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Fall For Dance - Alonzo King's Lines Ballet, The Martha Graham Dance Company, The New York City Ballet, Compagnie La Baraka/Abou Lagraa, The Parsons Dance Company and the after party

by Robert Abrams
October 3, 2006
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
212.247.0430

Featured Dance Company:

Alonzo King's Lines Ballet
Alonzo King's Lines Ballet (office)
26 Seventh Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
415.863.3040
www.linesballet.org

Fall for Dance is this incredible program that City Center puts on featuring top dance talent for only $10 per ticket. The deal is so unbeatable, that it helps to have connections. I got my tickets through the New York City Ballet's Society in C, another great program for dance patrons. There is also a special program through City Center for NYC teachers and their students for advance ticket purchases.

The Moroccan Project (Alonzo King's Lines Ballet - See them at The Joyce Theater on May 1-6, 2007) at first looked like randomness carried by the strength of the dancers. This approach to choreography can work if the dancers are good enough, and these clearly were good enough. As the work went on, it became clear that the choreography had more structure than was apparent at first. The geometry consisted of, for the most part, lines (with an offset) that increased in intensity in tempo and density as each section progressed. Sections were bridged with solos. The dance blended ballet with African dance styles. It is hard to imagine two more completely different styles of dance, but they made it work. The orange costumes, minimal with a flourish, complemented the earthy, grounded sensibility of the work. (Dancers: Aesha Ash, Brett Conway, Drew Jacoby, Laurel Keen, John Michael Schert, Benjamin Wardell, Meredith Webster, Keelan Whitmore.)

Satyric Festival Song (The Martha Graham Dance Company - See them at The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College on January 27, 2007). A grasshopper dons a stretchy green dress. She moves in interval bursts, staccato and angular to the articulated live flute. The dance was punctuated by humorous flourishes of movement, such as a big toe raised. The work was capped by a continuation of the movement danced in silence. The dancer was technically proficient and emotionally present, light and lithe of foot. It was good to see the Martha Graham Dance Company still in top form. (Dancer: Miki Orihara.)

The New York City Ballet's In The Night was melodic and flowing, whereas the earlier works in the program were rhythmic and percussive (See them at the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center on November 24, 2006 through February 4, 2007). This was classical ballet in romantic tutus, with a suggestion of vintage partner dance without actually being vintage partner dance, except for a short sequence of waltz at the end. The dancers showed exquisite extended line throughout. My friend who attended the performance with me thought the first couple was a little stiff, making the dance look well done but with too much work. I didn't notice the stiffness, but I am including her critique because if I don't offer a suggestion for improvement, the judges have to deduct ten points from my review. (Dancers: Rachel Rutherford and Tyler Angle, Sofiane Sylve and Charles Askegard, Wendy Whelan and Sebastién Marcovici.)

In Où Transe (Compagnie La Baraka/Abou Lagraa), the dancer was spastic, yet completely in control. Ground work alternated in extended sections with more vertical movement. He wore a green outfit with a turtle neck type collar that at times completely covered his face, like a mask. I thought he was either portraying a terrorist or a victim, or maybe both at once or by turns, or maybe it was just my need to impose meaning on pure abstraction. The music consisted of throbbing bass sounds, ominous, painful to some but not to others. The work was both disturbing and compelling. (Dancer: Abou Lagraa.)

Swing Shift (The Parsons Dance Company - See them at The Joyce Theater on December 5-17, 2006) seemed to have a coherent geometric structure, although I didn't take enough notes to deconstruct it in detail. My obliteratively subsumed impression was that the structure was either on a par with Pascal Rioult's Bolero, or close to it. Solos set a modern dance base. Group sections launched into a Swing feel signified by many underarm turns. At several transition points, one dancer would be on stage, and then suddenly a school of dancers would flow out to join her, setting up the complex ensemble movements to follow. The dance was exuberant, and as such, a fitting end to a varied, but always top quality, evening's program that in almost all of the works drew upon and fused together disparate styles in unexpected ways. (Dancers: Elizabeth Koeppen-McDole, Abby Silva, Jeremy Smith, Malvina Sardou, Miguel Quinones, Julie Blume, Tommy Scrivens, Dario Vaccaro, Mayte Natalio.)

