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Fall for Dance: Pennsylvania Ballet, Cie Art Move Concept, Stephen Petronio Company, German Cornejo’s Tango Fire
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Fall for Dance: Pennsylvania Ballet, Cie Art Move Concept, Stephen Petronio Company, German Cornejo’s Tango Fire

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NY City Center
Fall for Dance – Program II

Pennsylvania Ballet
Cie Art Move Concept
Stephen Petronio Company
German Cornejo’s Tango Fire

At New York City Center

Arlene Schuler, President & CEO
Mark Litvin, Sr. VP & Managing Director
Stanford Makishi, VP Programming
Clifton Taylor, Festival Lighting Director
Danny Erdberg, Festival Sound Supervisor
Joe Guttridge, Director, Communications

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 5, 2017

Pennsylvania Ballet
Rush (2003, NY Premiere):
Choreography by Christopher Wheeldon, Music by Bohuslav Martinů (Sinfonietta La Jolla), Staged by Joanna Berman, Scenery Courtesy of San Francisco Ballet, Scenery and Costumes by Jon Morrell, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Stage Manager: Anthony Costandino, Performed by Ana Calderon, Albert Gordon, Alexandra Hughes, Zecheng Liang, Oksana Maslova, Ian Hussey, Adrianna De Svastich, Alexandra Heier, Yuka Iseda, Nayara Lopes, So Jung Shin, Russell Ducker, Jack Sprance, Jack Thomas, Craig Wasserman, Peter Weill.

Cie Art Move Concept
Nibiru (US Premiere):
Choreography by Soria Rem and Mehdi Quachek, Music by Yvan Talbot, Lighting by Jean-Yves Desaint Fuscien, Performed by a company ensemble of seven.

Stephen Petronio Company
Bloodlines: Yvonne Rainer and Steve Paxton
Chair-Pillow (1969)
Choreography by Yvonne Rainer, Music by Ike and Tina Turner (“River Deep, Mountain High”), Staging by Pat Catterson, Lighting by Joe Doran, Production Stage Manager: Meghan Rose Murphy, Performed by a company ensemble of eight.
Excerpt from “Goldberg Variations” (1986) Choreography by Steve Paxton, Music by JS Bach, performed by Glenn Gould, Staging by Stephen Petronio with Steve Paxton, Lighting by Ken Tabachnick, Production Stage Manager: Meghan Rose Murphy, Performed by Nicholas Sciscione.

German Cornejo’s Tango Fire
Tango Fire (NY Premiere):
Choreography by German Cornejo, Music by Rodriguez, Filiberto, Laurenz, Mores/Troilo, Arolas, Bardi, Piazzolla, Production Manager and Lighting by Zachary Ciaburri, Musical Director: Matias Feigin, Producer: Andrew Kay, Assoc. Producer: Toni Rudov, Piano: Matias Feigin, Bandoneón: Hugo Satorre, Violin: Gemma Scalia, Contrabass: Facundo Benavidez, Performed by Sebastian Alvarez with Victoria Saudelli, Marcos Esteban Roberts with Louise Junqueira Malucelli, Ezequiel Lopez with Camila Alegre, Eber Burger with Sabrina Nogueira, Julio Jose Seffino with Carla Dominguez.

The high points of tonight’s Program II of New York City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival 2017 were the Pennsylvania Ballet and German Cornejo’s Tango production. Christopher Wheeldon, whose Polyphonia was just seen in Program I, had his NY Premiere of Rush, choreographed to Martinů’s Sinfonietta La Jolla, presented by Angel Corella’s (Artistic Director) Pennsylvania Ballet. I had hoped to see Mr. Corella, who was lauded on these pages throughout his career as a Principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre, onstage at the curtain call, but this did not happen. His Company danced with thrilling mastery and panache. The Wheeldon ballet is fantastic, feverish, and sweeping, with three segments. Jon Morrell created costumes and scenery. Twirls, lifts, stretches, and upside down lifts are all enhanced with the silky tutus, each a different color. The highly synchronized Company exuded persona and attitude, and they seemed exuberant to be on tonight’s New York stage. Kudos to Angel Corella and Christopher Wheeldon.

The Cie Art Move Concept, choreographed and presented by Artistic Directors, Soria Rem and Mehdi Ouachek, Nibiru, a US Premiere, was danced by a male ensemble of seven, including Mr. Ouachek, to Yvan Talbot’s electronic score. The hip-hop styled choreography becomes tedious and repetitive, as does the droning score. Dancers spin on an arm, their heads, flapping legs and arms in the air for balance. Street clothes and nondescript shifts between solo and ensemble motion provide little interest. Stephen Petronio’s Company, as well, did little to deepen the evening. His “Bloodlines: Yvonne Rainer and Steve Paxton”, a tribute to both, included Ms. Rainer’s Chair-Pillow and an excerpt from Mr. Paxton’s Goldberg Variations. Eight dancers, including Mr. Petronio, performed the Rainer work to music by Tina and Ike Turner, “River Deep, Mountain High”. This work, bluntly, has dancers dropping and picking up a pillow while sitting on, climbing on, or looking at a chair. Yes, that is it. The second work, a solo for Nicholas Sciscione, scored to Bach’s Goldberg Variations 16-24, a recording by pianist, Glenn Gould, would have been better with eyes shut, enjoying the music. The choreography appears to be pure improvisation, a misconceived addition to this program.

But, the hall was on fire, Tango Fire, that is, when German Cornejo’s Company of five tango couples in vibrant, slinky, snazzy costumes, took the stage. The contrast between this work, and those of the previous two groups, was striking. As a former tanguera, I take my tango performances very seriously. German Cornejo’s group must be seen again soon, and often. A masterful tango band on piano, bandoneón, violin, and contrabass was onstage as well, and sometimes performed music for listening, while dancers changed into multiple costumes. These are tango championship dancers extraordinaire, with the finest boléos, ganchos, and a multitude of sophisticated Argentine tango steps. The music played was by the crème de la crème of tango composers, the sumptuous sounds of Piazzolla, Troilo, Laurenz, Rodriguez, and more. The bandoneónist performed with swooning sensuality, making his bandoneón magnetic. The pianist, bassist, and violinist, as well, created hypnotic ornamentations. Women were tossed, thrown, lifted, embraced, and so on, men danced some milongas together, brief romantic or violent dramas were inserted for theatricality, and everyone was in peak tango performance style. Kudos to German Cornejo and his blazing, fiery dancers.

Pennsylvania Ballet
The Cast of Christopher Wheeldon's "Rush"
Courtesy of Alexander Iziliaev

German Cornejo's Tango Fire
The Cast of German Cornejo's "Tango Fire"
Courtesy of Zach Ciaburri

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at