The Cornucopia of Fall for Dance

October 3, 2014

This week the Fall for Dance festival bursts into New York, showering us with 20 companies in 10 days. From October 8 to 19, people travel from near and far to come to New York City Center and soak it all in—for just $15 a pop. This year there are plenty of new works for those of us who see a lot of dance, but the festival also appeals to people new to dance.

I will be happy to see groups that I’ve only had a tantalizing glimpse of, including Black Grace, Australian Ballet, Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal, Sarasota Ballet, National Ballet of China, and Russell Maliphant. I am especially excited to see Sébastian Ramirez and Honji Wang, who knocked me out when they came to the Apollo last year. (The duet that they will perform, AP15, was on my “Best of 2013” list.)


Above: Les Ballet
s Jazz de Montreal’s Alexander Hille and Céline Cassone. Photo by Leda and St. Jacques.


Of course the Ailey company in Ohad Naharin’s Minus 16 is always a joy, and Wayne McGregor|Random Dance in Far was fascinating when I saw it at Peak Performances a couple years ago. The world premieres by Pontus Lidberg (see his “Choreography inn Focus” here) and Mark Morris are bound to hold some surprises.

What I love about this festival is the seams between the pieces, whether they be jarring or delightful. As an audience member, you are called upon to shift your aesthetics from, say, the vamping of Sara Mearns in a TV-style number by Joshua Bergasse to the “spiritual journey” of Africa’s Vuyani Dance Theatre, in the few seconds of pause betweenpieces. I find that instant aesthetic pendulum swing to be a challenge and a thrill.


Above: Sébastien Ramirez and Honji Wang in
AP15. Photo by Nika Kramer.


I usually moderate one DanceTalk associated with FFD, and this year it’s on a favorite subject of mine: Judson Dance Theater. If you’re curious, join Lucinda Childs, Yvonne Rainer, Diane Madden, and me on October 11 for “The Last Seismic Shift: How Did Judson Dance Theater Choreographers Challenge Modern Dance?”

For the full schedule and tickets Fall for Dance, click here.