- The Latest
- Breaking Stereotypes
- Rant & Rave
- Dance As Activism
- Dancers Trending
- Viral Videos
- The Dancer's Toolkit
- Health & Body
- Dance Training
- Career Advice
- Style & Beauty
- Dance Auditions
- Guides & Resources
- Performance Calendar
- College Guide
- Dance Magazine Awards
- Meet The Editors
- Contact Us
- Advertise/Media Kit
- Buy A Single Issue
- Give A Gift Subscription
Tania Perez-Salas Compania de Danza
Tania Perez-Salas Compania de Danza
Lincoln Hall, University of Oregon, Portland, OR
October 14, 2006
Reviewed by Heather Wisner
Tania Perez-Salas Compañía de Danza
Photo by Jos Jorge Carren, courtesy White Bird
You could easily describe the Tania Perez-Salas Compañía de Danza without mentioning the dancing at all. That’s not to say that the dancing isn’t worth mentioning, only that the company’s theatricality—beyond the “adult content and partial nudity” trumpeted in the advance press—is what lingers most vividly in the mind.
The Mexico City–based troupe made its West Coast debut with a contemporary program. The Hours, based on Michael Cunningham’s novel about Virginia Woolf, strung together arresting images of female interaction, beginning with two women encapsulated in a large plastic ball, which they slowly rolled across the stage like two dreamy hamsters in an exercise wheel. This passage was followed by a dancer in an enormous hoop skirt that anchored her bottom half to the ground, leaving only her upper body to undulate lyrically. Eventually she lifted her skirt to reveal three women hidden underneath. Their comic pas de trois stemmed from their own hoop skirts, which were sewn into one garment, causing the wearers to collide whenever they attempted individual movement. This limited-mobility theme continued as the dancers tangled themselves around ropes. Viewers could read any number of messages into the symbolism, the most obvious of these involving female bonding, and bondage.
The “adult” piece, Anabiosis, drew a line between sacred and profane love, with sacred love danced in gentle partnerships to choral music under a halo of white light, and the more interesting profane love filtered through blue light and heavy-breathing electronica. Waters of Forgetfulness, set in a shallow wading pool to the music of Arvo Pärt, ended the evening with a kind of liquid melancholy. The dancers rolled and splashed in the water, flinging their limbs and hair in dramatic, soaking arcs, until a shower of sand from the flies grounded their reverie.
Perez-Salas’ movement torqued the clarity and fluidity of classical ballet, breaking extensions with flexed feet or palms wiggling frantically like fish on a line, and she periodically reminded us of the power of simplicity, as when a line of dancers advanced downstage as music built ominously. But this show suggested that her gift is as a choreographer of images that extend far beyond the physical. See www.taniaperezsalas.com.
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.
Who says you need fancy equipment to make a festival-worthy dance film? Right now, two New York City–based dance film festivals are calling for aspiring filmmakers to show their stuff—and you don't need anything more cumbersome than a smartphone to get in on the action.
Here's everything you need to know about how to submit:
On the occasion of its 70th anniversary, the Ballet Nacional de Cuba tours the U.S. this spring with the resolute Cuban prima ballerina assoluta Alicia Alonso a the helm. Named a National Hero of Labor in Cuba, Alonso, 97, has weathered strained international relations and devastating fiscal challenges to have BNC emerge as a world-class dance company. Her dancers are some of ballet's best. On offer this time are Alonso's Giselle and Don Quixote. The profoundly Cuban company performs in Chicago May 18–20, Tampa May 23, Washington, D.C., May 29–June 3 and Saratoga, New York June 6–8.
We all know that the general population's knowledge of ballet is sometimes...a bit skewed. (See: people touching their fingertips to the top of their head, and Kendall Jenner hopping around at the barre.)
Would your average Joe know how to do ballet's most basic step: a plié? Or, more to the point, even know what it is?
SELF decided to find out.
When Lisset Santander bourréed onstage as Myrtha in BalletMet's Giselle this past February, her consummate portrayal of the Queen of the Wilis was marked by steely grace and litheness. The former Cuban National Ballet dancer had defected to the U.S. at 21, and after two years with the Ohio company, she's now closer to the dance career she says she always wanted: one of limitless possibilities.
For 17 years, James Samson has been the model Paul Taylor dancer. There is something fundamentally decent about his stage persona. He's a tall dancer—six feet—but never imposes himself. He's muscular, but gentle. And when he moves, it is his humanity that shines through, even more than his technique.
But all dancing careers come to an end, and James Samson's is no exception; now 43, he'll be retiring in August, after a final performance at the Teatro Romano in Verona, where he'll be dancing in Cloven Kingdom, Piazzolla Caldera and Promethean Fire.
The wait for Alexei Ratmansky's restaging of Petipa's Harlequinade is almost over! But if you can't wait until American Ballet Theatre officially debuts the ballet at the Metropolitan Opera House on June 6, we've got you covered. ABT brought the Harlequinade characters to life (and to the Alder Mansion in Yonkers, NY) in a short film by Ezra Hurwitz, and it's a guaranteed to make you laugh.
When an anonymous letter accused former New York City Ballet leader Peter Martins of sexual harassment last year, it felt like what had long been an open secret—the prevalence of harassment in the dance world—was finally coming to the surface. But the momentum of the #MeToo movement, at least in dance, has since died down.
Martins has retired, though an investigation did not corroborate any of the claims against him. He and former American Ballet Theatre star Marcelo Gomes, who suddenly resigned in December, were the only cases to make national headlines in the U.S. We've barely scratched the surface of the dance world's harassment problem.
Many choreographers have been defeated by Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. However, one dancemaker whose stridency, rhythmic daring and sheer inventiveness could possibly match Stravinsky's is Wayne McGregor. For his first commission from American Ballet Theatre, McGregor has taken on this earth-cracking music in AFTERITE, to premiere at ABT's Spring Gala. Also on the May 21 gala program are excerpts from Alexei Ratmansky's restaging of the comic ballet Harlequinade, the full version of which will premiere next month, and a pièce d'occasion by tapper Michelle Dorrance. May 21–26. abt.org.
If diamonds are a girl's best friend, it's safe to say that faux-diamond earrings are a dancer's best friend. A fixture onstage at just about every competition weekend, these blinged-out baubles are also the surest sign that recital season is upon us again. And what better way to get into the sparkly spirit than by drooling over these 5 diamonds in the rough? (Sorry not sorry!)