It Takes Time

An awakening kiss is not what I expected to get from the evening, but that's what I received— a new understanding of what this great balletic hymn to order, proportion, and ceremony may have meant to those who saw it over a century ago.

One of the season's most miraculous downtown events was performed only once, as part of Danspace's Silver Series. Pray it recurs. I say that firmly even though I could only attend less than two hours of a rehearsal for Sara Rudner's Dancing on View; the reworking of her 1975 come-and-go-as-you-like piece lasts twice that long. On June 19, the original performers— Rudner, Risa Jaroslow, Wendy Perron, and Wendy Rogers— were joined by 16 other stupendous women. I didn't hear the musicians or see Robert Kushner's backdrop. My backdrop was a clutch of awed and laughing faces belonging to performers not involved in the action of the moment, and surprised to see how the whole thing was turning out.

Details

The Kirov Ballet
Metropolitan Opera House
Through July 10

Sara Rudner
Danspace St. Mark's

You don't often see dancing this rich, this full of variety, and performed as if it were an experience as demanding as living a truly good life. The movement can look velvety one minute and starchy the next, easy-going or athletic, juicy or tossed off. But its manners are always informal, unaffected, down to earth. Dancing on View isn't just a performance, it's a landscape. We watch three women lounging here, a playful duet there, a sudden onrush of other interesting people, smartly funny dialogues, beautiful and complex solos. Set choreography mingles with structured improvisation. Sonali Prasad, the timekeeper, signals the changes in activity. For more than 45 minutes tall Cathe Stewart anchors one corner, thoughtfully spooling out a marvelous swatch of material contributed by Australian choreographer Russell Dumas. Jodi Melnick rehearsing Rudner, Peggy Gould, and Rocky Bornstein in a hissing, clawing bit of serious foolery tells them, "There's no more fifth position." They're stunned. Patricia Hoffbauer occasionally talks with us about what's going on. But we're already in that landscape with the rest of them— feeling their heat in our muscles, their sweat in our souls.

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