsylvania Ballet and National Ballet of China.
By the Sunday evening of a long convention weekend, you can expect to be thoroughly exhausted and a little sore. But you shouldn't leave the hotel ballroom actually hurt. Although conventions can be filled with magical opportunities, the potential for injury is higher than usual.
Keep your body safe: Watch out for these four common hazards.
For a Broadway dancer, few opportunities are more exciting than being part of the creation of an original show. But if that show goes on to become wildly successful, who reaps the benefits? Thanks to a new deal between Actors' Equity Association and The Broadway League, performers involved in a production's development will now receive their own cut of the earnings.
Jellicle obsessives, rejoice: There's a new video out that offers a (surprisingly substantive) look at the dancing that went down on the set of the new CATS movie.