I reviewed Susan Stroman’s newest work for New York City Ballet in this month’s issue of The Brooklyn Rail. Here’s an excerpt:
“For the Love of Duke was presented on a triple bill of contemporary works (No Balanchine in the lineup! A rare event). Christopher Wheeldon’s arresting Polyphonia is now a decade old, but still looks strikingly fresh. And Alexei Ratmansky’s Concerto DSCH (2008) mixes wit and lyricism, punctuated with meditative moments. Seen alongside these layered, complex gems, Stroman’s premiere felt dreadfully old, and out of its depth.
…Artists have the freedom to edit and re-visit their work over time, and Stroman’s approach of mixing and matching sections of ballets is intriguing. But the results are dull. Each piece has a jazzy 1930s feel to it, and both suggest (irritatingly) that women’s lives are unfulfilled without men—though the smarter gals realize that they’re not always worth the effort.”
Read the whole review here. Also, I encourage you to check out some of the other dance reviews in the Rail, including Siobhan Burke’s excellent piece on the challenges of remaining objective when you know the dancers in the performance; Roslyn Sulcas’ busy “dance feed” (I envy how much dance she sees!); and Michelle Vellucci’s review of Heartbreak and Homies at Joe’s Pub. Lots of good stuff.