New York City Ballet principal Daniel Ulbricht is noted for his high energy and soaring leaps, but for Melissa Barak’s recently premiered Call Me Ben, he took on a role that could have had him falling flat on his face: He not only had to deliver dialogue, but he had to play the gangster Meyer Lansky.
After seeing New York Theatre Ballet’s “Signatures 10” program on Saturday night, I realized how hard it is to just stand still and hold a pose
onstage. These dancers did a great job of it, especially in Ashton’s Capriol Suite, a kind of modern retelling of Renaissance-era court dance.
One of the reasons I love going to see dance in small theatres is because I get the chance to watch the dancers up close, and really analyze their performance. This was the case on Thursday, when I went to see Dances Patrelle and Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance at Symphony Space. I sat very close to the stage, and enjoyed picking out the details. What impressed me most, though, was the dancers’ commitment to connecting with the audience and each other, which is sometimes hard to feel in a huge theatre or opera house.
This morning we had a cover shoot with one of my all-time favorite dancers who's a principal at a top company. She's reached a level of success that most dancers only dream of. Yet she told me that when she was young, she never thought she'd get hired as a dancer. There was always someone better. There was always something she needed to improve.
The New York City Ballet spent its winter season tackling Big Story Ballets: Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, A Midsummer Night's Dream. So when I entered the David H. Koch theater last night (right before Sarah Jessica Parker, no less!) for the company's spring gala, I was anticipating--OK, eagerly anticipating--a return to balletic abstraction, to sleek unitards and challenging music and movement for movement's sake.
ABT soloist Simone Messmer is more than your typical bunhead. The girl has pizzazz—an effortless vivacity that's simply magnetic both onstage and off. So I'm super excited to share that she has been chosen to receive the 2010 Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellowship.
There are some performances you feel like you could see over and over again, because the dancers made such a huge impression on you. You remember every moment, every movement. That’s how I feel about a video of Natalia Makarova performing the White Swan pas de deux from the second act of Swan Lake, that I watched for the first time a couple of days ago.