It was also my city-taste of Jacob’s Pillow outdoor stage since I couldn’t make it there during the summer. The Delacorte placed dancers in luxurious oasis. The bare stage created the illusion of dancers entering from the trees, with the mist rising off the water behind them drifting up to Belvedere Castle in the background.
Elizabeth Streb’s Action Engineers opened the evening falling, spinning, leaping, and flipping in the night sky with Human Fountain. They stormed the stage like soldiers but with the fanfare of the circus.
Ronald K. Brown performed with his dancers in an uplifting rendition of Upside Down. Live musicians, a singer, and DJ took the stage for the latter part of the work to bring Fela Kuti’s music fully to life. I usually connect emotionally with Brown’s works but something wasn’t quite resonating with me this time. Brown’s dancers were joyous even in their exacting attention to the subtleties of Brown’s movement vocabulary.
With zero “wings”, we saw New York City Ballet dancers Chase Finlay, Jennie Somogyi, Maria Kowroski and Andrian Danchig-Waring warm-up for Ulysses Dove’s “sensual hell” (as my roommate deemed it) Red Angels. By far my favorite piece of the evening, with the gentle undulations overlaid with a tinny staccato. Mary Rowell rocked out solo on her violin.
Paul Taylor’s dancers know how to close out a show! Esplanade fit delightfully on the Delacorte stage. In their peachy-toned costumes, Taylor’s dancers appeared to have wandered on stage from a day playing in the park. Michael Trusnovec performed some tricky partnering (when his partner steps all over his body, and he rises from beneath her to turn and lift her) with aplomb.
A beautiful evening and so incredible to be underneath the stars with dancers reaching to the heavens!