A dad and his daughters, loving life in New York City

Friday, October 5

Fall for Dance Festival at the New York City Center

My nimble-footed daughters and I had SUCH a great time tonight at the City Center's annual Fall for Dance Festival, a ten-night run featuring, at one time or another, short pieces by 28 companies from around the world... and every seat cost a ridiculously cheap $10. The marketing concept here is to expose a broader audience to dance as an entertainment option, so as you can imagine, the shows emphasize the lively, the loud, the crowd-pleasing. Tonight's two-hours-plus performance—including an intermission and a "pause" between each act—included five separate works, all very different, all of which we liked, and several of which we totally loved.

Just briefly, the show opened with QUICK! from Srishti-Nina Rajarani Dance Creations, an energetic, amusing and extremely appealing multi-media work that, in addition to the four excellent dancers, also featured three on-stage musicians and the most insanely rapid singing I've ever heard. This was probably my favorite piece of the night. Co's favorite was next, Camilia Brown's jazzy solo number, The Evolution of a Secured Feminine, which was tough and fast and funny and made me wonder why I don't see more women dressed in a half-suit.

Before intermission came Treading, apparently the signature work of the Elisa Monte Dance company, a sexy, lovely duet set to Steve Reich, circa 1979. Very nostalgic, that music; one of his classic, mathematical synthesizer pieces. Boston Ballet took the stage after the break with Break the Eyes, which we thought had some beautiful moments—especially when they played it straight, pulling off recognizably balletic maneuvers—but was trying a little too hard to be hip. Finally came tap, in the guise of a furiously entertaining performance by South Africa's Via Katlehing Dance that got the whole place clapping and shouting.

Really, I can't say enough about how great the night was... such a pleasurable way to experience something new. The Fall for Dance Festival ends tomorrow, Saturday, October 6. That show, like all the performances, is sold out, but supposedly some tickets do become available at 6:30 in the evening. We had great seats tonight—fifth row orchestra, dead center to the stage—which I had ordered online the exact minute they went on sale a few Sundays ago at noon. I will definitely be doing the same thing again next year.

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