Author: Deborah Jowitt

  • The Visionary: Trisha Brown Redefined Dance With Wit and Daring

    Trisha Brown died at the age of eighty on Saturday, March 18, but I had been mourning her for several years, ever since illness started ravaging her brilliant mind in 2011. When I began to write dance reviews for the Village Voice in the rebellious Sixties, she — one of the founding members of the […]

  • Fall Arts Guide 2012: Dance

    American Ballet Theatre October 16–20 Agnes de Mille’s ballet Rodeo makes feminists bare their teeth. Its heroine, who likes to ride with the cowboys, can’t get more than a patronizing pat on the back from the ranch’s head wrangler and its champion roper. Once she’s urged to don a dress for the Saturday-night dance, they […]

  • Summer Dance Guide: ‘Borrowed Light’ and More

    New York City Ballet June 5 through 10 American Ballet Theatre June 21 through 23 What better ballet to see in June—preferably with a lover—than one based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and set to Mendelssohn’s exquisite overture and incidental music? This year, New Yorkers get their choice of two such versions. In George […]

  • Spring Guide 2012: Yvonne Rainer: A Dance Beacon at Dia:Beacon

    Yvonne Rainer and The Village Voice go way back. 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of Judson Dance Theater, the iconoclastic, obstreperous, and deeply smart bunch of artists—Rainer prominent among them—who set the course for postmodernism in dance. From the beginning, the Voice‘s equally obstreperous dance critic, Jill Johnston, made it clear that the founding Judsonites […]

  • Fall Arts: The Merce Cunningham Company Dances to an End

    A choreographer dies; the work lives on. Or does it? And if the artist in question has created and maintained a company devoted to the performance of his/her dances, what then? In the final decades of the 20th century, we lost José Limón, George Balanchine, Martha Graham, Alwin Nikolais, and, in 2009, Merce Cunningham. A […]

  • Fall Dance Picks

    Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company September 16–18, 20–25 Perhaps you’re too young to have seen three memorable duets made and performed by Bill T. Jones and his partner, Arnie Zane: Monkey Run Road (1979), Blauvelt Mountain, and Valley Cottage: A Study (both 1980). The two Body Against Body programs presented by New York Live […]

  • Susan Marshall Gets Intimate

    The year: 1985. The place: Dance Theater Workshop. A man and a woman stand shoulder to shoulder, close to the audience, to perform Susan Marshall’s Arms. The two dancers simply swing their arms around, but the act is freighted. The implied embrace and near-embrace, the glancing blow, the pull away—and nuances of these—draw us into […]

  • Thief Goes Gaga—Armitage Gone! Dance at the Joyce

    Let’s face it. Choreographers are thieves. Like magpies, they see the glint of bright bits and grab them to bedeck their nests—er, dances. Someone’s jewel (step, gesture, cultural trait) ends up woven into someone else’s work. In 1979, when Karole Armitage founded her own company, she developed an eye-catching hybrid of a style. Having performed […]

  • Ailey II Step On In With Shards and Common

    The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s kid sibling, Ailey II, is more than just a farm team to supply the parent company with fresh blood now and then. Led by Sylvia Waters, with Troy Powell as associate artistic director, its 12 members (former fellowship students at the Ailey School) can tour where the big, expensive […]

  • Juliette Mapp Reads Gertrude Stein; Paradigm Celebrates Two Different Birthdays

    Gertrude Stein was a woman of few words. She wrote few words that became many words— words that twisted back on themselves, picking up words that came before them, and knitting new fabrics of words. If she’d known about DNA early in the 20th century, when she was writing The Making of Americans, she might […]

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