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Nancy Dalva

Nancy Dalva is a longtime contributor to the Rail.

In Conversation

Paul Taylor Dance Company | PAUL TAYLOR with Nancy Dalva

After decades of spring seasons at Manhattan’s City Center, this month the Paul Taylor Dance Company moves to the home of New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center. In anticipation, the eponymous choreographer answered some questions from Nancy Dalva.


“Could you make a dance in the round?” John Cage asked Merce Cunningham before the James Joyce/John Cage Festival in Zurich, in June 1991. Cage had in mind a dance performed in the middle of a circular space, surrounded by the audience and then musicians, in concentric circles. There being no suitable venue at the Swiss event, Cage’s idea was set aside, and a little more than a year later, he died, quite unexpectedly.

In Conversation

DAVID GORDON with Nancy Dalva
Beginning of the End of the Beginning Of.

In his 50th year as a writer/director/choreographer/performer, David Gordon and his Pick Up Performance Company move into the Joyce SoHo for a month, with a Pirandello rewrite called Beginning of the End of the Beginning of.

In Conversation

MARK MORRIS with Nancy Dalva

Dido and Aeneas, choreographed by Mark Morris in 1989 to the Purcell opera of 1689, takes place in an entirely self-contained world—except for the golden light designer James F. Ingalls sends streaming in from off stage, like the sun setting over the Aegean.

In Conversation

JONAH BOKAER with Nancy Dalva

How wonderful to be here with you in this marvelous new building, Jonah, to discuss your plans for the inaugural performances. How did ECLIPSE come about?

DOUGLAS DUNN in conversation with Nancy Dalva

A cassation is a musical form of the 18th century. One by Mozart begins the piece, a way of being literal with the title, though when I came across the word, liking it right away, I had no idea what it meant.

ELIZABETH STREB: An Introduction

Clang! Bound! Rebound! The wall is the floor! Slam! Gravity is negotiable by force! Elizabeth Streb was fierce before it was a fashionable adjective, and she revealed all of the exactions dance art used to strive to conceal (and often still does) before Post-Post-Modernism arrived with its underpants as outerwear.


After the success of his Nox last year, Mitchell’s run at the Baryshnikov Arts Center sold out almost immediately, and a third late night performance was added.

In Conversation

VICKY SHICK with Nancy Dalva

The next installment of choreographer Vicky Shick’s ongoing collaboration with artist Barbara Kirkpatrick, sound designer Elise Kermani, and lighting designer Carol Mullins unfolds this month at Danspace Project. A dancer’s dancer, a teacher’s teacher, this lovely and beloved woman is so unfailingly modest it comes as an astonishing contradiction—even in the theatrical universe of introverted extroverts¬—that she goes out on a stage and holds the room in suspended animation, captive to her reticent elegance, her giraffe ways, her silvery, organza movement.

In Conversation


It’s hard to beat mystical transformation and redemption in gold trimmed vestments.


The choreographer Jonah Bokaer is the most meticulous of artists and the most meticulous of personages—elegant, courteous, soft-spoken, self-contained, and focused. It would be wrong to describe him as restrained, because he doesn’t seem to be holding anything back.

In Conversation

LIZ GERRING with Nancy Dalva

I’m completely absorbed with investigating movement for itself as well as movement as a means of personal expression—creating beauty perhaps.

In Conversation


Stephen Petronio—iconoclastic and iconic, subversive, game changing, elegant, with just a gleam of something slightly depraved glinting off his spiky ear studs—is celebrating 30 years as a choreographer with a debut as an author.


At the Rose Theater last August, where again Mark Morris was part of Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, I saw a dance for the first time; a dance for the second time; and a dance for the third time. Together, they painted a portrait of the artist both overarching and magisterial, if in his particular thumb-your-nose version of magisteriality.

Merce's Way

Dancing is a physical act that you deal with daily. And it's quite true that when you get older, certain things you can't do the way you did.

Letter from Manhattan

Art works change over time—not because they change, but because we do. This is most clear with paintings, which—with the exception of time-based art made with materials that decay and morph—stay the same. You go to a museum to visit a beloved painting, and lo! You see something unexpected

Happy We!

The auditorium lights dim halfway. The band strikes up (the Philharmonic Baroque Orchestra and Chorale, under Nicholas McGegan). Handel’s “Acis and Galatea” zings into the house, filled with Mostly Mozart Festival and Mark Morris regulars.

ELIZABETH STREB with Nancy Dalva

Catherine Gund’s documentary of Elizabeth Streb’s Extreme Action Company is part biopic, part adventure film, and part travelogue, taking viewers from the company’s early years to Streb’s more recent one day occupation of London where she staged her own super high-risk version of the Olympics. Before the film opened in New York, the choreographer met with the Rail’s Nancy Dalva.

Last Love Letter

Dear Trisha, Remember that time you danced for me and only me, with Carolyn Lucas playing Bob's score on a cassette recorder? It was 1994, and you were about to premiere "If you couldn't see me," so I went to the studio to talk to you about it. (I think I must have been writing about it for "Goings on About Town.")


Cunningham stripped his choreographic process of all but the essential element of movement, excluding decor, narrative, music—anything decorative or extrinsic.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

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