Saturday March 28, 2009 - Miro Magloire's New Chamber Ballet presented premieres by Miro and guest choreographer Deborah Lohse. Above, the dancers costumed by Candice Thompson in a Kristin Lodoen Linder photo. (Visit the photographer's site for some striking images here).
This was the biggest crowd I've seen at one of Miro's evenings, which is good. There were dancers present, including some we recognized. Tonya and I were able to get caught up before the performance and during the intermissions. In addition to the four women who I have seen dancing for Miro previously, tonight former New York City Ballet dancer Lauren Toole appeared; she has worked with Miro before and at the upcoming June performances of New Chamber Ballet, her choreographic work is slated. Something to look forward to.
Of the opening work, TWO choreographer Deborah Lohse (above) reports creating the movement before the commissioned score by Stefan Weisman was applied. The result is a beautiful and thought-provoking duet for two women.
Stefan's score as played by Owen Dalby (violin) and Melody Fader (piano) is melodic with a feeling of wistfulness or regret underlining the full-blown lyricism. The work opens with Emily SoRelle Adams in an expressive solo; as this first passage ends Emily begins to sketch, first in the air and then on the floor; her drawing conjures up Emery LeCrone: lover? sister? friend? an ideal? That is left to the viewer's imagination. The girls dance in mirror-image, then in synchronized patterns and in some partnering that is tender yet not entirely romantic. Dressed in Candice's beautiful short-skirted silky black tunics, the girls move with poetic grace thru this mysterious duet. Emery then slips away, leaving Emily to her sketching. Is she remembering...or attempting to summon her absent friend again? The work is full of moving, memorable images and the combination of the music, which Owen and Melody played with a nice sense of rapture, and the luminous dancing of Emily and Emery made this a piece I would like to see again - several times. The choreographer and composer seemed a bit shy about taking a bow at the end. (Above photo of Emery and Emily by Kristin Lodoen Linder)
The evening progressed with three works by Miro, starting with the new piece to Webern called ECHOES which is shown in the top photo. Here the five dancers perform in silence, alternating with the very brief instrumental statements played by Owen and Melody. Only near the end do dance and music mesh. The girls are on pointe and dance in ensemble, then a duet and a finely-wrought solo for Madeline Deavenport. The music shifts from other-worldly to passionate.
MONOLOGUE to music of Morton Feldman is the only work this evening that I had previosuly seen, and I was again taken by the strong, streamlined dancing of Elizabeth Brown who moves, sometimes in extreme slow-motion, as two other girls hover near the wall, observing or meditating.
A revival of AEOLIA set to Telemannn violin fantasias showed us the dancers in a different light: Miro working in a more allegro style. Elizabeth Brown opens the piece showing an expansiveness in contrast to her controlled, angular dancing in the previous work. She is joined by Lauren Toole - who I did find I remembered from her NYCB days - and by the beauteous Emery LeCrone. To the rhythmically detailed playing of violinist Erik Carlson, the girls have solos, duets and trios all quite step-filled and extroverted.
The more I see of Miro's dancers, the more drawn I am to them as individual personalities. Some people have suggested that Miro's work would profit further by being done on a 'real' stage with 'real' lighting and I agree: that would be nice. Yet there is something wonderfully immediate about being so close to the dancers and seeing the works in this direct, simple setting. It gives the viewer an intense connnection to the dance.
All the works were enhanced by Candice Thompson's simple, stylish costumes and - as always at Miro's performances - by the live music, excellently played. New Chamber Ballet's next performances are set for June 19th and 20th.