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Ryan Wenzel

RYAN WENZEL is a New York based dance writer and former dance editor of the Brooklyn Rail. Find him on Twitter @rpwenz.

Mark Morris Versus The Music

Setting dance to Beethoven has historically raised a few eyebrows in the dance world. George Balanchine, a great lover of music, went so far as to describe Beethoven’s heavy-sounding music as “unchoreographable” and never once during his prolific career used the composer’s work.

French Disconnection

The last two years have been kind to local ballet lovers with no budget for international travel, bringing companies to the city from across the globe. In 2011, the Royal Danish Ballet, the Mariinsky Ballet, and the National Ballet of Cuba were among the foreign ensembles to dance on our biggest stages.

Modern Antiquity

Few artistic partnerships in history have been as fruitful as that of George Balanchine and Igor Stravinsky. Balanchine choreographed at least 45 ballets to Stravinsky’s music—some of them commissions, some of them-preexisting scores. Many rank among the greatest works in 20th-century dance.

In Conversation

KYLE ABRAHAM with Ryan Wenzel

Kyle Abraham has been busy. In early November, the Pittsburgh-born choreographer was named the 2012-2014 New York Live Arts Resident, and his company, Abraham.In.Motion, premiered Abraham’s Pavement at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse.

Bring in Da Boise

Like generations of choreographers, Trey McIntyre has set ballets to scores by Chopin, Tchaikovsky, and Stravinsky. Yet the McIntyre that New York audiences have gotten to know in 2012 is not afraid to embrace more colloquial music.

In Conversation

KYLE ABRAHAM with Ryan Wenzel

Kyle Abraham has been busy. In early November, the Pittsburgh-born choreographer was named the 2012-2014 New York Live Arts Resident, and his company, Abraham.In.Motion, premiered Abraham’s Pavement at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse.

In Conversation

RICHARD MOVE with Ryan Wenzel

Martha Graham, the mother of American modern dance, showed a deep affinity with the “dark ladies” of Greek mythology: Jocasta, Phaedra, Clytemnestra

Taylor Baroque

Paul Taylor Dance Company’s annual New York seasons are feasts of choreography, and just as varied are the scores the shape-shifting choreographer has chosen to use over his 60-year career.

Front and Center

In the playbill for her latest work, The Spectators, which had its premiere at New York Live Arts in May, there was no program note explaining Pam Tanowitz’s aesthetic, her process, or her inspiration.

In Conversation

SARA MEARNS with Ryan Wenzel

The New York City Ballet principal dancer, known for testing limits onstage, talks about City Ballet’s upcoming season, her Fall for Dance debut, and her flair for the dramatic.

Only Disconnect

A dark liquid flows through Arthur Pita’s telling of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. Gregor Samsa, once transformed into a cockroach, opens his mouth in a silent scream, and the filmy substance pours from his mouth, grazing his shoulder before trickling down his chest.

In Conversation

TERESA REICHLEN with Ryan Wenzel

The New York City Ballet principal talks about her debut in George Balanchine’s Diamonds, her changing trajectory, and why she prefers to watch other styles of dance.

Pam Tanowitz in Conversation with Ryan Wenzel

Choreographer Pam Tanowitz presents two new dances February 4–6 at the Joyce Theater—her first time showing her work in this venue, and her first attempt, in one piece, to reconfigure past material with the benefit of hindsight.

India, Illuminating and Inspiring

The Natya Shastra, an ancient Sanskrit treatise by the sage Bharata, argues that while music, dance, and theater may provide entertainment, this should not be their primary intent. Instead, they should aim to transport us into another reality, where we can reflect on spiritual and moral matters.

In Conversation

JUSTIN PECK with Ryan Wenzel

When New York City Ballet announced last year that it had commissioned Justin Peck, hopes were high that NYCB had found a fresh talent to add new ballets to its incomparable repertory.

Town, Country, and the Schoolyard

When the Merce Cunningham Dance Company disbanded in 2011, two years after Cunningham’s death, his choreography’s future was unclear. Who might perform it? Where might it be seen, and how often? Fearing the worst, I consumed as much Cunningham choreography as I could during the company’s final tour.

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The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2020

All Issues