Mae G. Banner
Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal.
Savion Glover with Jimmy Slyde and Dianna Walker
Jacob’s Pillow, June 25
Like being inside a time machine. You can see the ancients
moving within Glover, and you can see him becoming an honored
ancient one day.
2. Taylor 2
R. Wood Theater, May 4
Three men and three women distill Paul Taylor’s dances to
their goofy or romantic essence, bringing a half-century of
the master’s work to smaller towns and smaller theaters. They
danced Three Epitaphs (1956), Taylor’s slouchy, raggy
embodiment of a New Orleans funeral’s second line and Klezmerbluegrass
(2005), an unlikely but smooth blend of vernacular forms,
set to recorded music by Margo Leverett and a mountain string
band. Chicken soup and grits.
3. Martha Graham Dance Company
Jacob’s Pillow, June 29
A retrospective to end all retrospectives, this show reached
back to the early 1900s for then-shocking solos based on Greek
and East Indian myths and finished with Graham’s dramatic
goddess dances. One thread links them all.
4. New York City Ballet
Saratoga Performing Arts Center, July 14
Apocalyptic thunder and lightning hurled James Fayette’s dancing
into a new dimension as he partnered his wife Jenifer Ringer
in a surprise addition to the matinee program. The lights
went out, but the performance went on. Fayette’s last dance
with the New York City Ballet was unforgettable.
5. PearsonWidrig Dance Theater
Skidmore Dance Theater, Feb. 25
inspired by archival footage of ice harvesting on a New England
pond, melds movies and movement, motion and stillness, glassy
white and tender green, silly props and serious ideas. They
danced on window-pane sized slabs of ice that melted and cracked
audibly as the performance traversed from winter to spring.
6. Jeanne Bresciani and Dancers
Surrey Gardens, Skidmore College, Sept. 30
Channeling Isadora Duncan, toga-clad dancers wafted across
the lawns, floated through pergolas, hid behind trees and
marched on an outdoor platform open to blue skies and warm
breezes. Victorian avant-garde made new again.
7. ASzURe & Artists
Jacob’s Pillow, July 31
Aszure Barton, from Canada, electrified the Pillow’s small
Duke Theater with a courtly/erotic duet in which she locked
onto her partner’s outstretched tongue and held on through
many twining moves. She’s one to watch.
8. Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal
Jacob’s Pillow, Aug. 21
Ballet, modern, circus, mime and social commentary all together
in high-concept ensemble dances that ask, “Who’s in charge?”
and “Must I follow orders?” Their robotic/folk re-vision of
Nijinska’s Les Noces was mesmerizing.
9. New York City Ballet
SPAC, July 19
In Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain, prima ballerina
Wendy Whelan and corps member Craig Hall fused their bodies
in total commitment to each other and the deeply tender choreography.
10. Dancing Rebels
Skidmore Dance Theater, Aug. 14
Incredible concert of solos and group dances reconstructed
from the archives of left-wing choreographers from the 1930s
to 1950s. Everything from stomping- villages horas to a chilling
Lady Macbeth, danced by disciples of Sophie Maslow, Anna Sokolow,
Donald McKayle and Daniel Nagrin. Endangered species revived.