Dance Assessment: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, at Town Heart

December 12th, 2013

For its 2nd 7 days in residence at Town Middle, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater reprised the a few functions that Robert Fight additional to the company’s repertory when he turned artistic director in 2011. Paul Taylor’s “Arden Court,” Rennie Harris’s “Home” and Ohad Naharin’s “Minus 16” pay for a thorough, generous appear at 3 styles: American contemporary dance, hip-hop and Gaga, the motion sort invented by Mr. Naharin, an Israeli choreographer. How can a performer’s existence change the stage’s canvas? How does matter make a difference, nonetheless veiled, grow to be common?

A sortable calendar of noteworthy cultural functions in the New York region, chosen by Moments critics.

Mr. Battle’s own negligible, despair-ridden solo “In/Side,” also on Tuesday’s program, was only a momentary blip. In “Arden Court,” Mr. Taylor, the modern learn, choreographs one of his loveliest functions: Dancers investigate characteristics of interactions — protecting, joyful and even one-sided — to tunes by the Baroque composer William Boyce. The enjoying discipline is uneven with only 3 women to 6 males, so the gentlemen are at an advantage, particularly in the adagio section in which the phase is transformed into a forest of muscular, statuesque, balancing bodies.

Some of the partnering had a tentative air, which instilled lifts with wobbles and dulled the thrill of the women’s airborne somersaults: Every dancer was held on possibly facet by two men. Even so, the plush use of pli? and of the suppleness of the back again, integral in Mr. Taylor’s work, expressed an urgency and brio continuing to the last diagonal crossing. Here, the final guy leaping — the tall, poetic Yannick Lebrun — soared by means of the air and rolled a few moments into the wings. It’s a reality: Mr. Taylor knows how to finish a dance.

Mr. Harris’s hip-hop function “Home,” motivated by tales of folks dwelling with or afflicted by H.I.V., showcases a group that finds solace in another world: the dance flooring.

As the lead, Daniel Tougher was excellent, imbuing his sharper gestures with vulnerability and much more flowing passages with an arrogant bravura. There are always people dancers who stick out for the wrong reasons in “Home” — their rendition of hip-hop is way too upright, too thoroughly clean — but the trance-inducing Jeroboam Bozeman, a massive gentleman, was singularly fluid, enveloping the songs with a gripping combination of strength, weight and silken velocity.

Mr. Naharin’s “Minus sixteen” is transporting, too, as it moves from one particular vignette to the up coming. (The dance is created up of excerpts from previous functions.) There is the raucous scene in which dancers, putting on darkish suits and white shirts and sitting down in a semicircle, spring up from their chairs and arch backward to a rock version of a Passover music afterwards will come a bone-chilling duet, provided haunting luster by Antonio Douthit-Boyd and Rachel McLaren. The ending, even when you know it’s coming, is a brilliant case in point of viewers participation. No two versions are alike.

What does not adjust about Ailey’s interpretation of “Minus 16” is the dancers’ adherence to feeling, equally explosive and fragile. That’s what Gaga and its entire world of contrasts teaches: Hear to your physique and unearth its awkward magnificence, its sensitive toughness. In “Minus sixteen,” Mr. Naharin figured out a way to go that on, and it is irresistible.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater proceeds through Jan. 5 at City Heart, 131 West fifty fifth Street, Manhattan 212-581-1212, nycitycenter.org.

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