Dance lovers celebrated the unofficial beginning of the season, and 10 years of City Center’s Fall For Dance (FFD), the annual evening of varied and shared programs for a bargain price, September 16 and 17 at The Delacorte in Central Park hosted by The Public Theater. To mark this anniversary, Arlene Shuler (President & CEO – City Center) with Oskar Eustis (Artistic Director – The Public Theater) came together to bring dance back to The Delacorte and it was a success!
Topping off an already crowd-pleasing event, these two evenings of free performances featured FFD alumi: New York City Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence and STREB Extreme Action Company.
Eustis opened the evening by welcoming dance back to The Delacorte, and Shuler followed confirming that dance had not been there since the 60s, 70s and 80s.
STREB Extreme Action Company’s Human Fountain (2011) was up first. In red unitards, the STREB dancers enter between the audience and their backdrop/prop/dance partner – scaffolding raised 40 feet high, separated into four levels— on the ground, in front of the scaffolding were gigantic mats, about 3 feet high. They mount at different levels, and then we hear someone yell “dancers are you ready”? So it begins, and one by one, they fall from each level, thump, thump, pause, thump, into the mats. The timing has to be just right. And, like cascading red streaks of paint redesigning every moment, they swoop through the air. We hold our breaths.
We applaud them for the adventure. And we want more. Ronald K. Brown/Evidence followed with a spirited rendition of Upside Down (1998). Joining the dancers were musicians Wunmi Olaiya (also the costume designer), Farai Malinga, Alinoune Faye and DJ Tommy Bones. The bare chested men is flowing blue pants, were matched by the women in bright yellow, purple or orange dresses of different lengths that seemed to
fire-off, or capture their every move. As the dancers of Evidence often do, they consumed the stage, legs
flying, torsos twisting, arms raising and reaching, all the while pulsing beautifully to the rhythms. This was a stand-out cast. Next up was Ulysses Dove’s Red Angels (1994) performed by New York City Ballet’s Maria Kowroski, Jennie Somogyi, Adrian Danchig-Waring and Chase Finlay. Offering yet another pulse to the evening – their off-centered balances, hip thrusts and deeper than “usual” plies, all on pointe reeked of Dove’s signature ballet with a twist. The talented electric violinist, Mary Rowell deservedly garnered a great deal of the applause. Ahhh…Esplanade (1975)…this is simply a lovely dance. Yes, this Paul Taylor masterpiece has alternate sections where the energy is not as upbeat, but that too is so beautifully choreographed. The running, the skipping, the playfulness, the patterns, the tender duets and Taylor’s consummate attention to music all add up to joy as presented by the Paul Taylor Dance Company. This was a lovely evening of dance outdoors
Don’t miss Fall For Dance 2013 at City Center – September 25 – October 5. The Festival at City Center will consist of five unique programs and will include performances by 605 Collective, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Hispanico, BODYTRAFFIC, Colin Dunne, DanceBrazil, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Dorrance Dance, doug elkins choreography, etc., Gabriel Missé and Analia Centurión, HeadSpaceDance, INTRODANS, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Martha Graham Dance Company, Nrityagram, Richard Alston Dance Company, Sara Mearns and Casey Herd, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui/Sadler’s Wells London, and The
Find out more: http://www.nycitycenter.org/tickets/productionNew.aspx?performanceNumber=7520