Mae G. Banner
Dance flooded area stages in 2002 in a profusion of styles
from tap to tango—too much for one person to see it all. To
outlyers Kaatsbaan in Tivoli and MASS MoCA in North Adams,
Mass.: I’ve seen the great work you present. I wish I could
have made it this year.
Here are 10 of the best dance shows I saw closer to home:
White Oak Dance Project
Mikhail Baryshnikov and friends in White Oak Dance Project
performed profound and silly dances that showed the links
between early modern dance and tomorrow’s moves. Baryshnikov’s
masterful solo in Lucinda Childs’ Largo and his cool
intensity in Erick Hawkins’ Early Floating were unforgettable.
Savion Glover and TiDi
The Egg, Aug. 3
They made complex polyphonic music with their feet, skidding
across the floor, no holds barred. More than tap, this is
Mark Morris Dance Group
Mark Morris Dance Group thrilled the audience with his stage-filling
V to music by Robert Schumann. On a smaller scale,
Morris and original company member Guillermo Resto stepped
knowingly to Balkan folk music in Foursome, in which
they passed the dance on to two younger men.
Miami City Ballet
A full evening of large-scale dances from director Edward
Villella’s Neighborhood Ballroom. Lush, vigorous, a
little kitschy, but gorgeously staged Art Nouveau waltz and
New York City Ballet
Arts Center, July 10
Albert Evans choreographed Haiku for the New York City
Ballet’s Diamond Project, put six friends and an avant-garde
percussion trio in it, and slid this small marvel onto the
SPAC stage. Corps dancers Aesha Ash and Carla Korbes slithered
dangerously, making the most of their chance to star.
An incomparable troupe from Brazil stirred together swirls
of samba, maxixe, ballet and modern to make sometimes satirical,
sometimes spiritual comments on life in their country’s multicultural
College, Nov. 16/19
Two events in one packed weekend at Skidmore: Balls
(Nov. 19 at the Tang Museum) added extra layers of slinky
or bouncing movement choreographed by Debra Fernandez to the
candy-colored art installation by Paul Henry Ramirez. Earlier
(Nov. 16 at the Skidmore Dance Theater), the student-run Cabaret
Troupe put on a sleek, savvy Chicago in Fosse-inspired
black satin, velvet and lace, with touches of gold. Choreographer
Phil LaBella knew how to get the best moves out of every one
of 20 talented dancers.
Limón Dance Company
The Egg, June 8
The company revived Psalm, a rapturous ensemble dance
from 1967. These dancers truly are “acrobats of god” whose
dancing is offered as a gift.
Richard Move in Martha becomes the hieratic Graham
and introduces several “crackers” in a loving and historically
accurate variety show cum satire of the self-declared mother
of modern dance.
Saratoga Music Hall,
Gaston Bernard, Benoit Bourque and Simon Lepage are Matapat,
musicians-dancers from Quebec. As part of a scintillating
show of world percussive dance, they led hordes of enchanted
folk through embroideries of movement at the hall, tracing
communal lines of sixes and fours. The next night, they brought
their raw elegance to Caffe Lena and got the full house up
on their feet all over again.