DANCE AGAINST CANCER
May 10, 2014
Crowds packed into the AXA Equitable Center for an evening of heartfelt performances by a litany of world-class dancers donating their time to the Dance Against Cancer organization founded by Daniel Ulbricht and Erin Fogarty.
All the participants shone in their respective pieces, and the evening closed on a breath-taking performance of Christopher Wheeldon’s “Rain” by the Italian ballerina Alessandra Ferri and NYC Ballet dancer Craig Hall.
Athletic skills drew rounds of applause when Gillian Murphy, fan in hand, laced a string of fouettes with her fan flipping up and down during triple revolutions. Well-versed jazz and modern dance works surrounded expressive classical pieces. All the participants excelled in their chosen numbers.
The evening opened on the now ubiquitous jookin’ dancer “lil Buck” scampering across the stage in his signature, rubbery body slinkings with the utterly delightful young people from the National Dance Institute. Unadorned in their sensual but simple duet, Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck slid through Liam Scarlett’s “Acheron.“
Departing from the ballet structure, “Simply Irresistible” from the Broadway musical “Contact” by Susan Stroman flew on the stylistic kick of the dancers particularly Peter Gregus. And the popular, athletic male quartet from Paul Taylor’s “Cloven Kingdom” drew predictable ooh’s and aah’s as Michael Trusnovec, Robert Kleinedorst, James Samson and Sean Mahoney friskily tumbled and tussled.
Before the duet from “After The Rain” Chris Wheeldon took the stage. Emotional after recently losing his father to cancer, Wheeldon described Ferri as the ballerina that inspired his desire to choreograph and dance. She became the dancer Chris and his father loved to watch. For this reason, she was invited to perform the duet so loved by Wheeldon’s father. This performance left the audience spellbound, in large part because Ms. Ferri, more than any other living dancer, knows how to succumb to movement.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis