Joaquin De Luz. Photograph by Henry Leutwyler.
It’s been a good year for Richard Rodgers fans. After a hit revival of Carousel at the New York Philharmonic and New York City Ballet’s recent all-Rodgers triple-bill, New York City Center’s Encores! series presents the beloved Broadway composer’s On Your Toes — a blend of vaudeville and classical ballet — from May 8-12. The production, directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, boasts a cast of seasoned Broadway performers alongside top ballet dancers, as well as George Balanchine’s original 1939 staging of the gangster ballet “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue.”
I sat down with NYCB principal Joaquin De Luz, who plays egomaniacal Russian danseur Konstantine Morrosine in the show, during his break from rehearsal to discuss the challenges of the role, how it differs from performing at NYCB, and what it’s like to speak onstage for the first time.
Posted in Ballet, Broadway, New York City Ballet, New York City Center
Tagged ABT, American Ballet Theatre, ballet, Broadway, Carousel, Christine Baranski, City Ballet, Encores!, Fancy Free, George Balanchine, Irina Dvorovenko, Jerome Robbins, Joaquin de Luz, Karen Ziemba, Konstantine Morrosine, Movin' Out, New York City Ballet, New York City Center, New York City Center Encores!, NYCB, On Your Toes, Princess Zenobia Ballet, Richard Rodgers, Shonn Wiley, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Tarantella, Theme and Variations, Walter Bobbie, Warren Carlyle
Ricardo Graziano and Kate Honea in “La Fille Mal Gardée.” Photograph courtesy of Sarasota Ballet
I expected to be disappointed. At least a little bit. After watching superb film of the Royal Ballet in Frederick Ashton’s 1960 staging of La Fille Mal Gardée — including two Ballet in Cinema screenings led by the expert Steven McRae and Roberta Marquez — I strongly suspected my first experience with Fille at the theater would miss the mark. A trip to London, I assumed, would be needed to see this charming work — part romantic comedy, part pastoral ode — in all its glory.
Posted in Ballet, Frederick Ashton, Outside New York
Tagged Alain, Ballet in Cinema, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Birthday Offering, clog dance, clog dancing, Colas, Ferdinand Hérold, Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Iain Webb, Kate Honea, La Fille Mal Gardée, Les Patineurs, Lise, Logan Learned, Margaret Barbieri, maypole, Osbert Lancaster, Ricardo Graziano, Ricki Bertoni, Roberta Marquez, Royal Ballet, Royal Ballet Touring Company, Sadlers Wells Ballet, Sarasota Ballet, Steven McRae, Two Pigeons, Twyla Tharp, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Widow Simone
The Brooklyn Rail's dance section (which I edit) is seeking writers to add to its roster of contributors. The Rail — a monthly journal of arts, politics, and culture — has 20,000 subscribers to its print edition and an online readership of more than 500,000.
- have some dance writing experience, whether for print or online publications or blogs.
- be deeply familiar with the New York dance scene and able to cover dance in the city.
- be willing to write features, interviews, essays, or reviews (between 500 and 2,000 words each) for the print edition and/or website at least once every other month.
- be active in pitching ideas or open to accepting assignments.
If interested, please send a brief biography and at least two samples of dance writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. One-time submissions by writers or artists working in dance are also welcome.
Antonio in control of a crowded stovetop.
Through the Ballet Cook Book Dinner Series — gatherings featuring meals made from recipes in Tanaquil Le Clercq’s cookbook — New York City Ballet soloist Antonio Carmena, baker extraordinaire Susan LaRosa, and I are embarking on a kind of time travel, preparing the favorite foods of the 20th-century’s most famous dancers and staying true to their (often old-fashioned) cooking methods.
Our April 13 dinner, where we prepared five recipes by ballerina Melissa Hayden, had special significance: Hayden’s son, Stuart Coleman, was among our guests. As with past meals, we weren’t entirely sure the dishes lived up to their recipes’ intentions, but Stuart, an exceedingly kind guest, assured us we had done them justice and brought him back to his childhood. “This brings me closer to my mother,” he said in a touching pre-meal toast, “whom I miss very much.”
Posted in American Ballet Theatre, Ballet, Ballet Cook Book Dinner Series, Food, George Balanchine, New York City Ballet
Tagged A Midsummer Night's Dream, Antonio Carmena, Ballet Cook Book, Ballet Cook Book Dinner Series, chicken wings, cookbook, cooking, Eastern European food, Eastern European Jewish food, food, fruit compote, Jacques d'Amboise, Jeff Gageby, Jewish cooking, Jewish food, Lincoln Kirstein, Melissa Hayden, Meryl Rosofsky, Michael Pereira, Mildred Herman, Paul Epstein, potato latkes, Radio City Music Hall, recipes, Ryan Wenzel, Stars and Stripes, Stuart Coleman, stuffed cabbage, sweet and sour meatballs, Tanaquil Le Clercq
Robert Kleinendorst, Amy Young, Michael Novak, Aileen Roehl, Sean Mahoney, Michelle Fleet, and Jamie Rae Walker in Paul Taylor’s “Junction.” Photograph by Paul Goode
Check out the latest issue of The Brooklyn Rail to read my review of Paul Taylor Dance Company’s recent season at Lincoln Center’s David Koch Theater. I zeroed in on the six dances Taylor has choreographed since 1961 to Bach scores, all of which were featured. “Although little binds all six Taylor-Bach dances with regard to steps or themes, they are among Taylor’s most richly textured works. Many of them look pure but have ambiguous, even puzzling hints of narrative.” Click here to read the review.
Posted in Brooklyn Rail, Lincoln Center, Modern Dance, Paul Taylor
Tagged Bach, Brandenburgs, Cascade, David Koch Theater, Esplanade, Johann Sebastian Bach, Junction, Lincoln Center, Musical Offering, Paul Taylor, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Promethean Fire, review, The Brooklyn Rail
Henry Street Settlement, the non-profit organization I work for, has a rich past that stretches back to 1893. Many New Yorkers know of the Lower East Side institution’s pioneering work in social services and healthcare; far fewer are familiar with its dance history. In the 1920s, Martha Graham taught dance and “movement” at Henry Street’s Playhouse, and her two most famous “children” would follow: Paul Taylor premiered his first choreography (Jack and the Beanstalk, with visual designs by Robert Rauschenberg) at the Playhouse in 1954, and Merce Cunningham performed on its stage twice during that decade (before The New York Times considered his work worthy of review). In the interim, in 1948, Alwin Nikolais took the reins of the Playhouse (later to form a part of Henry Street’s Abrons Arts Center), where he and his company conducted radical experiments in multimedia dance for 20 years.
These, however, are only the best-known examples of dance activity at Henry Street. Below are 10 photographs I found in the Settlement’s archives that show other performers — and how downtown dance looked in the early 20th century.
Posted in Abrons Arts Center, Modern Dance, Photos
Tagged Abrons Arts Center, Alwin Nikolais, Arthur Fielder, Boston, Boston Conservatory of Music, Boston Pops, downtown dance, early 20th century dance, Folk Festival, Gluck Sandor, Gluck Sandor's Dance Center, Grand Opera Company of Cologne, Hans Wiener, Henry Street Playhouse, Henry Street Settlement, Jack and the Beanstalk, Jacques Dalcroze, Jan Veen, Jerome Robbins, Johann Strauss, Lillian Wald, Lisa Parnova, Martha Graham, Mary Wigman, Merce Cunningham, modern dance, New York dance, Paul Taylor, Robert Rauschenberg, Rudolf Von Laban, Sol Hurok, The New York Times, Weib und Gesang, Wein