From Los Angeles to London, from San Francisco to New York, Dance Magazine’s critics have been hard at work this spring. Our reviews page, over at www.dancemagazine.com/reviews, reads as a record of the many mixed reactions that dance can inspire: delight, frustration, amusement, bewilderment, awe, and various combinations thereof.
Delight was foremost for Eva Yaa Asantewaa at Alonzo King LINES Ballet, which recently came to the Joyce Theater in New York. Her playful prose captures the “uncommon, even freakish pliancy and distorted, roughed-up lyricism” that distinguishes King’s work. A few weeks earlier, in LINES’ hometown of San Francisco, Rita Felciano was immersed in “a potpourri of dance companies and styles” at the eighth annual CubaCaribe Festival of Dance and Music. In an array of social and spiritual dances from cultures of the African diaspora, she was pleased to discover a common thread of “women celebrating power.” Nearby, in Los Angeles, Victoria Looseleaf was less impressed with Benjamin Millepied’s three new works for Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève.
Several critics found themselves faced with intriguing collaborations. Asantewaa didn’t quite fall in love with Yoshiko Chuma’s Love Story, Palestine, which incorporated members of Palestine’s El-Funoun dance troupe, though she did appreciate the “open heart” that Chuma brings to her craft. Meanwhile, in Chicago, an unlikely partnership seduced critic Laura Molzahn. A darker kind of seduction ran through the stormy affairs of Streetcar Named Desire, the new rendering by Scottish Ballet that brought together choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and theater director Susan Meckler. Their combined talents forged what Barbara Newman calls “a striking creation that many larger companies might well want to borrow.”
Soon, we’ll be entering summer festival season. Stay tuned for dispatches from Jacob’s Pillow, the Montpellier Dance Festival, and more at www.dancemagazine.com/reviews. —Siobhan Burke