Magazine article Pointe

Out of the Box at the Guggenheim

Magazine article Pointe

Out of the Box at the Guggenheim

Article excerpt

Out of the Box at the Guggenheim

What happens when artists of different backgrounds create a dance together? This September, Pam Tanowitz and Brian Reeder tested this idea in "A Two Part Affair," a Works & Process commission, at the Guggenheim Museum's Lewis Theater, in New York. In between their related, collaborative ballets, the choreographers discussed their working methods on a panel that also included costume designer Julian Lewis, of "Project Runway" fame. Ballet champ and critic Robert Greskovic, author of Ballet 101, acted as moderator.

It helped that the two choreographers know and respect each other's work. "We didn't want a pointed foot, flexed foot smack-down," said Tanowitz. These individualists complement each other in what Reeder aptly called, "a quiltwork." Still, you can identify the elements. When dancer Simone Messmer intentionally falls after completing a series of gorgeous fouettés, Tanowitz's voice stands out; and when Dylan Crossman waves at the others while exiting, that's Reeder (or maybe Jerome Robbins or Mark Morris.)

Renaissance Music begins with Messmer dancing an overture to the sound of her audible breath. She's in a sumptuous, light blue and ecru post-modern tutu with cutouts at her hips. Helen Hansen enters with the first piano notes. Both are on pointe. A memorable Roman Zhurbin wears slippers, but Anne Lentz is barefoot. Her blue leotard is trimmed with a collar of gathered tulle. Zhurbin and slipperless stage mates Crossman and Glen Rumsey wear slightly different pastel tees. …

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