Milteri Tucker Concepcion/Bombazo Dance Co., Photo: Javier Luis
 Milteri Tucker Concepcion/Bombazo Dance Co., Photo: Javier Luis
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IMPRESSIONS: Fall for Dance at New York City Center with Boston Ballet, Sara Mearns, Caleb Teicher & Company, and Cie Hervé KOUBI

IMPRESSIONS: Fall for Dance at New York City Center with Boston Ballet, Sara Mearns, Caleb Teicher & Company, and Cie Hervé KOUBI
Deirdre Towers/Follow @spiffmoves on Twitter

By Deirdre Towers/Follow @spiffmoves on Twitter
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Published on October 8, 2018
Cie Hervé KOUBI; Photo: Stephanie Berger

Program 1

Mon, October 1 and Tue, October 2
Boston Ballet in Bach Cello Suites (NY Premiere); Choreography: Jorma Elo 
Sara Mearns in Dances of Isadora Duncan—A Solo Tribute; Choreography: Lori Belilove, after Isadora Duncan
Caleb Teicher & Company's Bzzz, New York City Center Commission (World Premiere); Choreography: Caleb Teicher 
Cie Hervé KOUBI's The Barbarian Nights; Choreography: Hervé Koubi


The sold-out, fifteenth Fall for Dance  started with a winning program, juxtaposing cultures, sensibilities, and virtuosic live music. Caleb Teicher’s New York City Center Commission Bzzz stood out as a gem for its sonic clarity, pacing, and deadpan humor. 
 
Comedic timing is far trickier than tap, and if you’ve mastered the latter, as Teicher has, then it’s natural to look for new challenges. His laugh-out-loud, disarmingly sophisticated work for seven dancers was lit by Serena Wong, who created an illusionary set framing the dancers and beatbox vocalist, Chris Celiz in a three squares of bold color. 
 
A dancer leaps in the air with arms near his head. Other dancers in cropped beige pants and button up shirts tap near him. Lights cast a hot pink glow on floor they dance upon.
Caleb Teicher & Company's Bzzz; Photo: Stephanie Berger
A founding member of Dorrance Dance, Teicher plays off expectations, with razzle-dazzle footwork which he turns on and off as easily as water from a faucet. While tap visionary Alfred Desio connected his floor to a synthesizer in the 80s, expanding the range of sound that a tapper can make, Teicher's golden collaboration with Celiz renders body percussion and tap irrefutably contemporary. 
 
Two ballet dancers strike an arabesque pose. One is on en pointe and the other is lifted in the air. Other dancer encircle them and some lift the raised dancer above them.
Boston Ballet in Jorma Elo's Bach Cello Suites; Photo: Stephanie Berger
The evening began with Jorma Elo's Bach Cello Suites which opens with Sergey Antonov playing his cello alone on a spotlit stage left. Ten members of the Boston Ballet performed the fast, neoclassical choreography largely made up of duets. The work has just enough quirks, (a head put placed in the small of a back, a couple embrace asymetrically with one arm stretched parallel to the floor, heads jerking to the side) to assure us it was by Elo and not by George Balanchine, whose influence was apparent in the pacing and partnering.
 
A man in a suit sits at a grand piano. Sara Mearns, a coral grecian dress, stands near him. She waves a pink scarf that cascades near her face.
Sara Mearns in Lori Belilove's Dances of Isadora Duncan — A Solo Tribute; Photo: Stephanie Berger
Next, for a startling contrast, came New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns in Dances of Isadora Duncan — A Solo Tribute with Cameron Grant on piano. Mearns shed her turn-out and high extensions in deference to the lilting, skipping spirit of America’s first dancing rebel. She makes us see the music and feel the romantic joy of floating within the patterns set by the composers Chopin, Brahms, and Liszt. Dropping rose petals for the finale, Op 39, No. 15 by Johannes Brahms, Mearns seemed period perfect.
 
The Barbarian Nights, or the First Dawns of the World closed the program. The 13 men of Cie Hervé KOUBI, the acrobatic company of Algerian Herve Koubi flipped and turned on their hands making their skirts fan out, and leaving us to ponder the mysteries of male bonding.

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