Above: Elizabeth Brown of New Chamber Ballet, photo by Kokyat. Click to enlarge.
Saturday November 17, 2012 - Performances at New Chamber Ballet always feature live music, and quite often it is music that has been written in the 20th or even the 21st century. Tonight's programme varied a bit from the New Chamber Ballet norm as three of the four works choreographed by the Company's director Miro Magloire were set to works of Old Masters: Bach, Handel and Tchaikovsky. In such company, the fourth work - by Karlheinz Stockhausen - gave the evening a nice tangy jolt.
Super-familiar melodies from THE NUTCRACKER were transcribed for solo violin and played with alternating currents of delicacy and gusto by Clara Lyon. There were no candy canes or snowflakes to be seen, however: instead, three women (Elizabeth Brown, Nora Brown and Holly Curran) became obsessed with a gift-wrapped silvery pendant that changed hands several times in the course of the ballet. Technically demanding solos were spun thru the musical fabric, and elements of chase and deceit played out as each girl tried to claim the bauble for her own.
Melody Fader attacked the hammering motif that opens Karlheinz Stockhausen's Klavierstuck IX with flair; Elizabeth Brown and Holly Curran sit on either side of the pianist as Miro's KLAVIERSTUCK commences: a ballet that became a memorial to the composer who passed away in 2007, shortly after having given Miro his blessing to choreograph the piece. The piano itself becomes the central element of the ballet, functioning as a barre and as an altar. Miro's affectionate gesture to the composer he so admired has become New Chamber Ballet's signature work.
After a short break, Melody Fader switched modes and played a transcription of a Handel violin sonata (arranged by Miro) as the Company's newest member Nora Brown gave lyric sweep to the pure classic vocabulary of the solo SPIEGELEIN. Wearing Candice Thompson's fetching pale rose and white tunic, Nora's graceful dancing had a lovely fresh quality.
Its premiere having been delayed a couple of months, Miro's new ballet THE OTHER WOMAN proved one of his finest works to date. Set to Bach's B-minor sonata (played by Clara Lyon and Melody Fader) this ballet about duplicity and its resulting emotional impact on the personalities involved struck close to home. Elizabeth Brown and Holly Curran are the two women - and who could choose between them? - while Sarah Atkins en travesti gives a wonderful performance as the object of their affections. Sarah, in a black suit and bowler hat, danced her jaunty solo with élan while the two girls vied for his attention in a situation where someone is bound to lose.
New Chamber Ballet's audience continues to grow, with new faces among the crowd of familiar long-time supporters. In their mixture of classic, on-pointe dancing and live music in an intimate setting, Miro's evenings hold a unique place in the Gotham dance scene. Their next performances are slated for February 15th and 16th, 2013.