A RITE Has Its World Premiere at Carolina Performing Arts

My review of the world premiere of the Carolina Performing Arts-commisioned A Rite, by Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and the SITI Company,  was published 1/28/13 in CVNC.org.

A Rite, at its  premiere,1/26/13, CPA. Photo: Paul B. Goode.

A Rite, at its Chapel Hill, NC, premiere, 1/26/13, CPA. Photo: Paul B. Goode.

In a year so replete with good stuff, including twelve commissioned works, as Carolina Performing Arts’  2012-13 season, one could start to feel overwhelmed. And one could start to get really tired of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, the focus of CPA’s series within a series examining that era-changing work from many points of view. However, that’s not happening. Instead, each new performance increases interest in that complex music, the dance that accompanied it—and the ones that have followed—and the ideas that swirl around them. On January 26, (delayed one day by icy weather) CPA presented in Memorial Hall what may be the most intellectually important of its dozen commissions this year, A Rite, a collaborative production of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and SITI Company, headed by Anne Bogart. This brawny baby was three years from conception to premiere.

"Dactors" on the Memorial Hall stage for the premiere of A RITE. Photo: Paul B. Goode.

“Dactors” on the Memorial Hall stage for the premiere of A RITE. Photo: Paul B. Goode.

Bill T. Jones has moved further and further into dance theater over the years. While he has an unerring sense of spectacle, I have never felt his command of theater idiom equaled his command of dance. Working with Anne Bogart and the highly physical SITI Company, as well as his associate artistic director Janet Wong, Jones and his company have found a much stronger theatrical voice….


The academic character modeled on UNC Professor Severine Neff rides the piano in A RITE. Photo: Paul B. Goode.

The academic character modeled on UNC Professor Severine Neff rides the piano in A RITE. Photo: Paul B. Goode.

A Love Supreme: Savion Glover at Duke

My review of the Savion Glover performance was published under this title on CVNC.org on 1/25/13

Savion Glover. Photo: Duke Performances.

Savion Glover. Photo: Duke Performances.

Savion Glover has for many years been considered the greatest tap dancer of his generation, and among the greats of all time. Now, in his mid-thirties, he is in the prime of his artistic life. Duke Performances hosted him in Page Auditorium (nearly sold-out), where he presented SoLe Sanctuary, A Hoofer’s meditation on the art of tap. It was wonderful. Wonder full.

The stage was set like a shrine, or temple, or worshipping ground. Glover, a devotée all in white, and second dancer Marshall Davis, Jr. performed on a raised wooden platform downstage. A microphone waited on a stand, and small speakers angled in toward the dancers from the four corners, with the sound monitors crouched along the front edge. They seemed totemic…

Read the rest here.

Passion at the Piano: Joyce Yang at Duke Performances

Joyce Yang. Her playing is equally showy. Photo: Larry Ford.

Joyce Yang. Her playing is equally showy. Photo: Larry Ford.

These sections taken from my review published 1/21/13 in the online journal CVNC.

Duke Performances began the spring half of its recital series in Reynolds Theater with the surprising young Korean-born pianist Joyce Yang. If you think of “piano recital” as a not-so-exciting form of musical concert, Ms. Yang’s performance would disabuse you of this pallid notion. Yang’s passionate engagement with the music rises at times to erotic display…..

The evening opened with Beethoven’s sparkling Sonata No. 18 in E-flat, Op. 31, No. 3, “The Hunt.” I don’t think I’d heard it in its entirety since I was a child and the old Artur Schnabel recording was in heavy rotation at my parents’ house. Yang’s interpretation, while forceful and crisp, bubbles with delight as the musical motifs chase each other up and down the keyboard. After frolicking all over the countryside, she took a deep breath, and blistered the ivory on the final movement, presto con fuoco….

Joyce Yang. Photo: Oh Seuk Hoon.

Joyce Yang. Photo: Oh Seuk Hoon.


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