Performing Arts: Dance
September 27, 2022
When COVID hit, dancers took to recording themselves inside apartments. Space was scarce and solos abounded. One of those homemade solos by Jamar Roberts made it into City Center's digital Fall For Dance Program in 2020 and now it's live for Program #2. Roberts, a former Alvin Ailey dancer, forged a successful choreographic career and like so many others, expressed his complicated emotions about COVID and racial justice through dance.

Set against a mind-refreshing score by The Last Poets, John Coltrane, and Nina Simone, Roberts' Morani/Mungu(Black Warrior/Black Gold)spaced the solo into 3 parts divided by blackouts. Performed by the outstanding Ailey dancer James Gilmer, the solo was both abstract and emotional (passionate). Divided into three parts by black-outs and musical choices, Roberts invested the solo with an intensity of personal expression. Passing through sections of intense feelings; in the final section, flashes of Dudley Williams dancing the elegiac "I Wanna Be Ready" -- dressed in white, lying on his back, arms searching the space for salvation-- echoed. 

San Francisco Ballet's new Artistic Director, Tamara Rojo, had much to celebrate after the company's stellar performance of Jerome Robbins' ballet In The Night. Set to Chopin Nocturnes, three couples embraced in humanized, romantic encounters. Swirling weightlessly, Elizabeth Powell and Joseph Waish, slipped through embraces and airy lifts that defied gravity. Theatrical exclamations circled Sasah Mukhamedov and Tilt Helimets in their authoritative, slavic inflected duet. Unexpected lifts, arm holds and weight shifts colored the final duet with Dores Andre and Luke Ingham. 

Flamenco musicians and dancers claimed the stage when Maria Moreno and special guest Maria Terrmoto sparked songs and dances that spoke of raw emotion. Maneuvering a scarf with the calibrated artistry of a toreador, Moreno challenged the musicians to talk back to her drilling heels and fluttery castanets. Not just a singer, Termoto's hands never quit rippling, closely accenting the scent of the mournful and defiant music performed by the inspiring Maria Terremoto, Antonio Campos, Javier Ibanez, Miguel Resndo, and Paco Vega.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis

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