Here in New York, dance critics are gearing up for that time known informally as “March Madness.” The next four weeks offer up an embarrassment of dance riches, from Paul Taylor’s annual three-week season (happening for the first time at the David H. Koch Theater), to Wendy Whelan’s guest appearance with Stephen Petronio at the Joyce (what will this look like??), to the Whitney Biennial’s newfound embrace of dance artists (the museum has devoted an entire floor to the choreographers Sarah Michelson and Michael Clark). It’s at times like these that you could really use a clone or two, so that you could simultaneously watch, say, Dean Moss and Reggie Wilson’s split bill at Danspace Project, Jodi Melnick at New York Live Arts, and Pam Tanowitz at The Kitchen.
But before the madness begins, let’s take a moment to look back at what Dance Magazine’s critics saw in February, not just in New York but all over the country and the world.
Our London correspondent Donald Hutera started out the month bouncing from show to show at British Dance Edition 2012, a sprawling festival of 35 UK-based companies. For him, Hofesh Shechter’s all-female The Art of Not Looking Back, Wendy Houstoun’s “smartly ironic” solo performance, and Trisha Brown’s Set and Reset/Reset, performed by Candoco’s cast of disabled and able-bodied dancers, emerged as the highlights of what he calls “a selective Who’s Who of British dance.” He still can’t seem to get behind Wayne McGregor’s FAR.
On this side of the pond, McGregor fared better. Dance Magazine editor-in-chief Wendy Perron adored the Joffrey Ballet’s company premiere of his Infra, which shared a “bold triple bill” with Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and Wheeldon’s After the Rain. Wendy also made it down to Oklahoma to see Edwaard Liang’s new Romeo and Juliet for Tulsa Ballet, a “strong and satisfying” rendition of the classic which, she predicts, is here to stay.
Also down south, Austin-based writer Jonelle Seitz covered Ballet Austin’s New American Talent/Dance Choreography Competition. The audience favorite wasn’t her own, but she found compelling moments in all three works by Loni Landon, Bradley Shelver, and Gregory Dolbashian. While high-stakes competitions have their place, low-pressure environments for risk-taking are also necessary. That’s what Minneapolis critic Linda Shapiro encountered at James Sewell’s Ballet Works Project, in which Sewell “turn[ed] his eight-member company over to Twin Cities’ choreographers to experiment with new ideas.”
So what will March bring? Stay on top of the madness with us at our reviews page, www.dancemagazine.com/reviews. —Siobhan Burke
Photo: Hofesh Shechter’s
The Art of Not Looking Back. By Dee Conway, courtesy British Dance Edition 2012.