NEDERLANDS DANS THEATER
March 11, 2020
Remarkable technicians and movement interpreters, the NDT dancers’ talents lifted the choreography presented at City Center.
All the evening’s repertory shared a “film noir” atmosphere and similarity of form. Each ballet placed daring demands on the dancers, but these physical feats were absent a cathartic center.
Marco Goecke’s Walk the Demon scattered dancers in isolated movement gyrations resembling a series of body electric shocks. Transferred from one dancer to the next, cascading leg twitches sift across the band of dancers. Unquestionably, the immaculately controlled dancers reflected one of Goecke’s program quotes, “In their voice lies a torment that points inward.”
Closing the program, Shut Eye by Sol Leon and Paul Lightfoot, gargantuan, foreboding shadows dwarf the dancers. Inventive partnering compose inventive architectural forms that morph into pre-historic cellular organizisms, variously combing, re-combining and taking flight.
Of all the ballets presented, The missing door by Gabriela Carrizo most effectively and compellingly drew the audience into an Alfred Hitchcock style suspense thriller. People look fearfully side-to-side, doors open releasing questionable suspects. At first all seems copasetic in a well to do domestic scene until it doesn’t. Earlier in his career, performance artist Ping Chong devised these worlds of upper class privilege that visibly disintegrated as greed, fear, and panic overrides the passive/privileged sheen.
A door swings opens allowing light to seep out sharpening the dancers’ edges. Extreme acrobatic partnering animates dramatic tableaus. A female rockets around like a Ferris wheel over and around a male while a maid flits in and out in various states of solemnity and despair. All alone in a corner sits a disheveled man in a suit; in another quadrant a bloody body punctuates the characters’ unaccountable comings and goings. Lighting by Tom Bevooort contributes enormously to the ballet’s eeriness and theatricality.
Despite the qualms about the chosen NYC repertory, it’s always a pleasure to visit with the Nederlands Dans Theater.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis