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Robert Abrams
Performance Reviews
Star Trek
Gerald Lynch Theater at John Jay College

Rebecca Kelly Ballet

by Robert Abrams
March 9, 2006
Gerald Lynch Theater at John Jay College
899 10th Avenue
New York, NY 10019
(212) 237-8000

Rebecca Kelly Ballet

Robert Abrams
March 9, 2006

Air was a very pretty ballet danced en pointe. Three dancers in pale blue took the stage to the accompaniment of breathing and plucked notes. They mostly danced on the right side of the stage. Alexander Forsythe's partnering of Elysia Dawn and Emily SoRelle was well done as he rotated them. The women performed languid leg lifts. Again, very pretty. The women's hands twirled like falling leaves. The work was perhaps the embodiment of a breeze.

All of the dancers had graceful postures, but little or no emotional spark. Almost all of the ballet was at the same pace. Depicting a breeze is fine, but I wanted to see real wind, to see the air churn into a storm. The choreography by Rebecca Kelly has a good idea. She just needs to take that good idea and push it to its limits.

Silver Circles reminded me of The Mark of Gideon, a Star Trek episode in which Kirk moves through an empty ship with a woman, while the world around them is packed with people.

Adrian Carr, the composer, commented that the piece was inspired by Rebecca Kelly's idea to do something showing life before and after 9/11. I think it became a work that is evocative of any crisis that pits freedom versus oppression. For instance, the main couple dances with bold sweeping motions, compared to the group behind them who dance with angular motions, bunched together. Eventually the background group starts to move more freely. Perhaps they are inspired by the main couple/Kirk/the time before 9/11? At one point the woman of the main couple covers her partner's eyes. Perhaps he isn't willing to see the truth of what is happening? He moves away from her. Perhaps he knows he can't stay? They eventually come back together. The main couple dances with the background group. Perhaps we can reconcile the past with the present? Perhaps Kirk can live with the idea that his germs will help the planet solve its overpopulation problem?

This work has strong dancing, strong images and strong contrasts that will evoke a reaction in the audience, whether or not you see a connection to Star Trek. I liked this work very much.

The Travelers was an energetic work in which the dancers appear to be traveling on a bus. The dancers sit on chairs. There is club music with a driving beat. They rock their shoulders and rock out in chairs. They bounce like they are on a bus.

I liked this work because, when compared to the previous two, it showed Rebecca Kelly's range. There were well performed slow leg lifts and turns, as well as lifts, including slow rotating lifts. Once a dancer leaped into another's arms (always an impressive move). The dancers made the choreography engaging. The spins were good. They were cocky and in tune with the music. I only wish they had worked some Hustle into the mix, since Hustle would have been very appropriate for the music.

The final work of the night, Jose's Dream, was different from the others in that it had an explicit plot. Jose fell in love with Carmen, but she dances with other men. Jose kills her in a fit of jealousy. Years later his old self is in prison watching his young self enact his life and love. The parallel dancing between the old and young Joses was very well done. The dancing showed passion. While the work made sense as is (as ballet), I could also see it adapted for Flamenco. There was an impressive cape dance and nice leaps. The young Jose performed impressive multiple spins on one foot.

At one point we are in the present and old Jose is visited by some doctors. Given the way the doctors danced, I couldn't tell who was crazy.

Old Jose is visited by death. Carmen appears, but Death cloaks her, taking her away from Jose again. I thought it would be interesting to add an opera singer to this section.

In the final section, the young Jose reacts with jealousy to Carmen's previous assignation with another man. Carmen pulls away. Jose pulls out his knife. Carmen comes back to him and falls into Jose's knife. The young Jose walks away backwards into the deep. Bells chime out. Old Jose stretches in agony.

Elysia Dawn in Air
Photo courtesy of Rhyder McClure

Duncan Cooper and Therese Wendler in Silver Circles
Photo courtesy of Rhyder McClure

Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College
New York City
25th Anniversary SEASON
Thursday, 8pm, March 9, 2006, Gala Performance
Friday, 8pm, March 10, 2006
Saturday, 8pm, March 11, 2006
Rebecca Kelly - Artistic Director / Choreographer
Craig Brashear - Executive Director
The Dancers
Kathryn Albarelli, Sasha Anatska, Elysia Dawn
Alexander Forsythe, Andrei Kisselev
Emily Vonne SoRelle, Therese Miyoshi Wendler
Mona Afable, David Guggino, Jean Paul, Jr. Indre Vengris
Guest Artists
Duncan Cooper, Dance Theater of Harlem
Jared Matthews, American Ballet Theatre
Tony Marques - Lighting Design
Executive Director-Craig Brashear
Audrey Ross Public Relations-212-586-3500; Clippings-BurrellesLuce
North Country Publicity-Anne Patnode Wilson, 518-523-1823
Rehearsal Mistress -Julie Hebb
Strategic Development-Susanna Gaertner, 831-461-0668
Photographs-Rhyder McClure
Administrative Associate-Gena Mann
Program Design-Appleby
Rebecca Kelly Ballet is a constituent of Dance/NYC, a branch of Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance. Visit www.dancenyc.org for more information.
Rebecca Kelly Ballet participates in the TDF Voucher Program
Rebecca Kelly Ballet, 579 Broadway, 4B, NY, NY 10012.
Tel. 212-431-8489 E-Mail CDBrashear@AOL.com

AIR, New York Premiere
Original Score: Martha Gallagher
Costumes by Appleby, hand painting by Donna Marxer
Dancers: Elysia Dawn, Alexander Forsythe, Emily SoRelle
Special thanks to the following who made Air possible: Margo Fish, Francine Haskell,
The Mullen Family, Corinne Keller, Donna Marxer, Lisa Sarajian, Barbara Sedlin, Harkness Foundation
for Dance, and the Gladys Kreible Delmas Foundation. Air is part of a new ballet cycle,
Adirondack Elemental in collaboration with musicians from the upstate region of NY.
SILVER CIRCLES, World Premiere
After the Fall
Original Score: Adrian Carr
Costume Design by Anna Alisa Belous, Andre Cornelius, Inc.
Dancers: Duncan Cooper* and Therese Wendler
with Kathryn Albarelli, Sasha Anatska, and Mona Afable,
David Guggino, Jean Paul Jr. and Indre Vengris

*Duncan Cooper appears courtesy of Dance Theater of Harlem, and is sponsored by Jane Hewson.
Silver Circles was developed with assistance of the Harkness Foundations for Dance, Gladys Kreible Delmas Foundation, and the support of Jane Gardner, Barbara Tamerin, and Margo Fish.
Music-CraigMix, using Propellerheads and Rob d
Costumes by Betty Crawford Heller
Dancers in order of appearance:
Kathryn Albarelli, Sasha Anatska, Emily SoRelle, Jared Matthews*
Alexander Forsythe, Elysia Dawn, Andrei Kisselev, Therese Wendler,
Mona Afable and Jean Paul, Jr.

*Jared Matthews' appears courtesy of American Ballet Theatre, and is sponsored by
Deborah and Michael Royce.
15 minute Intermission
Music by Georges Bizet /Rodion Shchedrin, Carmen Suite
Costumes by Michelle Ferranti, Barbara Head
Prosper Merimee's story of Carmen Long before Kelly's story begins, there was a young soldier named Jose. Eager to see the world, Jose joined the army, leaving behind his simple life in a small town in Spain and his sweetheart Micaela. In the large and busy city of Seville, Jose became entranced by a gypsy named Carmen. Carmen, who toyed and flirted with many men, soon worked her magic on Jose. He became so utterly obsessed with her that, at her bidding, he deserted from the army, broke the law by smuggling illegal goods, and abandoned his childhood sweetheart. Free-spirited Carmen was not faithful to any man. When she met the powerful bullfighter, Escamillo, she broke up with Jose. Jose became desperate. As Carmen kept refusing him, Jose's anger grew out of control and in a moment of possessive rage, he killed her.
Kelly's story, Jose's Dream unfolds many years later. From the moment Jose was arrested for the murder of Carmen, he has lived his life locked away in a cell, completely alone, accompanied only by his dreams, and the prison staff. Through dreams and memories, distorted and distilled by time, and by his own anguish as he ponders his fate, he revisits the short intense moment of his youth, when through a single act, life changed forever.
Jose's Dream-Cast of Characters
Carmen Therese Wendler
Young Jose Sasha Anatska
Don Jose Alexander Forsythe
Micaela and Fate Emily SoRelle
Escamillo and Death Andrei Kisselev
The Guards
Mona Afable, David Guggino,
Jean Paul Jr. and Indre Vengris

Jose's Dream was commissioned by the Orchestra of St. Luke's. Additional support was also provided by The Harkness Foundation for Dance and RKB's New Works Fund.
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