Swing Shift turned out to not be the end after all. You thought $10 for an evening of five great dance companies and performances was an unbeatable deal (hence the reason that Fall For Dance typically sells out its entire run of the very large City Center in hours)? You would be wrong. It turns out that after every performance, City Center has set up a lounge area with drinks and food available for purchase and a DJ spinning mostly quite danceable tunes. The music is somewhat varied, but mostly conducive to Hustle and related styles. An inexpensive social dance event in New York City usually charges a cover of $10 per person, sometimes more. For $10 at Fall For Dance you get an evening of top professionals performing their heart out, AND an after party conducive to social dance. Now THAT is just about unbeatable. The only problem was that no one was actually dancing at the after party. Some people were moving a little, and it looked like they wanted to dance. It is one of those situations where people are unsure what is appropriate (does City Center have a cabaret license?, will I look foolish as an amateur right after all of that professional talent?). City Center needs to plant the event with a couple of couples to start a snowball (a snowball is a dance where dancers who were part of a preceding show start dancing, and then break off so that each dancer pulls one person from the audience and starts dancing with them, and then they break off and pull in more people). Do that and City Center will give NYCB's Dance with the Dancers a run for its money as the best hybrid performance/social dance event of the season.

This review was written using a lost wax method. I watched each performance, composing some text in my head as it went along, but not taking notes and trying to absorb the work in order to let my main ideas about the work come to the surface. I then scribbled some notes in the margins of the program after each work was done (very thoughtful of the Fall For Dance organizers to leave blocks of blank half pages scattered throughout the program). This review was written as an overnight, but I purposely held it back until all of the NYC public school students participating in the ExploreDance.com/NYC Department of Education/City Center dance writing contest submitted their reviews of Fall For Dance. This project is still in development, so if you are a teacher and would like to participate in a free dance writing workshop, please send a letter to the editor.
Fall for Dance 2006 - Alonzo King's Lines Ballet - The MOROCCAN Project

Fall for Dance 2006 - Alonzo King's Lines Ballet - The MOROCCAN Project

Photo © & courtesy of Marty Sohl


Fall for Dance 2006 - Alonzo King's Lines Ballet - The MOROCCAN Project

Fall for Dance 2006 - Alonzo King's Lines Ballet - The MOROCCAN Project

Photo © & courtesy of Marty Sohl


Fall for Dance 2006 - American Ballet Theatre - Swan Lake

Fall for Dance 2006 - American Ballet Theatre - Swan Lake

Photo © & courtesy of Rosalie O'Connor


Fall for Dance 2006 - American Ballet Theatre - Swan Lake

Fall for Dance 2006 - American Ballet Theatre - Swan Lake

Photo © & courtesy of Rosalie O'Connor


Fall for Dance 2006 - ASzURe & Artists - Mais We

Fall for Dance 2006 - ASzURe & Artists - Mais We

Photo © & courtesy of Liz Magic Laser


Fall for Dance 2006 - ASzURe & Artists - Mais We

Fall for Dance 2006 - ASzURe & Artists - Mais We

Photo © & courtesy of Liz Magic Laser


Fall for Dance 2006 - Ballet Boyz - Torsion

Fall for Dance 2006 - Ballet Boyz - Torsion

Photo © & courtesy of Panayiotis Sinnos


Fall for Dance 2006 - Ballet Boyz - Torsion

Fall for Dance 2006 - Ballet Boyz - Torsion

Photo © & courtesy of Panayiotis Sinnos


Fall for Dance 2006 - Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company - Last Supper at Uncle Tom's Cabin

Fall for Dance 2006 - Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company - Last Supper at Uncle Tom's Cabin

Photo © & courtesy of Jeff Day


Fall for Dance 2006 - Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company - Last Supper at Uncle Tom's Cabin

