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Fall for Dance: The Australian Ballet, Sang Jijia, Diana Vishneva, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
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Fall for Dance: The Australian Ballet, Sang Jijia, Diana Vishneva, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

- Onstage with the Dancers


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NY City Center
Fall for Dance – Program V

The Australian Ballet
www.australianballet.com.au

Sang Jijia
(Sang Jijia Web Page)

Diana Vishneva
www.vishneva.ru/eng

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
www.alvinailey.org

At New York City Center
www.nycitycenter.org

Arlene Schuler, President & CEO
Mark Litvin, Sr. VP & Managing Director
Ellen Dennis, Producer
Wendy Perron, Artistic Director
Clifton Taylor, Festival Lighting Director
Leon Rothenberg, Festival Sound Director
Press: Helene Davis Public Relations


Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 3, 2009


The Australian Ballet
Le Spectre de la Rose (1911): Choreography by Michel Fokine, Music by Carl Maria von Weber (Invitation to the Dance, Op. 65), Staging by John Auld, Scenery courtesy of American Ballet Theatre, Costumes by Geoffrey Harman after Léon Bakst, Lighting by Francis Croese, Production Manager: Darren Conway, Performed by Gina Brescianini and Tzu-Chao Chou.


Nothing is worse than eagerly awaiting one of my favorite Ballets Russes icons, Le Spectre de la Rose, by Michel Fokine, only to realize I’m watching a passive, dull, paper-thin Rose. With borrowed scenery from American Ballet Theatre, this performance was even a larger let-down, as I could envision Herman Cornejo and once, Carlos Acosta, in this sensual, hormonal, seductive role. Tzu-Chao Chou was attractive, youthful, and contained, but never propulsive, possessed, or panther-like. From the moment The Rose bounds through the living room window, to the strains of Weber’s Invitation to the Dance, and partners the sleeping Girl, who still carries a long-stem rose, given to her by a dance partner at The Ball, the dream begins. The audience dreams along with The Girl, and the moment becomes palpable and resonant. Gina Brescianini fulfilled her sleep-dancing role with sensitivity and balance, but there was not an ounce of chemistry, not that I blame her. I’d like to re-visit this company with another work and another cast.


Sang Jijia
Snow (2007): Choreography by Sang Jijia, Music by Wim Mertens, Scenery by Sang Jijia, Lighting by Tan Keam Beng, Performed by Sang Jijia.


Snow was enjoyable for its wistfully eloquent ambiance, with light, then heavier snow, falling on the blackened stage. Sang Jijia, who dances his own work, did little to elevate the experience beyond the ambient pleasure. His choreography is repetitive, uninteresting, twirling, falling, writhing, twisting, jumping, and who would have known if he improvised the entire time. He danced alone, and the music was recorded, new age, by Wim Mertens. With so many worthy dance companies and works unseen in New York, this choice was puzzling for such an esteemed festival.


Diana Vishneva
The Dying Swan (1907): Choreography by Michel Fokine, Music by Camille Saint-Saëns (from the Carnaval des animaux suite), Musicians: Borislav Strulev on Cello and Maxim Mogilevsky on Piano, Performed by Diana Vishneva.


Diana Vishneva’s The Dying Swan, a familiar work in New York, and a tribute to Ballets Russes’ Michel Fokine (the final Ballets Russes tribute of this festival), was luxurious, graceful, and polished. Ms. Vishneva has refined her interpretation with undulating wing-like arms, slowly falling torso against her outstretched limbs, and a mournful, moody demeanor. Borislav Strulev and Maxim Mogilevsky persuasively performed on cello and piano, and City Center acquired a hushed atmosphere, in advance of the rollicking, Revelations.


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Revelations (1960): Choreography by Alvin Ailey, Music: Traditional, Décor and Costumes by Ves Harper, Costumes for “Rocka My Soul” redesigned by Barbara Forbes, Lighting by Nicola Cernovitch, Performed by the Company.


Alvin Ailey’s 1960 Revelations is always the perfect closer for any New York dance festival, and tonight was no exception. The company arrived with its most renowned interpreters of “Fix Me, Jesus” (Linda Celeste Sims and Glenn Allen Sims), “Wade in the Water” (Matthew Rushing, Renee Robinson, and tonight with Constance Stamatiou), “Sinner Man” (Clifton Brown, along with Jamar Roberts and Michael Francis McBride), and much of the company in the remaining segments, ending with the energizing, “Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham”. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater can be seen, as always, during the month of December, right here at New York City Center, and their ever expanding repertory is thrilling on every level.



The Australian Ballet
in "Spectre de la Rose"
Courtesy of Justin Smith




The Australian Ballet
in "Spectre de la Rose"
Courtesy of Jim McFarlane




Sang Jijia
in "Snow"
Courtesy of Lin Jingyuan




Sang Jijia
in "Snow"
Courtesy of Lin Jingyuan




Diana Vishneva
in "The Dying Swan"
Courtesy of Nina Alovert




Diana Vishneva
in "The Dying Swan"
Courtesy of Nina Alovert




Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
in "Revelations"
Courtesy of Andrew Eccles




Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
in "Revelations"
Courtesy of Andrew Eccles




For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net