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Fall for Dance 2008 - Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Sweet Fields; San Francisco Ballet, In the Night; Compañia Nacional De Danza, Cor Perdut; Paul Taylor Dance Company, Esplanade

by Robert Abrams
September 26, 2008
New York City Center
130 West 56th Street
(Audience Entrance is on West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues)
(Entrance for Studios and Offices is on West 56th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues)
New York, NY 10019

Featured Dance Company:

Paul Taylor Dance Company
Paul Taylor Dance Company (office)
552 Broadway
New York, NY 10012
212 431 5562

The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet's performance of Sweet Fields, choreographed by Twyla Tharp, was captivating. The loose white shirts and pants amplified the dancers' movement. The dancers made the difficult and dangerous, such as lifts and flips, look like the greatest ease. The flips were a part that stands for the whole of the dancers' talent. This talent was one reason interest in the dance was sustained over the long work. The macro structure, such as variations in tempo and in numbers of dancers on stage, also contributed to the work's sustaining interest from start to finish. I would be very happy to see Sweet Fields again.

My only suggestion for improvement is that I think this work would be worth seeing with live singers, but that is more of a wish list item than a criticism as the recorded music was uplifting nonetheless.

The San Francisco Ballet's rendition of In the Night, choreographed by Jerome Robbins, was a mix of tenderness and passion to the accompaniment of a live piano. This is a more or less vintage ballroom dance in pointe shoes number. There was a lovely grapevine. The number also features interesting changes of direction, as well as an impressive lift and drop.

Compañia Nacional De Danza performed Cor Perdut (choreography by Nacho Duato). This was a short, very high energy dance for a man and a woman. The work was abstract, but there was clearly a relationship between the dancers. I wanted to know their story. When they caressed, I believed them. Technically I thought they hit their marks, even at full speed. Their changes of direction were engaging. I would love to see this dance fit into a movie.

The final work of the night was Esplanade, danced by the Paul Taylor Dance Company, with choregraphy by Paul Taylor. This work, or at least some sections of it, is based on repeated walking patterns (the company has a great educational program they offer using excerpts from Esplanade). Mr. Taylor takes this idea of repetition and then creates variation through the use of ever changing clusters of dancers, often with one dancer highlighted. At times the dancers' turn corners with such deliberateness and style that it reminded me of "Donny" in the Japanese film Shall We Dance?. Another section of the dance is all about orbits. Overall, Esplanade is a happy dance that never fails to please the crowd.
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet - Sweet Fields

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet - Sweet Fields

Photo © & courtesy of Rosalie O'Connor

San Francisco Ballet - In the Night

San Francisco Ballet - In the Night

Photo © & courtesy of Rosalie O'Connor

Paul Taylor Dance Company - Esplanade

Paul Taylor Dance Company - Esplanade

Photo © & courtesy of Lois Greenfield

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