Fall for Dance 2006 - Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company - Last Supper at Uncle Tom's Cabin

Photo © & courtesy of Carol Rosegg


Fall for Dance 2006 - Bridgman/Packer Dance - Under the Skin

Fall for Dance 2006 - Bridgman/Packer Dance - Under the Skin

Photo © & courtesy of Eduardo Patino


Fall for Dance 2006 - Bridgman/Packer Dance - Under the Skin

Fall for Dance 2006 - Bridgman/Packer Dance - Under the Skin

Photo © & courtesy of Kelly Gottesman And Lisa Levart


Fall for Dance 2006 - Bridgman/Packer Dance - Under the Skin

Fall for Dance 2006 - Bridgman/Packer Dance - Under the Skin

Photo © & courtesy of Paul B. Goode


Fall for Dance 2006 - Christopher Williams - The Portuguese Suite

Fall for Dance 2006 - Christopher Williams - The Portuguese Suite

Photo © & courtesy of Paula Court


Fall for Dance 2006 - Christopher Williams - The Portuguese Suite

Fall for Dance 2006 - Christopher Williams - The Portuguese Suite

Photo © & courtesy of Paula Court


Fall for Dance 2006 - Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie - Fifteen Heterosexual Duets

Fall for Dance 2006 - Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie - Fifteen Heterosexual Duets

Photo © & courtesy of Paul-Antoine Taillefer


Fall for Dance 2006 - Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie - Fifteen Heterosexual Duets

Fall for Dance 2006 - Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie - Fifteen Heterosexual Duets

Photo © & courtesy of Paul-Antoine Taillefer


Fall for Dance 2006 - Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie - Fifteen Heterosexual Duets

Fall for Dance 2006 - Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie - Fifteen Heterosexual Duets

Photo © & courtesy of Michael Slobodian


Fall for Dance 2006 - Compagnie Franck II Louise - DROP IT!

Fall for Dance 2006 - Compagnie Franck II Louise - DROP IT!

Photo © & courtesy of Christian Aquilina


Fall for Dance 2006 - Compagnie Franck II Louise - DROP IT!

Fall for Dance 2006 - Compagnie Franck II Louise - DROP IT!

Photo © & courtesy of Jpmarcon.com


Fall for Dance 2006 - Compagnie La Baraka / Abou Lagraa - Ou Transe

Fall for Dance 2006 - Compagnie La Baraka / Abou Lagraa - Ou Transe

Photo © & courtesy of Michael Cavalca


Fall for Dance 2006 - Compagnie La Baraka / Abou Lagraa - Ou Transe

Fall for Dance 2006 - Compagnie La Baraka / Abou Lagraa - Ou Transe

Photo © & courtesy of Michael Cavalca


Fall for Dance 2006 - Dutch National Ballet - Second Detail

Fall for Dance 2006 - Dutch National Ballet - Second Detail

Photo © & courtesy of Angela Sterling


Fall for Dance 2006 - Dutch National Ballet - Before After

Fall for Dance 2006 - Dutch National Ballet - Before After

Photo © & courtesy of Julie Gardette And François Rousseau


Fall for Dance 2006 - Dutch National Ballet - Symphony in C

Fall for Dance 2006 - Dutch National Ballet - Symphony in C

Photo © & courtesy of Larissa Lezhina And Tamas Nagy


Fall for Dance 2006 - FARRUCO

Fall for Dance 2006 - FARRUCO

Photo © & courtesy of Rose Marba


Fall for Dance 2006 - FARRUCO

Fall for Dance 2006 - FARRUCO

Photo © & courtesy of Israel Sanchez Pietro


Fall for Dance 2006 - Honvéd Dance Company - Black Pearl

Fall for Dance 2006 - Honvéd Dance Company - Black Pearl

Photo © & courtesy of Peter Korniss


Fall for Dance 2006 - Honvéd Dance Company - Black Pearl

Fall for Dance 2006 - Honvéd Dance Company - Black Pearl

Photo © & courtesy of Peter Korniss


Fall for Dance 2006 - Jason Samuels Smith's A.C.G.I.

