The Ephermeralist on Beamish’s works for ABT & NYCB dancers
The Ephermeralist on Joshua Beamish’s works for MOVE: the company and The Ashley Bouder Project at The Joyce.
“Of the women, Stephanie Williams, an Aussie who distinguished herself in ABT’s recent Met season, was especially luminous; she danced “Stay” with Dimitri Kleioris (a magnetic fellow Australian who will appear in Flesh and Bone). Williams is the kind of dancer who may not knock you out at first, but eventually you notice her ability to adapt to any style, as well as herremarkable strength as seen in a devilish backbend with the front leg extended, steadied by him.
The program served as a kind of primer of Beamish’s movement, beginning with a solo packed with contained energy, building through a duet in which a dialogue seemed to be taking place along with an urgency and strong directional pulls, followed by the more romantic “Stay”. It culminated in the premiere of “Surface Properties”, an ambitious dance for 10 with busy, witty video by Matt Keegan, and Janie Taylor’s sleek black and mint costumes. The groupings and duets moved with an adrenalized, urban feel; exit and entrance walks were done with a louche, street-wise attitude. Roman Zhurbin is ABT’s reigning character dancer, so good at acting that it’s easy to forget he’s a terrific dancer; he partnered with Isadora Loyola in a charming duet section in front of a pong-like video, which distracted slightly. Zhong-Jing Fang led a “femme” section with verve, and Baca looked in the zone during the finale.
Beamish contributed “Rouge et Noir”, once again a larger-scale production with six dancers set in front of an abstract, colorful painted backdrop by Mark Howard. This, plus Shostakovich’s spiky score, and the sculptural, luxuriant key duet with Bouder and Ramasar evoked some of Balanchine’s modernist moves.
But the most memorable moments are of Bouder on relevé, being held or spun by Ramasar, in various poses and levels of tension and repose. It was a quenching dose of ballet by some of the art’s top dancers, and alongside the two other works, notably by young women, showed a conceptual curiosity that also refreshed.”