Posted by: trailerpilot | 01:04::2009

New York Times roundup roundup.

Here at trailerpilot I’ll often link to the New York Times’ Dance desk, not least because it’s produced with care and admirable comprehensiveness out of a dedicated staff (which offices, worldwide, can unfortunately be counted on one’s fingers) and, even at their most pompous and curmudgeonly, reading them regularly is as good an education in dance history as one can get out of a decent MFA program.

Their posted content from the last week is predictably thick with year-end wrappings-up and grandiose pronouncements and laments, and while I didn’t pore over every last one there’s a good variety of interesting stories up.  What follows is the first of a regular weekend roundup (in this week’s case, a roundup roundup):  Think of it as Today’s Papers, except it’ll be weekly and I don’t get paid.

Amid way too many articles about The Nutcracker is a profile by Claudia La Rocco on Miguel Gutierrez and his project freedom of information 2008, improvised movement solos that occurred simultaneously in all 50 states and the D. of C. on December 31 (assuming Gutierrez was able to fill the 19 slots still outstanding when the article was published two days earlier).  According to his blog, linked to in the article, Thrillinois was represented by Marissa Perel up in Ravenswood (if you are or know Ms Perel, or attended the performance, I’d love to follow up sometime about the experience).  It’s conceptual and inclusive–not to mention reminiscent of my hero Nicole Garneau’s ongoing UPRISING project–although the quotes La Rocco gets out of Gutierrez suggest the scale of the endeavor, for him, justifies some of the fuzzy, platitudinous reasoning behind the piece.  Then again, I didn’t spend New Year’s Eve in an “intense state of contemplation,” dancing for 24 consecutive hours, so props to Mr Gutierrez for doing something special with the day.

Roslyn Sulcas’ behind-the-scenes at the City Ballet costume shop could, perhaps, be considered “fluff,” except that I know from experience that a) the wardrobe staff is the glue that holds every ballet company together and b) they’re usually the most interesting, most fun people that work in the building.  They also have an uncanny way of seeing writing on the wall far in advance of anyone else.  There’s nothing here that will be news to anyone who’s been around a costume shop, but it’s a nice reminder of the particulars of an incredible craft (Larae Theige Hascall ran a helluva tight ship back in the day at PNB; it’s great to see that, by and large, that shop’s staff are all still upstairs at the Phelps Center).

An obituary for Daniel Nagrin by Jennifer Dunning runs close to an almost-obituary for Ballet B.C., which is desperately trying not to crash and burn in what would be the first major dance nonprofit casualty of the recent economic apocalypse.  Sulcas elsewhere weighs in with five choreographers that rocked her world this year.  Of local note is that Faye Driscoll, brought in regularly for Chicago premieres by Same Planet Different World, was lavished with praise at #4 for her latest, 837 Venice Blvd.

Alistair Macaulay, the dandy, British balletomane that runs the dance page, doesn’t disappoint with a grumpy list of reasons why he has to travel as much as he does.  From reading him regularly, I imagine his life consists solely of flying to Europe, typing, and frowning.  I love him.  In fact, my dream dinner date consists of cocktails and small plates with Alistair Macaulay and Bill Cunningham before a show at Covent Garden, which would almost assuredly be catty, crusty, nelly bliss.  Macaulay also goes Cunningham-style with a narrated feature on things he didn’t hate this year, which includes some astonishingly sycophantic (although not undeserved) praise for ABT’s David Hallberg.  If he is indeed this generation’s Vyacheslav Gordeev–over whom I’ve fawned since childhood–I’m all for it.

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Responses

  1. […] of a colleague that was involved with the New Year’s Day improvathon I linked to in last weekend’s roundup roundup, which was just the sort of followup on that project I was hoping to find.  It’s nice too to […]

  2. […] Dance discussing the experience of a colleague involved in the January 1 improvathon I linked to in last weekend’s roundup roundup, which was just the sort of followup on that project I was looking for.  It’s nice too to […]

  3. […] Just last week I was throwing a carrier pigeon out into the internets, asking for more information about Marissa Perel, and today the CDF mailing list drops off a release about the next Silverspace Salon, and it’s with Marissa Perel.  That was certainly easy. […]


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