Friday June 24, 2011 - Choreographer Emery LeCrone has been invited to create a new ballet for the Guggenheim's Autumn 2011 Works & Process series. Set to music by world-renowned composer and two-time Pultzier Prize winner Elliot Carter, Emery's dancework will feature Megan LeCrone and Russell Janzen (both of New York City Ballet), Da'Von Doane of Dance Theatre of Harlem, Thomas Forster of American Ballet Theatre, and Gabrielle Lamb of Morphoses. This afternoon Emery offered an initial showing of the work-in-progress at the Ballet Hispanico studios which my friend James and I attended. But I'd actually gotten a sneak peek at this newest LeCrone creation when photographer Matt Murphy and I stopped by a rehearsal at City Center studio last week. That's where Matt shot the photos that accompany this article.
The Elliott Carter score is in five movements with a total performance time of about 25 minutes. Emery has worked with lightning speed and surety of imagination to craft this new work which is already looking so impressive. What's giving her creativity wings is the excellent set of top-notch dancers she's working with. Both at Ballet Hispanico today and at the studio session last week, the dancers readily absorbed Emery's directions and she was able to build whole passages for the work as the dancers swiftly translated ideas into movement. A first-rate dancer in her own right, Emery could also demonstate the nuances she was seeking; the process was really exciting to watch.
One aspect of the rehearsal and preview that fascinated me especially was watching Megan LeCrone and Russell Janzen (above) working on the partnering details of their extended duet. These two dancers, who I have so often admired in their work at NYC Ballet, polished up the intricacies with rapid discussions of shifting weight and placement of supporting hands. Megan's instincts for making the partnering look its smoothest were quickly translated into action by Russell, bringing added clairity to Emery's pas de deux.
Powerful dancing from Da'Von Doane of Dance Theatre of Harlem as he joins Megan and Rusell in a pas de trois. Earlier, Gabrielle Lamb - a favorite dancer of mine - showed her vivid and intense style in a demanding solo that Emery has crafted for her. (Matt and I missed Gabrielle's time-slot on the day he took photos; we'll plan to catch up with her and also with Thomas Forster of ABT later in the rehearsal process.)
Here are more of Matt Murphy's images from the rehearsal:
Megan LeCrone, Russell Janzen
Russell, Megan & Da'Von Doane
Megan and Da'Von
The Guggenheim event, scheduled for October 2011, features two choreographers creating works to the same music. Avi Scher will offer the other ballet on the programme. I'm hoping there'll be an opportunity to observe Avi's creation in the studio later in the year.
With her Elliott Carter ballet already in excellent shape, Emery LeCrone now heads out to create a new work for Colorado Ballet. Meanwhile, I headed straight from Ballet Hispanico down to City Center where New Chamber Ballet were dancing Emery's CHAMBER DANCES, a scintillating trio to a John Adams score.
All photos by Matt Murphy. Thank you, Matt!