Fall for Dance 2006 - Jason Samuels Smith's A.C.G.I.

Photo © & courtesy of Michael Higgins


Fall for Dance 2006 - Jason Samuels Smith's A.C.G.I.

Fall for Dance 2006 - Jason Samuels Smith's A.C.G.I.

Photo © & courtesy of Carl McClarty


Fall for Dance 2006 - Jason Samuels Smith's A.C.G.I.

Fall for Dance 2006 - Jason Samuels Smith's A.C.G.I.

Photo © & courtesy of Carl McClarty


Fall for Dance 2006 - The Martha Graham Dance Company - Satyric Festival Song

Fall for Dance 2006 - The Martha Graham Dance Company - Satyric Festival Song

Photo © & courtesy of John Deane


Fall for Dance 2006 - The Martha Graham Dance Company - Satyric Festival Song

Fall for Dance 2006 - The Martha Graham Dance Company - Satyric Festival Song

Photo © & courtesy of John Deane


Fall for Dance 2006 - Maureen Fleming Company - The Stairs

Fall for Dance 2006 - Maureen Fleming Company - The Stairs

Photo © & courtesy of Lois Greenfield


Fall for Dance 2006 - nathantrice/RITUALS

Fall for Dance 2006 - nathantrice/RITUALS

Photo © & courtesy of Benjamin Goetz


Fall for Dance 2006 - nathantrice/RITUALS

Fall for Dance 2006 - nathantrice/RITUALS

Photo © & courtesy of Benjamin Goetz


Fall for Dance 2006 - nathantrice/RITUALS

Fall for Dance 2006 - nathantrice/RITUALS

Photo © & courtesy of Benjamin Goetz


Fall for Dance 2006 - New York City Ballet - In the Night

Fall for Dance 2006 - New York City Ballet - In the Night

Photo © & courtesy of Paul Kolnik


Fall for Dance 2006 - New York City Ballet - In the Night

Fall for Dance 2006 - New York City Ballet - In the Night

Photo © & courtesy of Paul Kolnik


Fall for Dance 2006 - Nikolais Dance Theatre performed by Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company - Tensile Involvement

Fall for Dance 2006 - Nikolais Dance Theatre performed by Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company - Tensile Involvement

Photo © & courtesy of Brent Herridge


Fall for Dance 2006 - Nikolais Dance Theatre performed by Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company - Tensile Involvement

Fall for Dance 2006 - Nikolais Dance Theatre performed by Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company - Tensile Involvement

Photo © & courtesy of Brent Herridge


Fall for Dance 2006 - Nikolais Dance Theatre performed by Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company - Tensile Involvement

Fall for Dance 2006 - Nikolais Dance Theatre performed by Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company - Tensile Involvement

Photo © & courtesy of Brent Herridge


Fall for Dance 2006 - Odile Duboc – Contre Jour/CCN de Franche-Comté à Belfort - boléro, one

Fall for Dance 2006 - Odile Duboc – Contre Jour/CCN de Franche-Comté à Belfort - boléro, one

Photo © & courtesy of Paul-Antoine Taillefer


Fall for Dance 2006 - Odile Duboc – Contre Jour/CCN de Franche-Comté à Belfort - boléro, one

Fall for Dance 2006 - Odile Duboc – Contre Jour/CCN de Franche-Comté à Belfort - boléro, one

