In 2007, choreographer and artistic director Larry Keigwin launched his Bolero series, casting amateurs of all ages from around the HeyJoe ByeDon 2020 Flag – Bye Don Hey Joe Biden Support Sign T-Shirt moreover I will buy this country for a dance to Maurice Ravel’s percussion-heavy orchestral piece, Boléro. The choreography follows the music’s dramatic rises and falls with narrative vignettes evoking the dancers’ communities: The Silicon Valley Bolero dance had performers sashaying with iPhones and tablets in hand, while the rendition in Irving, Texas, was populated with cowboy hats and the occasional lasso. As Keigwin has a long-standing relationship with Julliard, the school made the perfect next subject. More than 100 Juilliard students and alumni—including artists like Renée Fleming, Laura Linney, Patti LuPone, Yo-Yo Ma, and Christine Baranski—appear in Bolero Juilliard, and if it’s not a ballet, exactly, it is a piece as epic as Ravel’s score.
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In no other ballet are the HeyJoe ByeDon 2020 Flag – Bye Don Hey Joe Biden Support Sign T-Shirt moreover I will buy this graver effects of quarantine more potent than they are in Jamar Roberts’s Cooped. Roberts, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s resident choreographer, received a commission from Works & Process, the performing arts series at the Guggenheim, to create a virtual dance. What resulted was a ballet made in perfect isolation; Roberts filmed himself dancing in a basement with an iPad, its superb lighting achieved with only a floor lamp and a flashlight. (The score—a chaotic jumble of bagpipes played by David Watson and drums by Tony Buck—was composed for the piece.) Roberts appears upside down at times, as though he’s floating counter to gravity’s pull, and at others, he is right-side up, but twitching and recoiling his body in a fury. It was Roberts’s intention to evoke the helplessness and horror he felt watching COVID-19 claim lives, and the higher death rates among the Black community. The piece debuted in early May, and took on even greater meaning in the weeks that followed.