There were a lot of memorable dance performances and events in 2008. Here are ten that I thought were outstanding.
1. PeepDance by Nimrod Freed’s Tami Dance Company: There’s nothing quite like a village of peepers in Central Park on a hot summer night.
PeepDance at Central Park SummerStage, photo by Evan
3. Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet’s performance of Sunday, Again, choreographed by Jo Strømgren: One of the most exhilarating works of the year.
Cedar Lake dancers in Sunday, Again, photo by Carina Musk-Anderson
4. Damian Woetzel’s final performance at New York City Ballet: It was sad to see one of the company’s finest male dancers end his 23-year performing career.
Damian Woetzel in Prodigal Son, photo by Richard Corman
5. Participating in a Gaga workshop at the JCC Manhattan, led by a dancer from Batsheva Dance Company: This was an excellent introduction to Ohad Naharin’s movement language.
6. Lar Lubovitch Dance Company at City Center: The mysterious North Star, set to Philip Glass’s score of the same title, was particularly captivating.
7. Jo Strømgren’s The Society at Abrons Arts Center: A clever examination of ethnocentrism that starts as a battle between coffee and tea drinkers.
Jo Strømgren’s The Society, photo by Knut Bry
8. Christopher Wheeldon’s Liturgy, performed by Wendy Whelan and Albert Evans: Although this work premiered in 2003, last January was my first time seeing it. The hauntingly beautiful score by Arvo Pärt, Wheeldon’s mesmerizing movement, and Whelan’s ethereal dancing brought me to tears.
Wendy Whelan and Albert Evans in Christopher Wheeldon’s Liturgy, photo by Paul Kolnik
Opening night of The Copier, photo by Gillian Crosson
Jill Johnson watching a rehearsal of The Copier, photo by Evan
10. David Alvarez’s performance in Billy Elliot: This kid can dance. He was in total command for the nearly 3-hour show.
David Alvarez in Billy Elliot, photo by Sara Krulwich