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The Ashley Bouder Project: "Creating Contemporary Choreography" at New York City Center, Studio 4
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The Ashley Bouder Project: "Creating Contemporary Choreography" at New York City Center, Studio 4

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Ashley Bouder: Behind the Scenes
Youth America Grand Prix
First Position Club’s
“Creating Contemporary Choreography”
New York City Center, Studio 4

Ashley Bouder, Choreography Demonstration
(Bouder City Ballet Web Page)
Ashley Hod
(Hod City Ballet Page)
Devin Alberda
(Alberda City Ballet Page)

Press: Jonathan Marder & Company

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
November 28, 2016

It was fascinating to watch a renowned and beloved City Ballet Principal, Ashley Bouder, who recently returned to the stage after a maternity leave, design her newest choreography on two of City Ballet’s Corps dancers. Ashley Hod and Devin Alberda have also been frequently and favorably reviewed in seasonal ballets at Koch Theater, many led by Ms. Bouder. As the City Center Studio 4 has problematic acoustics that require a microphone, and Ms. Bouder was not equipped with one, many in today’s audience had difficulty hearing her public introductions and private (to the dancers) guidance. Yet, the visual experience was worth the visit, and there was also a recording of a commissioned score by Miho Hazama, associate director of the New York Jazzharmonic.

This jazz big band is in residence at Symphony Space, where Ms. Bouder will present her ballet project the evenings of March 17 and March 18, 2017. The New York Jazzharmonic will accompany the dancers live for the performances, conducted by artistic director, Ron Wasserman. Director-Choreographer, Susan Stroman’s “Blossom Got Kissed”, danced to Duke Ellington’s music and favorably reviewed on these pages in 2011, will also be in Ms. Bouder’s March program. Also performing in the Bouder Project will be Amar Ramasar (City Ballet Principal). Additionally shown in March will be a unique “pas de deux” for Sara Mearns (City Ballet Principal) and Ms. Bouder, created by the modern dance choreographer, Liz Gerring, to a score by Anna Webber. Tonight’s event was presented by Youth America Grand Prix, an international dance competition for aspiring young dancers, reviewed almost every year on these pages. YAGP donors and board members were in attendance tonight along with the New York ballet community.

My notes on Ms. Bouder’s visual choreographic design included Ms. Hod spinning, en pointe, before the music begins, partly with Mr. Alberda’s assistance, as he held her waist. Ms. Bouder changed the timing of this sequence a few times, and we saw each incarnation of the choreography. The melodic music had exotic tones mixed with the jazz composition. The percussive rhythms were accompanied at one point with what might be a segment for a bandoneón, as Ms. Hod wrapped her leg about Mr. Alberda, tango style. Another choreographic segment had both dancers on their knees, arms supporting them against the floor, one leg kicking out. A compelling piano interlude was heard, and then Ms. Hod took more spins en pointe, first guided by Mr. Alberda and then solo. I look forward to seeing this and the other Bouder Project works at the March event.

Ashley Bouder Introduces Her Ballet to Workshop Guests
Courtesy of Cutty McGill

Ashley Hod and Devin Alberda at NY City Center Studios
Courtesy of Cutty McGill

Ashley Hod and Devin Alberda at NY City Center Studios
Courtesy of Cutty McGill

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