Deborah Hay wins raves, The Match in New York, and Ballet Austin brings a New York dancer to town to play Hamlet

Graceful Steps

Austin Arts Hall of Famer Deborah Hay has been spending the winter as an artist-in-residence at the Joyce Theater in New York City. While there, she choreographed a new work for a select group of dancer/performers, who performed it at St. Marks Church two weeks ago. The dance, titled The Match, was well-received despite its somewhat mystifying nature. In The New York Times, Jennifer Dunning wrote: "You could have been forgiven for imagining that this East Village theater had been turned into an asylum by the four mad creatures occupying the stage. Nothing they did – or muttered – was expected or made much sense. But Ms. Hay has worked in dance long enough to have developed an easy authority. And she chose performers who were witty as well as fearless about losing themselves in this bizarre dance." The focus, she notes, "is on the dancers: their mystifying travels and relationships, both spatial and personal, and the satisfying way Ms. Hay distributes them about the space." Lisa Kraus of also noted the dance's puzzling qualities, but was enthusiastic about the overall work. The Match, she wrote, "makes it clear that Hay is a National Living Treasure, having forged a unique mode of performance that lives vividly, unfolding before our eyes."

Ballet Austin just treated us to one-half of the team that keeps Complexions in New York on its toes. (That would be Dwight Rhoden, who choreographed the volcanic finale in last week's Director's Choice/3x3 program.) Next month, the company will treat us to the other half. BA just announced that Complexions Co-Artistic Director Desmond Richardson is making his way to Austin to perform the title role in Stephen Mills' balletic adaptation of Hamlet. Richardson is an extremely gifted dancer – The New York Times called him "one of the greatest modern dancers of his time" – who spent seven years with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and has danced with Frankfurt Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. In 1999, he was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in the Broadway musical Fosse. Hamlet will be performed March 12-14 at Bass Concert Hall. For ticket information, call 469-SHOW.

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Austin Arts Hall of Fame, Deborah Hay, Joyce Theater, The Match, The New York Times, Jennifer Dunning, Lisa Kraus,, Ballet Austin, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Dwight Rhoden, Director's Choice 3x3, Desmond Richardson, Stephen Mills, Hamlet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Frankfurt Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Tony Award, Fosse

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