Lar Lubovitch at ADF: Beyond Beauty lies the Sublime


Attila Joey Csiki and Tobin Del Cuore in Lar Lubovitch’s Concerto Six Twenty-two. At ADF, 7/11/16. Photo: Grant Halverson.


I’m addicted to beauty. I need it like I need freedom, and rarely can I get enough. But Lar Lubovitch ladles it out in every dance. The American Dance Festival presented him with the Scripps/ADF Award for Lifetime Achievement, and he presented us with an evening so replete with beauty that even I was filled up to my eyeballs. You can listen to Lubovitch’s fine acceptance speech here.



George Shevtsov, piano, and Kristen Foote dancing in Lubovitch’s Scriabin Dances. At ADF 7/11/16. Photo: Grant Halverson.


From my review on

“Highly musical, Lubovitch unites his dances with their music – no working against the music, or without it, for him. His tastes are eclectic, ranging from classical to Glass, and on to newly commissioned music. The program at ADF gives a sample. The first half is comprised of four short works or excerpts from longer works and the second half was given over to one long piece. Presumably, all these offerings are ones Lubovitch considers among his best work.

Certainly, they are all ravishingly beautiful as performed on July 11. The program opened with North Star, 1st movement (1978) set to Philip Glass’ “North Star.” Nine men circle and weave in the dusk, wandering, searching, crossing, winding, pressing onward with all the certainty with which Lubovitch imbues his movements. In his work every thing is big and bold, yet there’s room for the delicate detail, the little frisky bits for hands and feet. And the lightness – you never hear the dancers’ feet thud on the floor. It’s as if, when they jump, which they do often, they land without their weight, giving the sensation that only the skin of foot-soles touches earth while the rest of the body hovers above, always ready to fly. I think this is what people mean when they say his work is “rhapsodic.””



Exquisite tragedy in “The Final Reckoning” from Lubovitch’s Othello. Danced by Victoria Jaiani and Fabrice Camels, at ADF 7/11/16. Photo: Grant Halverson.


The Lar Lubovitch Dance Company features some of the best dancers working, and the dancing is superb throughout this program, which repeats tonight at the DPAC. Read my full review, but in the meantime, take a look at these. The inclusion in the program of Men’s Stories: A Concerto in Ruin was planned long ago, but it was apt for this historical moment. After having Jonathan Bachman’s photograph of Ieshia Evans imprinted on our collective brain, it is good to be reminded that men in black are not all bad.



Men’s Stories: A Concerto in Ruin, by Lar Lubovitch. At ADF 7/11/16. Photo: Grant Halverson.

Ieshia Evans, Baton Rouge, 7:9:16.  Photo: Jonathan Bachman:Reuters.jpg

A beautiful woman but not a beautiful dance: Ieshia Evans faces the men in black, Baton Rouge, LA,  7/9/16. Photo: Jonathan Bachman/Reuters.



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