Kirov, Forsythe, and Alvin Ailey Outdoors

(photo from Apollinaire Scherr’s Foot in Mouth review)

(photo by Andrea Mohin, from Roslyn Sulcas’s NY Times review)

Last night I went to see the Kirov Ballet (based in St. Petersburg, Russia) currently performing (through this weekend) at New York’s City Center. I chose to see their all Forsythe program, since I haven’t seen much Forsythe, particularly his ballets. William Forsythe is a postmodern American choreographer who moved to Germany after poor reception to his work here. I’ve seen only a couple of his works, both of them recently made, which I wrote about here and here.

Anyway, I loved it! I’m reviewing the program for Explore Dance and I’ll link to my review once it’s up, but I love how Forsythe challenges the boundaries of both performance and ballet. Space-age looking tutus, classical movement that looks ever so slightly off-kilter, theater lights going on and off and curtains falling throughout the performance, classical poses intertwined with postmodern, harsh yet rhythmic music, dancers taking the stage to talk with each other and practice dance phrases all the while before an actual audience, ballerinas appearing to lift themselves, their men seeming to work against rather than with them, fast jumps and virtuostic leaps taken to their allegro extreme… Plus, I loved Elena Sheshina. It was mesmerizing simply watching her “practice” her routine over and over and over again. And it’s always a delight to watch shaggy-haired, deliciously mischievious-looking Mikhail Lobukhin (here he is dancing) (and in bottom photo above), and the liquidy Alexander Sergeev, whose limbs flow like water.

Afterward I walked down 55th Street to the Alvin Ailey studios to see filmmaker David Michalek‘s latest installation, of slow motion videos of the Ailey dancers.

Here are Clifton Brown and Renee Robinson dancing a duet. Interestingly, unlike in his original Slow Dancing films, dancers are shown performing pas de deux. The problem is that the screens are much smaller than the huge Lincoln Center ones, and they seem to be suspended on the inside of the building behind a series of smaller windows, so the dancers oftentimes are not fully on screen, but are partly obscured behind the window frame. Still so much fun to watch your favorites in slo mo!

Here’s Matthew Rushing.

And here is Clifton again with I think Linda Celeste Sims.

It was cold so I didn’t stay long enough to see all of them. But I will defintely be back throughout the summer!


  1. Aw, I wish I would of known you were going to see the installation! Now that the weather is nice I’ll have to stop by and look at them!

  2. I just happened to be in the area and figured spur of the moment that I’d go over there! We’ll definitely have to go and watch!

  3. Thanks for the Ailey tip, Tonya. I’m going to see the Kirov tomorrow for the Balanchine program and a walk up to the Ailey studio sounds like fun.

  4. I wish I lived in NYC.

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