Saturday January 16, 2010 - As a dancer, Adam Hendrickson always excels at the art of transforming music into visual energy. His performances always have an extra edge of vitality that make him a standout in an outstanding Company. So it was not surprising today, when Kokyat and I went to watch his rehearsal of a new ballet he's creating, to see Adam translating his own approach to dancing into his choreography.
Click on each image to enhance.
Set to a recently-discovered four-movement piano solo by Sergei Prokofiev entitled Music for Athletic Exercises, Adam is creating an exhilarating dance piece that asks for non-stop energy and reserves of stamina from his three dancers: Matthew Renko, Elysia Dawn and Robert Colby Damon.
Prokofiev's rhythmic surety provides the roadmap for the dance which Adam has already crafted and is now being polished up for its presentations at New Haven and at New York's Zankel Hall on February 8th and 9th respectively. That paragon of Prokofiev pianists, Boris Berman, will be at the keyboard.
Music for Athletic Exercises has a definite militaristic character: fanfares and marching motifs are laced with piano filigree imitating the bugler's calls to reveille. Fleeting moments of an elusive waltz-like strain give the piece an edge of irony.
Adam sets forth with a very energetic pas de trois...
...followed by a duet for the two men which is sometimes comradely and sometimes competitive.
Elysia's solo might have provided a bit of respite, but the music won't let her stay still.
Then the trio re-unite for a past-paced finale.
The music, the skill and individuality of the dancers, and Adam's easy way of giving corrections and bringing out nuances made for a really enjoyable studio experience. Kokyat and I are grateful to Adam for letting us get a first look at this work - up close - and also to the three generous and talented dancers.
On a day when we seemed to be having a bit of a break from the deep-freeze it was lovely to run into Yvonne Borree and Elizabeth Mateer.
UPDATE: Janie Taylor is reportedly designing the costumes for Adam's ballet.