New Chamber Ballet
Artistic Director: Miro Magloire
Elizabeth Brown, Nora Brown, Holly Curran, Katie Gibson
Musician: Melody Fader, Piano
Miranda Cuckson, Violin
City Center Studio 5
130 West 56th Street
NY, NY 10019
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
September 21, 2012
Ghost Story: Choreography by Miro Magloire, Music by Morton Feldman (“A Spring of Chosroes for violin and piano”) , Performed by Miranda Cuckson, violin, and Melody Fader, piano, Danced by Nora Brown, Holly Curran, and Katie Gibson, Costumes by Candice Thompson.
Once again, Miro Magloire personally hosted his New Chamber Ballet in the refined and sophisticated City Center Studio 5. The Feldman score in Mr. Magloire’s Ghost Story is appropriately atonal and eerie. There’s some drama here, between the three delicate dancers in Candice Thompson’s elegant gold and navy-purple tutus, and a push-pull motif ensues. Ms. Fader, on piano, and Ms. Cuckson, on violin, are participants in the dance drama, onstage as ensemble performers. In fact, Mr. Magloire’s program lists the musicians as “performers” and the dancers as “dancers”, a tribute to his spotlight on the musicians. A dancer hides behind a table, used as a simple prop, while there’s visible emotional confrontation between the dancers. The theatrics are deliberately thin, as the stunning choreography is the dominant focus, along with the compelling tonalities of violin and piano.
Glove: Choreography by Miro Magloire, Music by Morton Feldman (“Extension 3”), Performed by Melody Fader, piano, Danced by Elizabeth Brown, Holly Curran, and Katie Gibson, Costumes by Candice Thompson.
In Mr. Magloire’s Glove, the props again are minimal and eye-catching. A dancer holds a white glove in silence, drawing attention to her severe attitude, while the other two dancers mimic her stance and style. The glove is shared about the stage (which is set quite close to movable chairs), to heighten audience intrigue. But, it’s not the glove that’s being showcased, but the stunning choreography that unfolds, along with live music that expands the experience. With two Feldman scores in a row, this time on piano alone, the first two pieces flowed naturally and warmly into intermission. It must be noted that Ms. Fader is a master at seamlessly blending her keyboard performance into the dance performance. She looks like a dancer and exudes confidence and savoir faire.
Moments: Choreography by Miro Magloire, Music by Salvatore Sciarrino (“Caprices No. 2 & 6 for violin”), Performed by Miranda Cuckson, violin, Danced by Katie Gibson, Costume by Candice Thompson.
The third piece of the evening had an Asian motif, with Miranda Cuckson on solo violin, in bird-like, musical undulations. Katie Gibson danced solo, creating multi-level choreographed shapes, striking against the high, white stucco walls. The Sciarrino “Caprice” exuded notes that dropped like rain, thanks to Ms. Cuckson’s mastery of the moment. These choreographies, it seems, could be used for ballet master classes, with their pure, uncluttered style and “miniature” dimension. It’s also notable that Ms. Gibson riveted the eye throughout this enchanting work.
The Letter: Choreography by Miro Magloire, Music by Joseph Haydn (“Piano Sonata in D major”), Performed by Melody Fader, piano, Danced by Elizabeth Brown and Holly Curran, Costumes by Candice Thompson.
Elizabeth Brown and Holly Curran danced this work, to a Haydn piano sonata, with rapid, rambunctious polish. Ms. Fader was intrinsic to the ballet, exuding facial gestures and knowing glances. The grand piano became a hiding place for a certain important letter, and, with staccato and adagio motion, Ms. Curran and Ms. Brown captivated the packed Studio. One dancer had shifted her arm to mimic using a typewriter, a clever device. Introspective stretches abounded. Again, the plots of Mr. Magloire’s ballets are clever maneuvers to showcase mood and motion. They are dreamlike, transporting, and ethereal. The enormous expanse of Studio 5, the proximity of the piano, musicians and audience, and the minimizing of props all prove to elevate the aestheticism. Kudos to Miro Magloire.
Miro Magloire's New Chamber Ballet
Courtesy of Kristin Lodoen Linder
New Chamber Ballet's
Elizabeth Brown and Holly Curran
in Miro Magloire's "The Letter"
Courtesy of Brian Krontz