I attended Emery LeCrone's Ballet last night at the Joyce Theater. She is a relatively new choreographer and that is evident. I know it is very current that many people in the dance world mourn that there was no one to take up the reins left by Balanchine. But to work on his level takes a lot of talent, a lot of knowledge and a surety of style. The first requirement is something bestowed by chance. The last two can be learned.
LeCrone's work, like all modern work in the fine arts, suffers from the lack of hindsight, culture and the allure of the "NEW". Quite simply, how can you create a future if you ignore the past? If you have no foundation, then it is all just visual noise. That isn't to say that I disliked LeCrone's work. In fact I see a lot of promise. If she is canny enough to recognize her style instead of chasing modern will o' the wisps.
Partita No. 2 in C Minor was the best of all the dance works. Out of all of them there seemed to be a bit of story or something that leaned toward it. Stella Abrera, Alexander Hammoudi, Russell Janzen and Stephanie Williams gave the piece their very best. So much so that the piece was more classical than the rest. I could see the dancers striving for classical form to shape the dance into something more than just movement for movement's sake. As always Abrera was beautiful, professional and expressive. Hammoudi was a lovely partner for her. He was also given a very nice solo with hints of good petit allegro. Stephanie Williams replaced Sara Mearns. She has very nice line with good musicality. I will definitely watch for her in ABT's Corps when I next see them dance. In regards to line, the female dancers seemed to be missing their tights. In fact all of LeCrone's ballets required female costumes with no tights. This was rather awkward looking and distorted their line. Some people may have no problem with it. But I'm not a fan of looking at bruised, bug bitten legs with quivering, straining musculature. Dance is about celebrating the godliness of the human form not wallowing in its frailty.
As long as LeCrone kept to established musical pieces, her dances had structure. Everything fell apart quite quickly when that wasn't the case. Her pieces Ritornare and premiere The innermost part of Something flailed about with nothing approaching a theme. Except the fact that women had no tights. Even style wise, I couldn't see whether LeCrone was striving to be a classical choreographer or a modern one. Ritornare faired better because the music was still something like music. The innermost part of Something was based on noise. It was noise, filled with snippets of other musical pieces, droning sounds and occasional repeating snippets of theme. Musically it went nowhere, it wasn't music. It was modern dreck. Hopelessly trying to be new and outrageous but embodying neither. If there is no meter, no rhythm, or themes built around a musical climax that takes away the dancer's reason for existence. If it is all just noise than the dancer just becomes someone kicking out arms and legs like someone experiencing spasmodic convulsions. There was no space in this for the dancers to create a connection with each other. So intent were they to remember the next spasm since they had no musical signposts helping them. The only dancer who created some semblance of style was Shane Ohmer.
I will continue to watch out for LeCrone's work. I'm hoping she will follow the creative impulse behind Partita No.2 and leaves behind the noise of The Innermost...
Labels: art, ballet, commentary, culture, dance, reviews