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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.

In 1989 Richard Philp became Editor-in-Chief and Gary Parks, Reviews Editor

1988

NOVEMBER 15-20, 1988 EYE ON PERFORMANCE NYC REVIEWS THE JAMISON PROJECT JOYCE THEATER BY NANCY VREELAND DALVA

Judith Jamison is the literal embodiment of a figurative expression: She's larger than life. Four years ago, the great Alley veteran began making dances. Now she has her own new company of ten, The Jamison Project.

1989

JANUARY, 1989 EYE ON PERFORMANCE NATIONAL BY DONNA PERLMUTTER

Los Angeles--Of all the things for which modern dance practitioners can be lauded, not the least is their hardiness. Martha Graham, of course, knows no peer. And then there's Merce Cunningham and Anna Sokolow, to name just two of the celebrated others. In Los Angeles, it's the indomitable Bella Lewitzky who sets the example.... The seventy-two-year-old choreographer not only keeps her company on the hustings, she continuously refurbishes the campaign with new fare.

The latest Impressions #2 (Vincent Van Gogh), is part of a trilogy featuring visual artists and marks only the second time, if memory serves me, that Lewitzky has turned to a source outside her own imagination....

Two works from the early '70s completed the program.... Ceremony tar Three pits each soloist against a geometric abstract of a billowing sail and a lone elegiac trumpet (Cara Bradbury Marcus's score). By turns the dancers display themselves in a microcosm of their own effort, finally coming into three-way contention.

1990

SEPT. 13-OCT. 6, 1990 LYON BIENNALE DE LA DANSE BY GARY PARKS

... For three weeks last fall, the center of the American dance world shifted from its usual location in New York City to a city boasting the best cuisine in France..... Guided by a dynamo named Guy Darmet, the fourth Lyon Biennale de la Danse ... attracted more than 60,000 paying spectators. Press and other complimentary ticket holders swelled the total to nearly 73,000, far beyond the projected figure.... Why all that French money for American dance? ... Different nations have different priorities; one priority in France is culture. Local and national governments are willing to spend money on it in a way American administrations are not. Vive la difference!

OCTOBER 6-8, 1990 SIMONE FORTI WITH JON GIBSON MOVEMENT RESEARCH AT THE ETHNIC FOLK ARTS CENTER BY GUS SOLOMONS JR

A small, radiant, gray-haired woman walks into the studio and lies down--in several stages. She rolls, crawls, sits, while in a corner stands a man breathing into a soprano saxophone. They are Simone Forti and Jan Gibson, pre-Judson era sound-motion pioneers. This showing is the culmination of a month-long workshop during which Forti, Gibson, and a dozen students have explored blending movement, spoken narrative, and music.... Finally, Forti concludes with a last glorious solo that epitomizes her extraordinary ability to open our eyes to the tiny miracles of human movement.

OCTOBER 8, 1990 BALLET FOLKLORICO DE MEXICO CARNEGIE HALL BY MOLLY MCQUADE

Ballet Folklorico de Mexico's strong suit is large-scale phantasmagoric revelry, but Carnegie Hall is not the ideal place for it. In a one-night-only program, the thirty-eight-year-old company's throngs of heavy-skirted women and nattily stoic partners seemed to have virtually nowhere to cast their shadows and many in the audience did not have a clear view of the glorious massed patterns that emerged in most dances.... The evening, part of the nationwide multimedia festival Mexico: A Work of Art, was as exuberant as it was long....

SEPTEMBER 18-23, 1990 SANKAI JUKU CITY CENTER THEATER BY DORIS HERING

Like poet Amy Lowell, butoh artists do their creating at night when there is no distraction. They also paint their bodies and heads white and shave their skulls so that they resemble blast victims newly emerged from rubble. These elements are intended to help purify their art. There is a similar intent in their use of stillness or of gesture so precisely contained that one can clearly perceive beginning, development, and conclusion.

But as used in Ushio Amagatsu's Egg Stands Out of Curiosity--Unetsu, performed by his Sankai Juku company, the butoh style seemed touched by the very artificiality against which it originally rebelled.... Sankai Juku (meaning "school of mountain and sea") represents the third generation of butoh, originally a product of the sixties .... Perhaps the richer language of the traditional Japanese theater would again be relevant, or perhaps butoh is ready for a fourth level, one with more flexibility and less self-conscious rigor.

SEPTEMBER 5-16, 1990 LOS ANGELES FESTIVAL BY DONNA PERLMUTTER

Notwithstanding a detail here and there, the Los Angeles Festival was exactly what director Peter Sellars hoped it would be: a multicultural celebration of the arts practiced by the various peoples living on the Pacific Rim; a sampler of the authentic articles to be absorbed into a new melting pot that looks past Eurocentrism for future inspiration. It also took responsibility for bringing local immigrant communities into focus, the majority of the Los Angeles population being comprised of minorities.

NOVEMBER 7-10, 1990 BILL T. JONES/ARNIE ZANE CO BAM OPERA HOUSE BY ANNE TOBIAS

In his new dance-theater epic, Last Supper at Uncle Tom's Cabin/ The Promised Land, Bill T. Jones tackles social concerns of enormous scope. The work examines nothing less than the continuing history of oppression in America, revealing with graphic directness that the land of the free and the home of the brave houses as well the racist, the sexist, and the homophobe. Instead of simply lamenting past wrongs, Jones, employing a mind-blowing conglomeration of images, idioms, and ideas, holds up specific instances of degradation in order to search for the possibility of change.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:review highlights from 1988-1990
Author:Patrick, K.C.
Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 1999
Words:945
Previous Article:NEWS of the Century.
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