Friday November 20th, 2015 - Miro Magloire's New Chamber Ballet presenting works by Miro and resident choreographer Constantine Baecher in a nicely-mixed programme of new and olde music - expertly played - and danced by Miro's uniquely talented band of ballerinas. In the intimate setting of the City Center Studios, there's a sense of immediacy - both of the music and the dancing - that no other dance company in Gotham can quite match.
In his most recent works, Miro's choreography has been daring in its exploration of female partnering. Tonight's concert opened with the premiere of a full version of Gravity, excerpted earlier this season and which I'd seen in a formative rehearsal.
First off, a salute to violinist Doori Na for his impressive rendering of "Six Pieces for Violin" by Friedrich Cerha. The venerable Austrian composer, soon to celebrate his 90th birthday, is currently in the news locally as The Met is offering a new production of Alban Berg's LULU which Mr. Cerha completed upon Berg's death.
Gravity was danced tonight by Elisabeth Brown, Traci Finch, and NCB's newest member Cassidy Hall. The dancers alternate between posing and partnering: a duet for Elizabeth and Traci is observed by Cassidy, who then inserts herself into the dance. Elizabeth's solo comes as the music falls silent; she then dances with Cassidy in a duet where Elizabeth, at full stretch, is nearly parallel to the floor in displaying a superb line.
The dancers then polish off the ballet with a trio (Traci, Elizabeth and Cassidy, above).
More images from Gravity, photographed by Amber Neff:
Cassidy Hall and Traci Finch
Elizabeth Brown and Cassidy Hall
Someone once wrote of Aristotle Onassis: "He was not the first man to want both his wife and his mistress." That very notion was the starting point of The Other Woman, Miro's 'classic triangle' ballet set to a classic score: Bach's B-minor violin sonata.
An en travesti Sarah Atkins, wearing a jaunty fedora, faces the age-old dilemma of the married man as he vacillates between his wife and his lover. Elizabeth Brown and Holly Curran offer contrasting attractions of face, form, and personality; in this very theatrical piece, their dancing is urgent and nuanced. The rival women confront one another while Sarah dances a space-filling solo. In the end it seems no real decision has been reached, and it feels like more chapters are yet to come before this story ends.
Doori Na and pianist Taka Kigawa played the Bach so attractively, and moments later Taka returned play Beat Furrer's 'Voicelessness. The snow has no voice' for Miro's second premiere of the evening: Voicelessness. Taka's playing was marvelous right from the murmuring start of the piece; he was able to sustain a pianissimo misterioso atmosphere throughout with great control. This was punctuated with the occasional emphatic high staccato.
In this duet the two dancers - Amber Neff and Cassidy Hall, (above) - perform extremely demanding and intensely intimate feats of partnering. The two girls, abetted by Taka Kigawa's keyboard, sustained the tension of the work most impressively.
Above: Amber Neff and Cassidy Hall in Voicelessness
Amber Neff and Cassidy Hall