Fall For Dance #2
November 1, 2020
New York City Center produced the second program of the Fall for Dance Digital series. In stark comparison to the quiet undertones of Program One, Program Two was
livelier and felt much more in line with the typical Fall for Dance programming.
Opening the show were excerpts from George Balanchine’s Who Cares?. Formatted in three
different solo sections the piece is set to a classical medley of George Gershwin composition.
Danced by New York City Ballet dancers Ashley Bouder, Tiler Peck, and Brittany Pollak, and set
to a backdrop of the skyline, this excerpt is a high energy ode to New York City. Flashing
quick feet, dizzying turning sequences, and flirty poses the three women, Peck in particular,
dazzle with their freewheeling performances.
A world premiere and New York City Center Commission for the festival, featured a solo for
American Ballet Theater’s Calvin Royal III. Choreographed by Kyle Abraham, to be seen underscores a
gorgeous mixture of Royal’s ballet technique and Abraham’s smooth contemporary, West
African, and hip hop rhythms. It is within Royal’s DNA to be architecturally crafted on stage,
though somehow he is able to remain casual and pedestrian throughout the solo. It is
captivating, and entertaining yet smooth and subtle- a juxtaposition that Abraham seems to
have perfected in his style. The repetitive nature of the music, Maurice Ravel’s Bolero, felt
intentionally used as familiar background noise, so that Royal really is the centerpiece; the one
who you can’t seem to take your eyes off of.
Next was Lar Lubovitch’s duet from Concerto Six Twenty-Two. Danced by life partners on and
off stage, Joseph Gordon and Adrian Danchig-Waring carry each other through a soft and
picturesque partnership. A gravitational pull between the dancers is palpable throughout the
piece, with weight sharing and lifting highlighted. Lubovitch describes the piece as a response
to the AIDS pandemic, which is perhaps what makes this 1983 duet feel relevant yet again.
Closing the program was Sumbry-Edwards’s self-choreographed and performed Lady Swings the
Blues. A world premier and New York City Center commission, Sumbry-Edwards dazzled the virtual
audiences, figuratively and literally- adorned with a gold sequin blouse and tap shoes. Joined by
three musicians onstage, Sumbry-Edwards and her accompaniment play to one another, and in doing
so drew the audience in by creating an environment of livelihood and connection. She thrills
the audience as she uses her entire body to move her taps and create and contrast rhythms
with the music. Completely magnificent, electric, and free- Sumbry-Edwards offered a perfect and uplifting ending to first (and hopefully last) virtual Fall for Dance.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Mia Silvestri