Saturday, November 17, 2012

Saltimbanques Inspire Picasso and Lubovitch

Picasso's Les Saltimbanques, 1905
What inspires an artist to create a new work, especially after 44 years of making dances? Lar Lubovitch found inspiration in Picasso's painting of a circus troupe, Les Saltimbanques, paired with Debussy's String Quartet in G Minor performed live by the Bryant Park Quartet. The result—Transparent Things, which premiered in the company's run at Florence Gould Hall on November 14—fits snugly within Lubovitch's oeuvre of lushly romantic, lyrical dances. Also on the gala bill were his sharper, frenetic 2011 work, Crisis Variations, featuring the dynamic Katarzyna Skarpetowska, and the aromatic Little Rhapsodies, a virtuosic 2007 male trio.

Leg lines a-resonating. Photo: Rose Eichenbaum
Attila Joey Csiki, as the lead tumbler in Transparent Things, wears the money-shot costume—a pastel hued, diamond-print, well-fitting tunic, created by Reed Barthelme. Portrayed as a bit of an outsider, Csiki gamboled with the ensemble and then danced alone in a melancholic funk. The troupe included two couples: Skarpetowska with Reed Luplau, and Clifton Brown with Laura Rutledge, along with Brian McGinnis. Lubovitch works with a complete stage picture in mind—curving legs aloft resonate between pairs, or the group snaps, seemingly spontaneously, into one of his signature tableaux.

Attila Joey Csiki wearing The Costume. Photo: Steven Schreiber
The costumes were obviously key, patterned directly after the color schemes laid out by Picasso. But the gap between the resulting designs for the men and the women were like day and night. It seems that all of Barthelme's energy went toward the mens' tunics (other than Brown's white leotard and high-waisted grey pants that were somehow unflattering to this most Apollonian of dancers). The women, Rutledge in particular, looked like someone had grabbed the lost and found box and pulled out whatever would remotely fit, at least within Picasso's palette.

It's not news, but Lubovitch attracts first-rate dancers. Brown, long a star with Ailey, here favors the subdued facet of his onstage persona and melts into the ensemble even as he inevitably does a lion's share of lifting and guy stuff. Luplau's dancing, particularly his allegro passages in Rhapsodies, reminds me a little of the effervescence and precision of Sean Curran in his prime, no small task. And Skarpetowska, against the odds in this troupe of male peacocks (that's a compliment), has become a  locus, with her completely fearless approach, both emotionally and physically.

Toward the end, the dancers crawled among the string quartets' legs and instruments, underscoring the pleasures of having live music (although some technical problems with mic noise were a distraction). It felt like the end but wasn't. That came when the troupe formed a line, arms linked behind backs, and collectively descended into splits, a final reminder of the nature of these troubadors.

1 comment:

Movers in brooklyn said...

Brooklyn movers You might additionally desire in order to ask the business themselves for references, and home elevators when their cheapest and also several expensive instances are generally to be able to go.