Over the weekend I went to see my friend Taylor Gordon (dear Lord, I almost typed @taylorgordon — my writing brain is becoming Twitterfied) dance with the Rebecca Kelly Ballet in the Alvin Ailey theater. I’d never seen the Rebecca Kelly Ballet before — it’s been around since the late 70s — and I was very pleasantly surprised. Sometimes with very small ballet companies (modern companies too) you see dancers of varying ability, but here, all of the dancers were very skilled. Ms. Kelly’s movement language was original — a combination of ballet and modern with movement by turns lyrical and balletic and more angular and staccato.
There were three pieces on the program: Trouve Moi (making its NY premiere), The Travelers (from 2001), and Desire (NY premiere). Trouve Moi was a short sweet pas de deux performed by Raul Peinado and the very engaging and dramatic Therese Miyoshi Wendler (probably my favorite dancer in the troupe — besides Taylor of course!). The Travelers (pictured above), which has understandably received good reviews over the years and was probably my favorite on the program, was abstract but intense and suspenseful with dancers traveling around the stage in pairs, alone, and in ensemble, at times seemingly fleeing a crisis, sometimes coming together, forming various liaisons. I also liked Desire, evoking the many faces of desire, at times conveying emotional turbulence, at times becoming more mellow. Kelly uses not only classical music but contemporary as well, which goes along with her balletic / contemporary mix of movement. Her dances always seem intense and laden with meaning even if abstract — I mean when do you see barrel turns used to signify emotional turbulence rather than used simply as a stunning trick?!