Reviews of the Century.
These excerpts from historic Dance Magazine reviews retain their original spelling and punctuation. Photos are from Dance Magazine Archives unless otherwise noted.
OCTOBER 1963 HARKNESS DANCE FESTIVAL SEPTEMBER 2-8, 1963 DELACORTE THEATRE, NYC BY JACQUELINE MASKEY
Beneath a Labor Day moon perfect enough to be a prop, the [Rebekah] Harkness Foundation unwrapped the first of its seven performance gifts to pavement-bound New Yorkers.... "A Panorama of Theatrical Dancing in America: 1900-1963," the program was deftly assembled by Walter Terry, assisted by Todd Bolender. No small asset was Alexandra Danilova's formidable delivery of Terry's narrative....
[After several works] America Dances paused to look back to the beginning of the century. Miss Ruth St. Denis, gowned in gray, performed The Incense, as she had done for the first time in New York in 1906. The audience, few of whom could ever have seen her dance, rose to salute her presence with the ovation of the evening....
APRIL 1964 ALWIN NIKOLAIS HENRY STREET PLAYHOUSE FEBRUARY 20, 1964 BY DORIS HERING
There are echoes and memories which all of us share.... when we meet them, we know they belong to us. Such was our realization during.... Alwin Nikolais' evening-long Sanctum.
The stage opened red and menacing. A silhouetted figure (Murray Louis), hanging.... from a trapeze, whirled above a tangle of bodies.... When the lights came up, the figure appeared curiously defenseless. He was lowered into the scudding mass and disappeared.....
There were many other dances in Sanctum. All displayed Mr. Nikolais' ingenious mingling of light and sound and color and movement.
JULY 1965 ROYAL BALLET METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE APRIL 21-MAY 16, 1965. BY DORIS HERING
... Britain' s Royal Ballet again sailed serenely to our shores, this time with an extensive album of its own kind of lovers--lovers culled from the pages of the past--lovers whose emotions were magnified by romantic effusion, Victorian sentimentality....
The company's prime image of love emanated, of course, from Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev.... Nureyev is the embodiment of Nineteenth Century unreason. He is a Lamartine, a Byron, a Berlioz, a Paganini. With hair flying, with a huge fold of cape sailing out from his shoulders, he hurls his yearning at Fonteyn's feet.... Fonteyn becomes the Sanctified One, the Moon Goddess, the Dulcinea, the Unanswered Question so dear to every male for whom love has few roots in the reality of every day....
MAY 1966 TRISHA BROWN & DEBORAH HAY JUDSON MEMORIAL CHURCH MARCH 29, 1966 BY MARCIA MARKS
It was called A Concert of Dance, but titles tend to be rather meaningless these days. Someone must have taken it seriously, however, for after the first number, Deborah Hay's No. 3, there was an explosive shout of "Hoax!" No. 3 consisted of Hay running around the hall while three helpers knocked down three stacks of bricks.
Trisha Brown's A String came next. In.... "Homemade," she moved just enough to allow a projector strapped to her back to flash pictures of herself around the hall. Some of the shots were quite intriguing.
NOVEMBER 1966 CITY CENTER JOFFREY BALLET NEW YORK CITY CENTER SEPTEMBER 6-25, 1966 BY DORIS HERING
While the ballet world owes an incalculable debt of gratitude to the Ford Foundation for its grants, in every case except that of New York City Ballet, the sudden need to "match funds" and "think business" has had a temporarily negative effect....
With the other recipients--and the City Center Joffrey Ballet is one of them--the artistic director has suddenly had to become an administrator. Choreographic output has diminished and certain aspects of the company image have become blurred.
JANUARY 1967 MEREDITH MONK & PHOEBE NEVILLE NEW YORK CITY DECEMBER 5, 6, 1966 BY JACQUELINE MASKEY
Judson Memorial Church has so often been the scene of rages and outrages that one is tempted cynically toward a new interpretation of the King James declaration, "Jesus wept." However, the Dance Theater veered once again toward the side of the angels, due mostly to the efforts of a square-cut, red-tressed creature named Meredith Monk. Miss Monk presented Duet with Cat's Scream and Locomotive and 16 Millimeter Earrings.
In Earrings Miss Monk cast a chilling prognostication of what lies ahead in our increasingly robot-computer oriented world: a massive take-over of human function by mechanical function.
JANUARY 1968 AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE NOVEMBER 15-DECEMBER 2 BY DORIS HERING
There was a generous spate of premieres and revivals during American Ballet Theatre's fall season.... but like a child with a new Christmas toy, I cannot wait to share my elation over Eliot Feld's second ballet, At Midnight.... Here is the credo of a very sensitive young man. It is also the credo of an artist. And in its fabric are the threads for many ballets.
MAY 1971 ABT ON TOUR WITH A KING, TWO QUEENS AND FOUR ACES BY OLGA MAYNARD
American Ballet Theatre, homeless for 30 years, this year becomes the resident ballet of the nation's capital. On tour following its December stint at City Center, the company was scrutinized in new light.... In New York the critics deplored Eric Bruhn's fading powers, and the newly defected Natalia Makarova quite eclipsed ABT's other reigning queen, Carla Fracci. [But] the tour showed that Bruhn is, indisputably, still the king of danseurs; ... Fracci more than Makarova excelled....
Subconsciously, we expected of Makarova the Russian penchant for suffusing every role with singular power and meaning; this may not be her way at all. We saw that she has a wonderfully soft and airy quality (are these the fabled feathery pointes of Pavlova and Doubrovska, over which our elders have rhapsodized?) ...
ABT's aces on tour were Cynthia Gregory, Eleanor D'Antuono, Ted Kivitt and Ivan Nagy. Gregory, serene as the swan she resembles, is gliding towards her maturity, but hers was the single most superlative performance of the tour, in Swan Lake at the [Los Angeles] Music Center.... When the curtain fell she was surrounded by her company in the hysterical, earthshaking ovation that a dancer rarely receives from her peers.
JUNE 1971 DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM ANTA THEATRE, NYC MARCH 8, 9, 10, 1971 BY DORIS HERING
It's a good sound, the crackle of affectionate applause. Cheering is even better. The Dance Theatre of Harlem received both in its sold out Broadway debut....
Their director Arthur Mitchell ... knows that it will take at least five more years to.... mold a company with its own style, its own secure dancers and its own bulwark of choreography....
Right now the men reflect Mitchell's own perky, highly energized manner. Like kids following a father, they obviously adore him to the point of wanting to be exactly like him. As for the women, they seem to be in need of a ballet mistress who can soften their gestures, round their port de bras, lead them away from the idea of strength for its own sake.
JULY 1974 THE GRAHAM SEASON: APRIL 15-MAY 4, 1974 BY TOBI TOBIAS
The season begins with a standing ovation. Graham is alone on the stage, that linear, elegant body totemic in striped black and gold.... It is, in her own words, an act of theater. In response to the applause, Graham lifts arthritic hands, crippled into objects of primitive sculpture.... Happily, the twenty-two performances that followed justified the opening reception. They were forthright, high-energy revelations of the Graham technique and the Graham theater--a brilliant example of a life's work and a daring test, perhaps proof, of its viability for the future.
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|Title Annotation:||excerpts of reviews from past Dance Magazine issues 1963-68, 1971, 1974|
|Date:||Aug 1, 1999|
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