Fall for Dance: Night Four: New York City Center 5 October 2023

Night one, night two, and night three are here.

Our last dance lesson would not be until Sunday, so this night we were just here for the dance and it was probably my favorite night of the five. Night three had more empty seats than the other nights but I chalked that up to the deluge we had on Wednesday. This night I also saw empty seats, though not as many as the night before. I think more people chose to go to the Friday instead of the Thursday performance.

The program started with Limón Dance Company in Suite from A Choreographic Offering. As always, photo was taken from the 2023 Fall for Dance page. This photo of the Limón Dance Company is by Allison Armfield.

Artistic Director: Dante Puleio

Choreographer: José Limón

Music: Johann Sebastian Bach

Staging: Logan Frances Kruger

Rehearsal Assistant: Savannah Spratt

Costume Designer: Caitlin Taylor

Lighting Designer: William Brown

Stage Manager: Bill Schaffner

Production Manager: Louise Brownsberger

Premiere: August 15, 1964 at American Dance Festival in New London, CT

Dancers: The Company, Joey Columbus, Frances Lorraine Samson, Natalie Clevenger, Mariah Gravelin, Johnson Guo, Nicholas Ruscica, Jessica Sgambelluri, Eric Parra, Savannah Spratt

The dance started with an overture before the curtain rose. It was another bare stage but it was lit up by the different brightly colored bodysuits worn by both the men and the women. Everyone was barefoot and their moves were ballet-like for modern dance or maybe modern dance-like for ballet. But unlike most ballet, there were many different body types. The dancers emitted a joy and lightness that was reminiscent of Mark Morris’ company. The dance started with the Company and then Columbus and Samson each had a solo. Clevenger, Gravelin, Guio, Ruscica, and Sgambelluri danced together for the fourth section and the dance finished with Parra and Spratt in a pas de deux. Another wonderful start to a wonderful evening.

All YouTube or Vimeo links are trailers or portions of the dances summarized above it. https://vimeo.com/364403413


The second dance was my favorite performance of the night. Birmingham Royal Ballet dancing Interlinked. Photo by Tristram Kenton of the Birmingham Royal Ballet taken from the 2023 Fall for Dance page.

Artistic Director: Carlos Acosta

Choreographer: Juliano Nunes

Music: Luke Howard

Assistant to the Choreographer: Éve-Marie Dalcourt

Lighting Designer: Tom Visser

Stage Manager: Eliska Robben

Premiere: June 23, 2022 at Birmingham Hippodrome in Birmingham, UK

Dancers: Principals: Tzu-Chao Chou, Celine Gittens, Miki Mizutani, Lachlan Monaghan, Yaoquian Shang, Tyrone Singleton

First Soloists: Yu Kurihara, Beatrice Parma

First Artists: Gabriel Anderson, Reina Fuchigami, Sofia Linares, Lucy Waine

Artists: Enrique Bejarano Vidal, Eric Pinto Cata, Matilde Rodrigues, Javier Rojas, Shuailun Wu

Again, there was an overture. When the curtain rose, there were men and women all in tank tops and calf-length tulle skirts in various shades of beige and brown. Like most ballet companies, the men and women are all of a certain shape. But like (I think) all the ballet we saw this season, there is diversity in the races and ethnicities of the dancers. Because all the dancers were dressed the same, I immediately looked at their feet and noticed that the women were all wearing pointe shoes and the men were wearing regular ballet slippers. So even though they were both doing a lot of the same moves, the women were spinning en pointe and the men were spinning on bent toes. So some things never change. It did make me miss Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo all the more and wish that they would appear at Fall for Dance again. Watching these dancers was watching pure beauty. And when the men danced as duos, it was a warrior beauty (an expression I think I just made up). The entire ballet was ethereal and (again) beauty and I could take my eyes away.



Finishing the night was a Fall for Dance favorite, Michelle Dorrance. This was the world premiere of The Center Will Not Hold by Ephrat Asherie & Michelle Dorrance. Photo by Steven Pisano of Ephrat Asherie & Michelle Dorrance taken from the 2023 Fall for Dance page.

Creator and Directors: Ephrat Asherie and Michelle Dorrance

Choreographers: Ephrat Asherie, Manon Bal, Tomoe “Beasty” Carr, Michelle Dorrance, Fritzlyn Hector, Donnetta “Lil Bit” Jackson, Richie Maguire, Mike Manson, Charles “Lil Buck” Riley, Matthew “Megawatt” West

Music: Donovan Dorrance

Live Percussion: John Angeles

Artistic Advisors: Brenda Bufalino, Buddha Stretch

Costume Facilitator: Amy Page

Lighting Designer: Kathy Kaufman

Sound Designer and Production Manager: Christopher Marc

Stage Manager: Maddie Kunnert

Dancers: John Angeles, Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie, Manon Bal, Tomoe “Beasty” Carr, Michelle Dorrance, Fritzlyn Hector, Donnetta “Lil Bit” Jackson, Richie Maguire, Mike Manson, Charles “Lil Buck” Riley, Matthew “Megawatt” West

Dance Captain: Manon Bal

Swing: Eriko Jimbo

This time there was a wood floor covering the entire stage. But for the first piece, Asherie and Dorrance, both in sneakers, did a series of herky-jerky movements playing off each other in a small downstage rectangle created by the light. Angeles walks into the center of the floor as Asherie and Dorrance walk backwards until they meet him. Then the ensemble enters in what I can only call controlled chaos. There were solos under spotlights while others would dance in other parts of the stage. Angeles was drumming upstage. Then he walks onto the floor wearing a drum and Dorrance finally comes out in tap shoes and they play with and against each other. Then she tap dances with others. More controlled chaos with various hip hop moves until it ends. One of the dancers was jookin’ as well as Lil Buck, who blew away the Fall for Dance audience the few times he has performed. Then I looked at the program and it was Lil Buck. He could have his own stage but he decided to be part of this great ensemble instead.

Unfortunately, I cannot find any video of the dance. https://youtu.be/f7UiTj2sI00


By Carene Lydia Lopez