Fall for Dance: Program Three 6 October 2015

Before last evening’s Fall for Dance program there was an interview with two choreographers. Stanton Welch, artistic director of the Houston Ballet, and Stephen Petronio, director of the Stephen Petronio Company, would each have dances at Fall for Dance. The Houston Ballet was performed last night. Both men came to dancing late in life but found it to be their calling. They both spoke passionately about dance and their collaborators – the composers, musicians, lighting people, etc. It is always wonderful to hear people who are passionate about what they do.

Companhia Urbana De Dança performed the NY premiere of Eu Danço – 8 Solos No Geral. Choreography by Sonia Destri Lie and the dancers, who are street performers mostly from the favelas of Rio, the dance felt like a poor man’s version of the Algerian/hip-hop dance we saw earlier in the week. There was the same running in circles and occasional b-boy moves. There wasn’t the athleticism from the earlier dance but there was plenty of movement. I did enjoy the music more for the Brazilian dancers (music by Rodrigo Marçal). The dancers were Rafael Balbino, Johnny Britto, Raphael Russier Felipe, Miguel Fernandes, Jessica Nascimento, Julio Rocha, Tiago Sousa, André “Feijao” Virgilio, and Allan Wagner.

Beautiful and sexy is the way to describe Pheromones, the dance choreographed by Fang-Yi Sheu and performed by Sheu and Herman Cornejo. It’s a simple dance performed to Philip Glass’ Facades. Each takes turns sniffing (not as weird as it sounds) and then they danced very close together, moving very slowly. Just the power of smell brings them closer and closer and keeps one from leaving the other.

The Houston Ballet performed Maninyas, which was another sensual dance. Limbs wrapped around each other and bodies moving against each other. Long skirts were hiked up to reveal long bare legs. Bodies moved through long silk sheets. Choreographer Stanton Welch said he chose the music (Maninyas Concerto for Violin and Orchestra by Ross Edwards) because it sounded Australian to him. To me, it had more of an Aaron Copeland vibe. But maybe big open spaces inspire the same type of music. Welch had said earlier that lighting is very important and you could see how integral it was to the dance. Lisa J. Pinkham did a wonderful job. The dancers were Jessica Collado, Christopher Coomer, Karina Gonzalez, Oliver Halkowich, Elise Elliott, Ian Casady, Katelyn May, Rhodes Elliott, Allison Miller, and Charles-Louis Yoshiyama.

The Paul Taylor Dance Company was simply lovely. Taylor choreographed a three-part dance to Johann Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos #6 (movements 1&2) and #3 called Brandenburgs. The male company wore knee-length jumpsuits with sparkly straps that made me think of lederhosen. The three women wore toga-like green velvet dresses and the principal male dancer, Michael Trusnovec, wore green velvet pants with no shirt. The moves were nymph-like. The entire time I was watching them I was imagining a forest and babbling brook. The other dancers were Michelle Fleet, Parisa Khobdeh, Eran Bugge, Robert Kleinendorst, James Samson, Sean Mahoney, Michael Apuzzo, and Michael Novak. Costumes were by Santo Loquasto and lighting by Jennifer Tipton.

By Carene Lydia Lopez