Performing Arts: Dance
October 8, 2018
In keeping with the festival's format, ballet mixed with modern dance and everything else in-between at City Center's Fall For Dance fourth program. At the end of the evening, audiences howled following the vigorous, “Midnight Raga” choreographed by Marco Goecke to Ravi Shankar and the inimitable Etta James’ hit “I’d Rather Go Blind.” Bare chested, and in close proximity to one another, the daring dancers—Surimi Fukushi and Adam Russell-Jones-- rippled their arms, chest and back muscles in an intricate tapestry of micro isolated movements funkily urging the R&B from their bodies.

The National Ballet of China arrived with an excerpt from “The Crane Calling.” Choreographed by Ma Cong and Zhang Zhenxim, the lithe dancers clad in white unitards preened and pricked the floor. Clearly happy to appear in NYC, the large, and well rehearsed company hardly had room to spread their wings on City Center’s stage.

Hands-down, the best music arrived with Heather Christian’s haunting voice during the “Reclamation Map” by Sonya Tayeh. Seated with her back to the audience at an old fashioned upright piano, Christian was flanked by two, strong female back-up singers. A celestial light broke through the darkness revealing dancers in muted clothes resembling outfits for religious sects like the Amish or Shakers. Levitated by the music, dancers popped in and out of the scene, hooking limbs to create a human chain that ultimately built to the final ecstatic moment.

Determined to uplift the crowd, Dance Theater of Harlem whipped through “Balamouk” by the popular choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. Good looking dancers started in a tribal clump, arms and legs variously shooting out and taking individuals away from the community and back again. Fanciful moves derived from modern, ballet and Latin social dances underscored the company’s youth and range.

Fall For Dance continues with two more programs.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis

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