Ballet Inc. THE SERIES: Vol. 1
By Roberta Pikser
presented by Ballet Inc., was proud to present its first contemporary
dance festival offering performance opportunities to 25 emerging dance companies
and choreographers to share their work, Saturday July 23, 7:30 PM at MMAC, 248
West 60th Street. Each choreographer presented a short
work on this fast-paced presentation of different dance voices and
Former Graham dancer Antonio Fini is originally from Calabria,
Italy. He is also a choreographer and producer who organizes festivals
celebrating Italian dance and dancers in Italy and New York. On July 24th
his two hour presentation encompassed the presentation of awards to some
aspiring Italian dancers now working in New York, with a special lifetime award
given to Jacqulyn Buglisi,
herself a former Graham dancer and now a distinguished choreographer whose
works include the creation of 9/11, Table of Silence,
a ritual performed by dancers and non-dancers every year in
honor of the dead of September 11th, 2001. This evening was well
organized and well danced, but could have used an intermission and less
repetitive banter from host Tabita Caldironi.
Fini and Lauren Jaeger - photo by Rachel Neville
did we actually see on these evenings? In the Fini program we saw “Piazzolla
Caldera” by Paul Taylor, which, though nearly twenty years old (it was restaged
for six dancers in 2006) and a bit long, is still a model of how to make a
composition and the possibilities of how to investigate and exploit movement.
The wry sexuality does not hurt, either. By studying this one piece, the young
choreographers on both programs, especially the Ballet, Inc. series, could
learn about focus and the necessity of commitment to whatever it is one decides
to do. This commitment could also be seen in the excerpt from Graham’s 1947
piece about Queen Jocasta, Night Journey, the part of the young Oedipus
danced with power and appropriate arrogance by Lorenzo Pagano. One can see why
these are the classics.
the Ballet, Inc, series, Ana Cuellar is to be encouraged. In her “Silent,” she
used Graham vocabulary to try to find her own voice. Ariana Crowder and
Nicholas Rodriguez, who utilized Hip Hop vocabulary pleasingly, if not
innovatively also added some focus to the Ballet, Inc. evening. Their dancers,
too, performed with conviction. But the outstanding piece of that series was
Maiya Redding’s “Thou Art Loosed”, inspired by Paul Lawrence Dunbar’s poem, “I
Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” Ms. Redding used much the same vocabulary as
the other young choreographers, but she figured out how to use the movement and
the movement of her dancer in the stage space to express what she wanted to
say, with variation in rhythm and dynamics that built to a resolution that was
choreographically and emotionally exciting.
of carrying on a tradition is learning from it, even as one moves ahead into
new ground. Young choreographers need encouragement and exposure, but they
also need guidance and rigor. Let us hope that inclusiveness does not drive
out the search for excellence, without which there is no art.
Fini and awardee Jacqulyn Buglisi - photo by Antonio Azzurro
23rd, 2016, 7:30 p.m.
and $30 (with reception)
Fini Dance Festival
July 24th, 2016 7:30 p.m.
for students/seniors; $50 for special VIP seating
Manhattan Movement Arts
West 60th Street