|Tide Harmonic. Carla Korbes & Joshua Grant. Photo: Angela Sterling|
A Justin Peck "preview performance" of Debonair, to George Antheil's score, in PNB's program at the Joyce this week featured Korbes in an extended duet with Jerome Tisserand. (The piece will "premiere" on Nov. 7 in Seattle, which presumably means it will get a fancy party.) With that in mind, I assume the rigorous vocabulary of double tours en l'air and pirouettes will only be honed by then, and Korbes' already formidable elasticity and plushness will deepen. In addition to the traditional couple, Peck has created two sections for one woman and three men in which the woman dances alone—a rarer sight than you might imagine in recent abstract ballets.
Alejandro Cerrudo's Memory Glow, set to a selection of moody music, showed his sinewy, organic vocabulary on these fine dancers. Ample drama came from the chiaroscuro lighting, as well as the on-stage light fixtures, two of which were dragged by their cords into place to form an arc around the dancers. Cerrudo is from the post-Forsythe sock school of choreography, which extends the softness from pliable feet into the whole body, allowing torsos and limbs to ripple and react to impulses. A fleeing woman would be caught by her ankle by a pursuing man, or even by her forehead. Once again, the women wore legless leotards while the men were completely covered in polo shirts and crinkled slate pants. Women seem to be the focus of these younger ballet choreographers, but the emphasis on their bareness pushes this tendency toward objectification, even if it's meant as a tribute.