I went to “How to be Single” on Valentine’s Day. I went with two girlfriends, a tote bag full of Reese’s hearts, and the kind of spectacular hangover-to-end-all-hangovers that blindsides me about once a year. Target audience? I THINK SO. In fact, I saw the trailer in the fall and was so excited that I might have marked my calendar for its theatrical release in February. “How to be Single” not only seemed like a movie I could relate to and enjoy (unlike, say, “Bridesmaids,” which looked too gross and cynical for my taste), but it was one of several women-made, women-centric comedies that, whether they seemed like my taste or not, I was really encouraged to see coming out in force this past year. Continue reading
I’m so glad I finally got to see Keigwin & Company perform in December at The Joyce Theater. I had never seen Keigwin’s work before, nor Loni Landon’s despite our recent interview on Pod de Deux podcast, and I found myself enchanted by both. (I saw Program A, which included a guest piece by Landon; Program B included a piece by Adam Barruch instead.) The 4 pieces presented on December 12th each brought a uniquely compelling energy or narrative to the stage. Continue reading
Filed under Dance, Reviews
Choreographer Diana Pettersen is doing something different in the dance world. Not only does she consistently push new limits and explore new styles with her own choreography, but she takes a proactive approach to creating opportunity for emerging choreographers like herself. Diana stages several performances a year, featuring a wide array of dance makers and companies in addition to her own Sans Limites Dance. The participating choreographers are selected based on the merit of their work and are not asked to ante up the kind of application fee that typically represents a frustrating burden to artists in a chronically cash-strapped industry. The latest Sans Limites show at the Connelly Theater was as variegated as ever and even included optional Master Classes with some of the featured choreographers for those interested in getting into the movement themselves. Continue reading
In October I went to see the San Francisco Ballet perform Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella at Lincoln Center. The dancing was excellent, the art direction stunning and the vision sweeping. I left the theater full of the sense of magic that every true fairytale is meant to inspire, and a few specific visuals from the show even rank among the best I’ve seen on stage in my lifetime. While I was therefore satisfied with the experience overall, I was somewhat disappointed by a few key elements. The awe-inspiring sets and costumes take center stage in this ballet, while the plotline and choreography fall short of Wheeldon’s larger-than-life vision. Continue reading
As a cleverly self-described “bromcom,” the new web series “Parker and Steve” follows two guy friends in New York City who spend their time hustling for rent money, looking for love (or something like it), and ending up in sticky situations that they invariably botch into stickier messes. While the premise and plotlines fit snugly into a well-worn genre of bro-based comedy, the 5-7 minute webisode format necessitates some scaling back in the genre’s typically overblown plotlines. The result is an interesting combination of bro humor and wry “Louie”-like charm. In fact, I find that “Parker and Steve” does a good job of bringing the bromcom to life with quirky side characters, witty one-liners and a realistic New York City vibe that will resonate with anyone who has struggled to get by in this magical land of tiny apartments, soaring rent and eccentric individuals all around.
Two weekends ago my friend Jessica and I made our annual pilgrimage to Jacob’s Pillow, the summer dance festival in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. Jacob’s Pillow is both an overnight dance camp (“summer intensive” for those of you…you know who you are), where serious students of every genre of dance come to study with masters of their craft during the summer months, and a renowned performance venue for the most cutting edge professional companies from around the world. Every week features two new shows in the beautiful wooden theaters on the small, tree-filled Pillow “campus.” Many innovative companies have their U.S. debut at the Pillow, and many return year after year to wow audiences anew. While the caliber and originality of these performances is enough to woo any dance enthusiast, the opportunity for escape is what truly draws us New York City transplants back year after year. Only at the Pillow will you find professional dancers performing avant-garde choreography in an idyllic mountain setting where the fresh air and the starry night sky endow the whole atmosphere with a feeling of magic. Continue reading
Last Thursday I went to see Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo at Celebrate Brooklyn. You can’t get much better than a FREE dance performance staged OUTDOORS in PROSPECT PARK, and Les Ballet Trockadero (“the Trocks”) proved absolutely perfect for the occasion! The famously comedic, all-male troupe of classical ballet dancers easily extinguished the nagging doubts that have erstwhile prevented me from buying tickets to their shows. They were downright hilarious in every way, and they displayed a marvelous attention to comedic nuance that sold me on their talent for once and for all. Continue reading
Last Sunday I had the invaluable privilege of attending the Eifman Ballet’s production of Rodin, an original ballet about the famous sculptor Auguste Rodin and his apprentice and lover, Camille Claudelle. On Monday morning I half-begrudgingly looked up Alastair Macaulay’s review of the performance. As expected, the New York Times dance critic couldn’t be more off the mark.
Last week I went to see “Oswald,” a play written by Dennis Richard and directed by Richmond Shepard that tells the unembellished story of Lee Harvey Oswald’s interrogation. For two days after John F. Kenndy was shot, the number one suspect, Lee Harvey Oswald, was interrogated by Dallas Police Captain William J. Fritz. Continue reading
The new Broadway hit, “Time Stands Still,” written by Donald Margulies and directed by Daniel Sullivan, is both a simple story and an elegant portrayal of the major predicaments of modern life. The play focuses on two ambitious humanitarian professionals who are thrown into an unexpected, reflection-rousing reprieve from routine that quickly becomes a significant turning point in their lives. With only four characters total, it is the dialogue and interplay between the four, more than any exciting plot-line, that lays bare the contradictions we all face in a globalized world where both opportunity and suffering abound. Continue reading