On August 12, I discovered and attended the Brazilian Cisne Negro dance troupe performing in Aspen CO, one week before it would visit and perform for a week at at the Joyce Theater in New York City. Author Tonya Plank has documented the forthcoming New York visit, at her site: http://www.tonyaplank.com.
This dance company was founded over thirty years ago, and while other ballet company’s talents might seem smoother (with quite a few having specialty features of one sort or another), this one seemed different to me. It had certainly tapped a large field of choreographers, not only from Brazil, but from all over the world (even including Israel). I guess most of them appreciated Brazil’s folk emphasis, and this company’s eclectic style, including seemingly impossible body positions (angles) as well as unusual and rapid motion both rhythmically and spatially.
My wife and I also noticed many examples of small subgroups of the on-stage cast, dancing at odds with one another but inevitably consolidating beautifully and meaningfully! In other words, while Cisne Negro seemed much less classical and ordered than I had been used to, the choreography was unique and entertaining, and likely meaningful when (and if) fully digested by the audience.
We have been lucky this summer to attend two of the very great companies, the Royal Danish Ballet (in NYC) and the Bejart Ballet (performing at Switzerland’s Verbier Festival). I feel for the career difficulties of dancers due to the physical strains they must endure, but for the audience, dance performance can be a significant treat.