Sunday, December 4, 2016

12th Annual Barnard/Columbia Dances at New York Live Arts

No, these Barnard and Columbia dance students do not play. In several performances this weekend at New York Live Arts, they stepped up and nailed four demanding works--Sasha Waltz's Fantasie (2006), staged by Kevin Quinaou, and three world premieres by David Thomson, Joanna Kotze and Jennifer Archibald. And if yesterday's matinee left me absolutely sure I've seen enough of dancers running--Waltz, I'm looking at you in particular, though not exclusively--it also underscored the strengths of the Barnard College dance training. The quicksilver versatility, commitment and stamina of these young performers are impressive. As for the new works, I can say--again, with utmost certainty--that Archibald's Shades ruled the day. Dramatically lit by Tricia Toliver, it's the perfect hip hop video gone live at New York Live Arts, and some movement looks compelling simply because it's danced in unison, spread over and magnified by a mass of fourteen bodies. But the dancers bring everything into lasar-sharp focus. This one's worth a repeat. Presenters, I hope you're reading this! Worth a repeat.

Congratulations to all the dancers, all the choreographers and everyone at Barnard College Department of Dance.

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