I can’t remember how many years it’s been since I last saw a David Parsons program or what I saw whenever it was, but that isn’t surprising, since I can’t really remember the first half of a David Parsons program while I’m watching the second half. If Parsons were worse than he is, things would be easier to understand: A debacle is far more memorable than mere blandness. Alas, the typical Parsons piece is generic, derivative, respectable—mind-emptying.
You know what? Screw what mom says, this guy is gold. What’s his name, Effi? Yeah, he’s great. Big improvement on that stuffy investment banker that you were dating last year. This guy is just such a free spirit, you know? You can just tell that he wakes up every morning and does that Roy Scheider thing from All That Jazz. Except instead of Dexedrine its his anti-psychotic medicine, and instead of talking to a mirror, he’s talking to his box of merkins.
Nite Moves, a strip club in Albany, N.Y., deserves the same treatment as the New York City Ballet in the eyes of the tax man. That’s the basic argument before New York’s highest court right now. Nearly a half-million dollars are at stake if the establishment wins the case and achieves tax-exempt parity with other fine purveyors of the terpsichorean arts. Public Radio International’s Studio 360 reports that the club has been victorious in the past:
Walking past rows of conspicuous hood ornaments at the Chelsea Piers, The Observer could smell the party well before we could see it. A heady mixture of curry and truffles filled the parking lot as we trekked to Manhattan’s western extremity, the Lighthouse at Pier 61.
At the entrance to the American Ballet Theatre’s Culinary Pas de Deux, we were greeted by several young dancers in Renaissance peasant costumes. With deep curtsies, the ballerinas directed us inside.
The space had been converted into a veritable smorgasbord for the grand alimentary fete, with chefs from the city’s top restaurants churning out hundreds of mini dishes for the guests to enjoy. Serving stations, interspersed with well-stocked bars, became the sites of swirling feeding frenzies as attendees strove to get their fill.
This past week marked a unique circumstance in the history of dance in America—the first time I can think of when a major figure took a last (posthumous) bow and shut up shop. The Merce Cunningham Dance Company gave four performances at BAM, featuring six of Cunningham’s major works, and apart from several Events—pieces being performed simultaneously on three stages (the audience wanders from one to another for 45 minutes) later in the month at the Park Avenue Armory—it has only a two-week season in Paris remaining before it permanently disbands.
In the mid-’90s, Arlene Croce brought down the wrath of the P.C. gods on herself when she refused to review a Bill T. Jones work called Still/Here on the grounds that it was victim art, and that “by working dying people into his act, Jones is putting himself beyond the reach of criticism.” Today, long after the fuss has died down, the lesson is worth remembering. When confronted with AIDS, torture, the Holocaust, we can’t (and shouldn’t) turn off our human reactions, which means, however, that to a certain extent we have to turn off our critical faculties.
Ballet in September used to be dead as a dodo. Now, with City Ballet’s ingenious decision to give us four weeks of repertory in the early fall, having cut down on the relentlessly long spring season when dancers, critics and audiences droop on the vine, we wake up after the dog days of August with something to look at. It’s unfortunate that this became possible only when the financially floundering City Opera was forced to decamp from the David H. Koch Theater. (To be fair, this is one thing we can’t blame on David H. Koch and his politics.) But at least the opera’s loss is dance’s gain.
The cows in Stella Gibbons’s immortal Cold Comfort Farm are named Graceless, Aimless, Feckless and Pointless, and that more or less is the verdict on Ocean’s Kingdom, the wildly hyped and wildly uninteresting collaboration between Peter Martins and Paul McCartney. (Sorry—Sir Paul McCartney; no P.R. release or press mention omits the knighthood.) If only Gibbons had given us a fifth cow: Endless.
Last night, the stars were aligned in the Skirball Center auditorium as Broadway heavyweights arrived on the red carpet of the NYC Dance Alliance Foundation Gala for a night of song and dance celebrating Roberta Flack and the awarding of $57,500 in college scholarship money.
When Roberta Flack arrived in a shimmery black ensemble and big orange curls, Read More
At the Guggenheim’s rotunda on Thursday evening, five dancers, accompanied by John Cage’s solo cello piece One8, performed On Vanishing, a new work by the young New York-based choreographer Jonah Bokaer that the museum had commissioned in conjunction with its current exhibition, Lee Ufan: Marking Infinity.
Audience members, including Mr. Bokaer’s mother, leaned against the museum’s low, spiraling Read More