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Stuff I liked in 2011

Yes, the ubiquitous year-end list is here. Some top highlights, many covered in this blog, and by no means comprehensive.

ABT's Marcelo Gomes & Isabella Boylston. Photo: Rosalie O'Connor.

ABT’s Marcelo Gomes and David Hallberg
Both of these dancers gave incredible, shooting star performances of Albrecht in ABT’s Giselle. Gomes didn’t simply act, he was the prince, dancing convincingly as if his life depended on it, pushing himself further than my already sky-high expectations—as deep and rich as ballet can get. Hallberg too pushed his physical limits and transcended technique to give a sublime rendering. Both took the very ordinary entrechat six and made it heartrending artistry. Pure alchemy. See them both during ABT’s Nutcracker season at BAM. Also, keep an eye on the pure lines of Joseph Gorak.

De Kooning at MOMA
This MOMA show connected the numerous dots in De Kooning’s storied career. It is what MOMA does best as the torch bearer of modernism, showing how De Kooning’s work swerved close to Pollock’s and other peers before breaking his own fresh tracks.

Histoire du Soldat/Lar Lubovitch
I’ll say it once more: Lar Lubovitch is underrated for the pure craft of his gorgeous movement making. See: his inventive characterizations for Stravinsky’s Histoire du Soldat, at Galapagos with Le Train Bleu, and his two-program, star-studded run at Baryshnikov Arts Center.

Mark Morris at MMDG
Morris keeps making gorgeous, inventive dances. His studio show was phenomenal.

New York City Ballet’s Tyler Angle, Tiler Peck, and the ravishing Sara Mearns, leading this suddenly young company.

James Samson and Eran Bugge, Paul Taylor Dance Company
These two mid-tenure veterans have come into their own, or at least we can really see that they have as they’re getting big roles and work set on them. Samson is strong, steady, and has a wisdom that carries throughout his limbs. Bugge dances with a chocolaty richness and finesse. Catch them in March.

RSC’s travelling theater
The highlight of the RSC’s summer residency at the Park Avenue Armory was without a doubt the theater-within-a-theater, a gigantic tinkertoy construction that thrust us into the action.

Silas Riener, Merce Cunningham Dance Company
And capping off the list is Silas Riener’s solo in Split Sides at BAM, during the Cunningham Company’s Legacy Tour run. Crazy, daring, beyond human, like a kamikaze master yogi. The audience had no choice but to burst into applause.

What were your favorites?

And with that, happy holidays!

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SundayArts is made possible in part by First Republic Bank and by the Rubin Museum of Art. Funding for SundayArts is also made possible by Rosalind P. Walter, The Paul and Irma Milstein Foundation, The Philip & Janice Levin Foundation, Elise Jaffe and Jeffrey Brown, Jody and John Arnhold, and The Lemberg Foundation. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional funding provided by members of THIRTEEN.

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