Tonight, I dipped into the joys of New York Theatre Ballet, which does performances in small venues with live music–both a real rarity in the ballet performance world. They also want to give under-served dancers a chance and introduce people to ballet and its great masters. What a wonderful mission, so refreshing compared to the stereotypical, stodgy ballet of your grandmother.
The program tonight was “Legends and Visionaries.” My two favorite works came early on. Gemma Bond, a dancer with New York City Ballet, was written up in last Sunday’s Arts & Leisure section in the New York Times. Her dance called “Silent Titles” was quirky and funny and fresh. The men wore white tie, the women a sort of odd mix of the swans from “Swan Lake” and flapper style dresses, in black, gray, and white. Like a silent film, get it?
The dancers, sans-costumes, in rehearsal.
Two older dancers then came on stage to talk about their memories of working with the choreographer James Waring in the 1950s. I had never heard of him, but listening to these two poised people reminisce and then seeing the two solos made me long for more.
Quirky costumes were the order of the night, and here’s the dancer from “An Eccentric Beauty Revisited” danced to Erik Satie’s 1920 piece La Belle Excentrique. The dance was adorable, irreverent, bratty.
She stopped at one point, center stage, and cocked a hand behind her ear and waited, until we got it and started applauding. I could watch her performance again right now and be just as delighted by it.
If you ever have the chance to see dance up close and personal, no matter what kind, that is a special treat. Add really good music and the visual pleasures of costumes, well, life is good. It even made me want to dance again!