What Wendy's Watching
Jawole Willa Jo Zollar's Shelter addresses homelessness. Photo by Paul Kolnik, Courtesy Ailey

Just in time for its summer season at Lincoln Center, the dancers and management of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater have settled their issues surrounding the performers' union contracts. Now that they've reached a new collective bargaining agreement, the dancers can sail into this weeklong season of nine ballets. (Well, maybe not sail, since this is some of the hardest repertory on earth.)


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What Wendy's Watching
PC Paul Kolnik

New York City Ballet is celebrating the Jerome Robbins Centennial with twenty (20!) ballets. The great American choreographer died in 1998, so very few of today's dancers have actually worked with him. There are plenty of stories about how demanding (at times brutally so) he could be in rehearsal. But Peter Boal has written about Robbins in a more balanced, loving way. In this post he writes about how Robbins' crystal clear imagery helped him approach a role with clarity and purpose.


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What Wendy's Watching
Eiko at Met Breuer, with projected photo, PC Paula Lobo

Eiko Otake has been half of the famed duo Eiko & Koma for many years. They created other-worldly, slow-motion dreamscapes, for which they received a 2006 Dance Magazine Award.

Recently Eiko has embarked on a solo project, A Body in Places, which landed on my Best of 2016 list (scroll down to "miscellaneous bests.") Now she is bringing this haunting performance/installation to the Metropolitan Museum of Art under its MetLiveArts program. Eiko has already visited the Met's two other venues: The Cloisters in Upper Manhattan and the Met Breuer on the Upper East Side. This Sunday, she will be in Lehman Court at the Met Fifth Avenue all day. Come witness A Body in Places. Click here for more information.

What Wendy's Watching
David Dorfman Dance in Aroundtown, PC Adam Campos

David Dorfman's choreography asks, How can we all get along? In his new piece, Aroundtown at the BAM Harvey Theater, he shows how hostility within a community can turn to tenderness. He and his wife, Lisa Race, have a long embrace in the corner of the stage. It's almost like saying that enduring love doesn't always happen center stage.

In my 2013 "Choreography in Focus" with Dorfman, he says he likes his work to reflect "the mess of life." And you will see some of that mess in this piece, captured with compassion, craft and humor.

Aroundtown, which is part of the Next Wave Festival at Brooklyn Academy of Music, is at the BAM Harvey Theater from Nov. 8 to 11.

What Wendy's Watching
Ashley Shaw as Victoria Page, PC Johan Persson

We are back at New York City Center for The Red Shoes. Matthew Bourne's sumptuous version sticks with the story told in the wildly popular 1948 film. I have to admit I'm not crazy about the idea that Victoria Page, a beautiful young dancer, must choose between work and love. Plus, it uses ballet, once again in popular culture, as a destructive force. But this production is by Matthew Bourne's New Adventures, so the sets and costumes are (ahem) to die for.

For New Yorkers, a special indulgence: On select nights, New York City Ballet's Sara Mearns plays Victoria Page, and American Ballet Theatre's Marcelo Gomes (a 2015 Dance Magazine Awardee) plays the composer who falls for her.

The Red Shoes is up at NY City Center until Nov. 5. Click here for more information.

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