"Far", "This was Written on Water", "Nritta", "Les Patineurs"
Wayne McGregor/Random Dance, Pontus Lidberg Dance, Aakash Odedra Company, Sarasota Ballet
Fall for Dance Program Five
New York City Center
New York, New York
October 19, 2014
by Mary Cargill
copyright © 2014 by Mary Cargill
The final Fall for Dance program had three British imports, seasoned with one commissioned work by the Swedish Potus Lidberg. Wayne McGregor, currenty the Royal Ballet's resident choreographer, was represented by his contemporary company, Random Dance, in an adaptation of his 2010 work "Far", which was inspired, according to the program notes, "by the controversial Age of Enlightenment". I saw little enlightenment, other than dancers moving extremely unmusically to a recording of Cecilia Bartoli to an aria by the 18th century Italian composer Giacomelli. The work opened with two dancers, flanked by four torch bearers, who seemed to be having a dialog: "My spine can move in two directions"; "Well, my spine can move in three directions"; "So what, I can lift my leg over my neck"; "Big deal, I can lift my leg and pretend to smack your face". This was repeated until the torches disappeared--apparently the Age of Enlightenment had had enough, because Giacomelli was replaced by electronic music by Ben Frost, and the couple was joined by a group. The gang seemed to be playing a particularly aggressive game of tag while suffering through a flea infestation, stopping now and then to slouch sullenly towards the audience with expressions that seemed to dare it to be so old-fashioned as to want craft, structure, technique, or meaning. I am afraid that I am that old-fashioned, especially when a work ends with a woman on the floor, presumably dead, while a man saunters off, leaving her to rot. The dancers were certainly energetic and engaged, but the piece was the dance equivalent of a truck ramming into a concrete wall--loud, aggressive and pointless.
Wayne McGregor/Random Dance in "Far". Photo © Ravi Deepres