(photo by Andrea Mohin, from NYTimes)
So, Fall For Dance wrapped up nicely; there were really no pieces on the last night’s program that I didn’t like. First on was the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s production of a Twyla Tharp dance I’d never seen, SWEET FIELDS, from 1996, which seemed to me a bit unlike her usual fare. It was joyous, spiritual, very lyrical, with dancers dressed in white flowing cloth, moving to Shaker hymnals. The one section that was very ‘Tharp-y’ was filled with breathtaking group lifts: at one point a group of men held one man up high above their heads, they suddenly released him and he rolled down, falling almost bungie-jump-like nearly to the floor, until they caught him at the very last second. The audience collectively gasped then applauded wildly.
(photo by Erik Tomasson of San Francisco Ballet’s Lorena Feijoo and Damian Smith from Voice of Dance)
Second on was San Francisco Ballet dancing Jerome Robbins’ lovely, ballroom-y IN THE NIGHT set to melodious Chopin played by an onstage pianist. The dance consists of three duets performed by three different couples — one the wondrous Yuan Yuan Tan (whom I’ve heard so much about; and she definitely lived up to her reputation!) with Ruben Martin; the second by Sofiane Sylve (who used to dance with New York City Ballet) and Tiit Helimets; and the third by the celebrated Cuban dancer Lorena Feijoo and Pierre-Francois Vilanoba. Tan and Martin represented a more mature, in love couple, their dancing very flowing and elegant, Sylve and Helimets I wasn’t sure about because to be honest I didn’t feel all that much from their dancing, and Feijoo (who’s a real firecracker) and Vilanoba (who kind of played her straight man, appearing humorously unable to figure her out, to foresee her antics, her wild jumps into his arms) the fun, young couple whose relationship centered around rather cutely played out sexual angst. The audience had a lot of fun, giggling throughout, particularly at Feijoo and Vilanoba.
I have to say, San Francisco Ballet, who are currently celebrating their 75th Anniversary, was a lovely company; they brought Robbins to life for me in a way I’ve seldom seen, and I look forward to seeing more of them at City Center later in the season.
(photo by Todd Rosenberg, of Hubbard Street Dance performing COR PERDUT, taken from Critical Dance)
Third was popular Spanish choreographer Nacho Duato’s Compania Nacional De Danza performing his COR PERDUT, a Gypsy-esque male / female duet between two likely lovers, each often running after the other playfully, then turning more serious, the man eventually picking up the woman, sweeping her off the ground, twirling her about. Very sweet theme, and the music — Turkish and sung in Catalan — was gorgeous.
(photo by Lois Greenfield of Paul Taylor Dance Company, taken from Ballet.co)
And closing out the festival was Paul Taylor Dance Company’s popular ESPLANADE, set to Bach and choreographed by Taylor in 1975. This was a lot of fun; as dancers ran around stage, whizzing about narrowly missing each other, played hopscotch with each other’s bodies laid out on the floor log-like, and finally flew across stage taking a flying leap into each other’s arms, the crowd went nuts with applause, giving a standing ovation.
Fun, but very tiring, 10 days…
Here is Claudia La Rocco’s review of the last program in the Times.