Photo © & courtesy of Florian Tiedge


Fall for Dance 2006 - Pacific Northwest Ballet - The Piano Dance

Fall for Dance 2006 - Pacific Northwest Ballet - The Piano Dance

Photo © & courtesy of Angela Sterling


Fall for Dance 2006 - Pacific Northwest Ballet - The Piano Dance

Fall for Dance 2006 - Pacific Northwest Ballet - The Piano Dance

Photo © & courtesy of Angela Sterling


Fall for Dance 2006 - Pacific Northwest Ballet - The Piano Dance

Fall for Dance 2006 - Pacific Northwest Ballet - The Piano Dance

Photo © & courtesy of Angela Sterling


Fall for Dance 2006 - The Parsons Dance Company - Swing Shift

Fall for Dance 2006 - The Parsons Dance Company - Swing Shift

Photo © & courtesy of David Parsons


Fall for Dance 2006 - Paul Taylor Dance Company - Syzygy

Fall for Dance 2006 - Paul Taylor Dance Company - Syzygy


Fall for Dance 2006 - Pennsylvania Ballet - 11:11

Fall for Dance 2006 - Pennsylvania Ballet - 11:11

Photo © & courtesy of Paul Kolnik


Fall for Dance 2006 - Pennsylvania Ballet - 11:11

Fall for Dance 2006 - Pennsylvania Ballet - 11:11

Photo © & courtesy of Paul Kolnik


Fall for Dance 2006 - Pennsylvania Ballet - 11:11

Fall for Dance 2006 - Pennsylvania Ballet - 11:11

Photo © & courtesy of Paul Kolnik


Fall for Dance 2006 - Random Dance - Polar Sequences

Fall for Dance 2006 - Random Dance - Polar Sequences

Photo © & courtesy of Ravi Deepres


Fall for Dance 2006 - Random Dance - Polar Sequences

Fall for Dance 2006 - Random Dance - Polar Sequences

Photo © & courtesy of Ravi Deepres


Fall for Dance 2006 - Random Dance - Polar Sequences

Fall for Dance 2006 - Random Dance - Polar Sequences

Photo © & courtesy of Ravi Deepres


Fall for Dance 2006 - Robert Moses' Kin

Fall for Dance 2006 - Robert Moses' Kin

Photo © & courtesy of Edward Casati


Fall for Dance 2006 - Robert Moses' Kin

Fall for Dance 2006 - Robert Moses' Kin

Photo © & courtesy of Edward Casati


Fall for Dance 2006 - Robert Moses' Kin

Fall for Dance 2006 - Robert Moses' Kin

Photo © & courtesy of Edward Casati


Fall for Dance 2006 - Stephen Petronio Company

Fall for Dance 2006 - Stephen Petronio Company

Photo © & courtesy of Sarah Silver At Kate Ryan Inc.


Fall for Dance 2006 - Stephen Petronio Company

Fall for Dance 2006 - Stephen Petronio Company

Photo © & courtesy of Sarah Silver At Kate Ryan Inc.


Fall for Dance 2006 - Stephen Petronio Company - Lareigne

Fall for Dance 2006 - Stephen Petronio Company - Lareigne

Photo © & courtesy of Sarah Silver At Kate Ryan Inc.


Fall for Dance 2006 - STREB Extreme Action - Streb vs. Gravity

Fall for Dance 2006 - STREB Extreme Action - Streb vs. Gravity

Photo © & courtesy of Tom Caravaglia


Fall for Dance 2006 - STREB Extreme Action - Streb vs. Gravity

Fall for Dance 2006 - STREB Extreme Action - Streb vs. Gravity

Photo © & courtesy of Tom Caravaglia


Fall for Dance 2006 - Trisha Brown Dance Company - Set and Reset

Fall for Dance 2006 - Trisha Brown Dance Company - Set and Reset

Photo © & courtesy of Naoya Ikegani/Saitama Arts Foundation


Fall for Dance 2006 - Trisha Brown Dance Company - Set and Reset

Fall for Dance 2006 - Trisha Brown Dance Company - Set and Reset

Photo © & courtesy of Naoya Ikegani/Saitama Arts Foundation


Fall for Dance 2006 - Yi-Jo Lim Sun Dance Company - Heaven and Earth

Fall for Dance 2006 - Yi-Jo Lim Sun Dance Company - Heaven and Earth

Photo © & courtesy of Chan-Bok Kim


Fall for Dance 2006 - Yi-Jo Lim Sun Dance Company - Heaven and Earth

Fall for Dance 2006 - Yi-Jo Lim Sun Dance Company - Heaven and Earth

Photo © & courtesy of Chan-Bok Kim

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