The Vivid Colors of Fall for Dance

September 29, 2013

Fall for Dance is mind-expanding: You always come away with a new dance/art experience. Each piece jolts you out of what you saw a moment before. In Program 2, after being immersed in Nrityagram’s off kilter, settling-into-one-hip sensuality and splendid reds and oranges of classical Indian saris, suddenly you saw a bunch of rough-and-tumble kids in street clothes. They ran and stumbled and alighted with electrifying stillness; they moved as though invisible threads connected them. This was Vancouver’s 605 Collective, making its NYC debut with Selected Play—and it was the discovery of the evening for me.


605 Collective.
Photo by David Cooper, Courtesy City Center

After a pause, two characters right out of Mats Ek’s witty imagination took the stage in his Light Beings (1991). Christopher Akrill and Broom were sweetly galumphy and funny, getting their hands on each other’s face and other body parts with rough-hewn tenderness. They are from HeadSpaceDance, a London company new to me. In this very short duet with music by Sibelius, Ek pulls a frank and refreshing physicality out of them.


Christopher Akrill and Charlotte Broom in
Light Beings.
Photo by Urban Joren, Courtesy City Center


Dance Theatre of Harlem concluded the program on a spiritual note (music by Poulenc) with Robert Garland’s Gloria. Wearing regal blues and greens, the newly resuscitated company was infiltrated, at the beginning and end, with six small girls from the DTH School. This intergenerational ballet is touching and elegant. (Kudos to Da’Von Doane, whose magnetic presence gets more honed each time I see the company).


Dance Theatre of Harlem in
Photo by Matthew Murphy, Courtesy City Center


Fall for Dance continues until October 5. And if you want to hear Sara Mearns, Liam Scarlett, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Ballet Hisanico director Eduardo Vilaro, and Royal Ballet director Kevin O’Hare talk about their Fall for Dance commissions, come to the panel I am moderating on Tuesday at 6:00.


Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Da’Von Doane in
Photo by Matthew Murphy, Courtesy City Center