Last night, five New York City dance companies — Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theater, Ballet Hispánico, Dance Theater of Harlem, and New York City Ballet — were brought together on the same stage at Damrosch Park. The best part? They’d finished rehearsing that same night.
As choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa tells it, the 14 participating dancers only finished rehearsals that evening because it was the sole time they could get all of them in the same place. (Talk about nerve-racking.) The performance featured all the dancers in tutus and was an exhilarating mash-up of different dance forms set to the Funky Lowlives remix of Dizzy Gillespie’s “Manteca”
The decision to bring performance back to Lincoln Center’s BAAND Together Dance Festival was part of chief artistic officer Shanta Thake’s vision for the performing-arts center, and it was sponsored by Chanel. (Fun fact: Gabrielle Chanel made costumes in the 1920s for Jean Cocteau-Bronislava Nijinska ballet Le Train Bleu, which changed the look for ballerinas at the time.)
“It’s a celebration of the human form,” said Thake. “To see that onstage is so powerful.”
The shows, which continue through Saturday, August 13, are free and open to the public; you just have to wait in line (which, last night, stood under a storm. Luckily, the show did go on).