ALONZO KING LINES BALLET
March 19, 2014
Alonzo King Lines Ballet returned to The Joyce Theater with the premiere of Constellation, collaboration with visual artist Jim Campbell. Mr. King explores the orientation of bodies to light and when it works, the affect is luminous, yet intimate. With a curtain of lighted LED globes hanging across the back of the stage, or draped around the dancers, the stage comes alive with the dancers creating a complex grid of patterns cutting through space like shooting stars. At other times the dance becomes gently swirling, arcing and spiraling, or evokes birds; wings beating, legs strutting. With the dancers holding lighted orbs in their hands, or the crooks of the knees or elbows, or even under their chins, the movement unfolds with drama and scope.
Israeli mezzo-soprano, Maya Lahyani, adds another layer to the rich tapestry of light, sound and movement, with her deep tone and emotional singing. Wearing a voluminous, deep burgundy, ruffled gown, Ms. Lahyani glides across the stage connecting and watching the nearly naked dancers. In direct opposition to Lahyani’s the opulence, the dancer’s costumed designed by Robert Rosenwasser and Collen Quinn flirted with skirts or little wired wings, in shades of grey, beige, and black. They added dimension while showing off the toned muscles and training of the eleven hyper- flexible dance creatures.
In addition to the Baroque music sung by Ms. Lahyani, and pianist Hadley McCarroll, the score included selections from Arvo Pärt, Leslie Stuck, Ben Juodvalkis, and Somei Satoh, as well as Russian Orthodox Church music. Each section overlaps in a continuous display and the eye has to work to decide where to focus. In the second half of the program, the duets with Meredith Webster and David Harvey proved the most compelling and well matched to Ms. Lahyani's voice. Their simplicity allowed one a moment to take in the subtle shifts of tone, shadow, and expressive line.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Deborah Wingert