Day: September 28th, 2007

Fall for Dance 2007

Friday, September 28th, 2007 | All Things, Arts, Friends

Tonight, we convened in midtown for the annual Fall for Dance Festival at City Center. Around 6:30PM, a hard and steady rain began to fall, drenching all those lined up along West 55th Street, hoping for a crack at last-minute availabilities to this evening’s sold out performance.

We, of course, had snagged our hard-won tickets the first hour they went on sale, a couple of weeks ago.

Fall for Dance

Fall for Dance standby

SYB for his efforts in the endeavor, unfortunately, didn’t even get to attend, ceding his seat to DM.

On the bill tonight: The American Ballet Theatre‘s only festival appearance: “Le Corsaire” (Pas de Deux), which is among classical ballet’s most celebrated and performed — some would say: clichéd — excerpts. It was to be the evening’s most traditional set, nestled among four other non-ballet segments. My personal favorite was the show opener, a rousing acrobatic, street dance-influenced set by the French hip-hop company Compagnie Käfig. Just before the intermission, the Ballet Hispanico spiced things up with excerpts from their sultry “Club Havana,” followed by dance legend Carmen deLavallade, in a short, rather hammy set piece. (deLavallade, for her part, looked remarkably limber for her 76 years.) Doug Varone and Dancers closed out the show with a frustratingly repetitive modern dance segment, set to Philip Glass’s “The Light“.

For $10 a seat, though, the audience could afford to be, and was, enthusiastic and magnanimous in their applause throughout. I’ll leave the peformance reviews to the experts, but overall we had a great time, enhanced in no small part for some (or at least one) of us by the pre-show vodka and sake flights. Yes, you know who you are.

DM, who knows more about dance than the rest of our group combined, offered some insights into tonight’s venue and program, visibly wincing at my woefully misguided frames of reference: deLavallade’s husband (and costume designer for her set) Geoffrey Holder as “the guy from those 7-Up commercials” and Pilobulus as “the troupe that performed at the Oscars.”

Fall for Dance

A patch left unpainted during the City Center’s 1980s renovation, to reveal the original intricate Moorish detailing beneath:

City Center wall

Fall for Dance

After the show, hoping to catch one last glimpse of those Käfig dancers at the adjacent Lounge FFD, we had our minor celebrity sighting of the night when we spotted deLavallade mingling with Mr. Keaton from Family Ties, a.k.a. Michael Gross.

What would we do, baby,
Without us?
Sha la la la.

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