A Tribute to Murray Louis at the Kaye
Boston Conservatory Dance Theater

The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, New York City
December 17–18, 2005

A Review

Tribute to Murray LouisIt is always with reservation that I attend revivals. In the recesses of my being are remnants of former viewings of these works that seem to get in the way of my spectating. But this revival proved that not all revivals are awful and disappointing attempts at reconstruction.

For me it was such a pleasure to see Murray Louis’s well-crafted dance once more—to see motion that surprised and development that satisfied, from the unconventional lyricism of the Schubert (1977), through the exotic explosions of Index (1973), to the sassy exuberance of Four Brubeck Pieces (1984).

Alberto del Saz (“Tito”) has done a masterful job in the laying of Louis’s exotic motion on this company of young dancers from the Boston Conservatory Dance Theater, and the dancers proved in every way to be up to the task set for them. As technically skillful dancers, decentralized, and with the abounding energy that these works require, they took me through these familiar pathways with delight.

The mounting at the Kaye was equally painless for me. (Again, Tito is responsible for this.) But someone please give to the Nikolais/Louis Foundation for Dance the funds to preserve the slide work of Nikolais. With today’s technology, the slide projection techniques of the ’70s seem shabby. Some of the hand-painted slides are peeling. With computerized scanning and transfer to video projection, Nik’s artwork could be used as he would have had it be today. These techniques would eliminate that out-of-focus cyclorama centerline compromise.

The Boston Conservatory is to be commended for their investment in this project, and Hunter College for hosting this event. I consider it a privilege to have revisited these works. Thank you.

—Ruth Grauert, December 18, 2005