New Chamber Ballet, 2013 Season Program 4

City Center Studio 5, New York City
April 5, 2013

A Review

This is a company of excellent dancers. Their footwork, line, interpretation of music and mood are exceptional. The musicianship is excellent with a wide variety of musical styles all performed extremely well. Mr. Magloire’s background in both music and dance makes each dance unique in style, musical selection and subject matter. Although I did not see much comedy in these dances, I did see a wide variety of commentary on the human condition.

Photo: Kristin Lodoen Linder
Klavierstuck (Piano Pieces)
Choreography: Miro Magloire
Music: Karlheinz Stockhausen, “Klavierstuck IX”
Performed by: Melody Fader, piano
Danced by: Elizabeth Brown and Holly Curran
Costumes: Candice Thompson

Here Miro takes the relationship between music and dance a step further. The dancers interact with the piano and each other in relation to the sounds. As the piece opens, both dancers sit at the piano bench listening and still, while loud and discordant chords, played by Melody Fader. ring out again and again. They press their foreheads to the piano, and the piece fittingly closes with the two dancers leaning into the open piano. The movement matched the music both in dynamics and style, with each dancer lending her own interpretation of the music.

In the Parlour (Premiere)
Choreography: Miro Magloire
Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, “Violin Sonata in E minor, K304”
Performed by: Caroline Chin, violin, and Melody Fader, piano
Danced by: Sarah Atkins, Elizabeth Brown, and Holly Curran
Costumes: Candice Thompson

Mozart’s beautiful and civilized music shapes the character of the dancers. Elizabeth plays the more sophisticated free thinker, writing freely in cursive lines on the imaginary wall. Holly plays the young, curious one who is trying to learn and imitate the two other women. Sarah is the stiff, judgmental and overbearing elder, erasing Elizabeth’s work and writing straight and rigid lines instead. Elizabeth dances with a sense of freedom and smooth lines, gently and happily including Holly in her dance. Holly, however, seems to become frustrated with Elizabeth and storms off while Sarah comes in to show off her strength, speed, amazing balances and extremely definitive ideas. One word about costuming: As the setting for this performance is so intimate, the use of a flesh-colored leotard under the flowy dresses was a little distracting as it is visible from such a short distance. I loved the design; I just wished the structure could have been better disguised.

Anna’s Last Day
Choreography: Miro Magloire
Music: Rebecca Saunders, “Duo for Violin and Piano”
Performed by: Caroline Chin, violin, and Melody Fader, piano
Danced by: Sarah Atkins (Anna), Amber Neff (Anna’s deceased younger sister)
Costumes: Candice thompson
Music copyist: Viola Yip

This is a deliciously creepy and sensual narrative work featuring Sarah Atkins in a technically adept and emotionally deep portrayal of Anna, powerfully danced with balances that seemed to end only because of a need to move on. Her portrayal of confusion and pain, contrasted to her initial strength, joy and pleasure was strong. Anna takes her life in remorse over the death pf her sister. The haunting music, with horror-inducing violin and percussive elements of the piano, were both inventive and effective in eliciting a mood of impending doom and pain.

Allow You to Look at Me
Conceived and Directed by: Constantine Baecher
Choreographed and Danced by: Constantine Baecher, Elizabeth Brown, and Holly Curran
Music: Edward MacDowell, “To a Wild Rose,”; Johann Pachelbel, “Canon in D”; “Greensleeves” (English Folk Song)
Performed by: Meloday, piano
Narrator: Jonathan Parks-Ramage
Costumes: Constantine Baecher

The title indicates this dance is about a willingness to be observed as a dancer on stage. Both Elizabeth and Holly danced with openness, but I didn’t see the same in Constantine. Although he danced admirably while partnering the ladies, we did not see him perform much as a soloist. Perhaps Mr. Baecher is not as comfortable with being looked at as his piece suggests. The opening sequence of poses and movements between Constantine and Elizabeth was outstanding. There is a moment where he puts his arm around her, and she then steps away, leaving him holding the shape of an embrace, now empty. How telling of the feeling of connection lost, shown so vividly in that moment as a shape suddenly becomes something else. The narration of the initial duet is not particularly well paired with the other dances. The lack of a continuous musical connection fragmented the narration of the dance. This piece needs more cohesion between concept and execution in the music, the narration, and the dance elements. The women’s costumes were at times horribly distracting and unflattering. Constantine, in contrast, looked stunning in his black shorts and soft, long-sleeved T-shirt. This dance needs revision to make it all that it could be.

—Laura Rime, April 9, 2013