Dancers can, and in some cases, take all the attention from a work because of their raw talent. For NDT2 at the Joyce Theater (February 3-8), this was the case. Johan Inger's I New Then (2012) opened the evening with a bang. Layered with characters and dancer-specific movements, tiny steps to get around the stage or mirrored partnering making two look like one, for example, time after time, each dancer entered exuding ownership. In a far corner, cordoned off by floor to ceiling poles in a semi-circle, Benjamin Behrends and Imre van Opstal invite us voyeurs into their sensual strip-tease that goes no further than their underwear. Later everyone returns, forms a circle, and again we get to see each dancer at their best, with solos that come and go, in and out of the circle balanced by equal amounts of energy. For Paul Lightfoot (artistic director) and Sol León’s (artistic advisor/house choreographer) Shutters Shut danced beautifully by van Opstal and Spencer Dickhaus, the curtain opens just half way from bottom to top for an intimate view. Against Gertrude Stein’s recitation of her poem “If I told him,” slowly van Opstal and Dickhaus cross along the front of stage curiously morphing from one quirky gesture to another. Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar’s androgynous Sara brought a different look to the evening, but didn't capitalize on the dancer's ability to craft movement, nor did the flashy León and Lightfoot work, Subject To Change. The individual dancing was what carried the evening.
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I am a performer, historian, consultant and dance writer. I am a faculty member at Hunter College, Sarah Lawrence College (Guest), Empire State College's online program Center for Distance Learning. I am also a former faculty member of The Ailey School and the Alvin Ailey/Fordham University dance major program, Kean University and The Joffrey Ballet School's Jazz and Contemporary Trainee Program. I write on dance for The Amsterdam News, Dance Magazine and various publications. Click below to read more about me at my home page - "About Me."