Reviews

Fast and frenzied

Mental illness isn’t a common subject matter for dance, but then again Company Chameleon isn’t your average dance troupe. The Manchester-based company dedicates itself to showing people the possibilities of dance both on stage and off, frequently complementing its performances with public workshops that examine the stories behind its work.

Kiss-met

Alexei Ratmansky’s “The Fairy’s Kiss” is a captivating piece of dance storytelling, fusing genres of fairy tale, mystery, and romance to powerful effect. Set to Igor Stravinsky’s enchanting score and replete with gripping choreographic imagery, it’s a masterfully-crafted and thought-provoking ballet in which Ratmansky’s talent of making dance as a vital, immediate, and engrossing theatrical experience shines through and through.

Sweet Dreams

A kind of cross between Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and the booze-infested flick, Lost Weekend, the world premiere confection, “Whipped Cream,” landed with a sumptuous, if occasional cloying, sweetness in Orange County for a five-day run, before making its frothy way to American Ballet Theater’s home—the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House—in May.

Star Power

Ballet galas showcasing the world's top dancing talent are in vogue. They have been popping up in cities all around the world from Tokyo to Buenos Aires, and as of February, Toronto courtesy of the National Ballet of Canada's principal dancer Svetlana Lunkina.

Form & Content

A book, physically cut from the pages of another, is the inspiration behind Wayne McGregor’s “Tree of Codes.” Much like the Jonathan Safran Foer book with which it shares its title, McGregor’s work is an experiment in the arrangement of form and content.

Sensing Loss

A room, its furniture haphazardly stacked. The armchair lies toppled, the door, placed flat like a table-top, is reimagined as a bed; the cupboards become miniature doorways or upstairs windows through which the company climb.

A Given Light

As part of its “Flower of the Season,” currently in its 14th year, Body Weather Laboratory (a forum for investigating kinesthetic and movement research that was initiated in 1988 by dancer/farmer and improvisateur, Min Tanaka), presented a new work by Oguri, the Japan-born Butoh dancer who leads BWL in Venice, and, to be blunt, never fails to astonish.

A Mixed Bill

In a concert of five works—notable for a lack of discernible style—Jessica Lang Dance roared into Los Angeles last weekend as if it were the second coming. At only six years old, this troupe has somehow catapulted itself to the front ranks of companies.

Blow Up

Waterbeds may have been a 70’s fad, but what about inflatable furniture? For a mere $74.95 (with free shipping, who knew?), Amazon offers the sofa of your dreams, one designed with a “waterproof-flocked top surface and a vinyl bottom that provides an incredibly comfortable sitting surface for any occasion.” For Lionel Popkin, a former Trisha Brown dancer and a choreographer who has mined his Hindu/Jewish roots, memorialized Ruth St. Denis and sautéed onions and curried zucchini in a range of works that satisfied, amused and, if not necessarily provoked, left indelible imagery nonetheless.