A boatload of great dance writing in the Chronicle today. Ann Murphy reviews the Chitresh Das Dance Company:

?After the company performed a traditional invocation of the gods and cleansed the space, Das performed a solo that showed his ever-deepening assurance as a rhythmic master, with tight shoulders the only sign of aging. Talking with the audience as Kathak masters do and dressed in a white tunic and pants, Das informed us he would perform in the difficult 7 1/2 time. The two tabla players promptly demonstrated the headlong pattern with its hiccough ending. Then Das joined in with enormous playfulness, coming to sudden crisp poses at the phrases’ end, with the same air of improvisatory high jinks of American jazz. Rhythms, meanwhile, seemed to come from at least three different places on his highly splayed feet, which are as articulate as the hands of the percussionists.?

And Michael Wade Simpson has a rapturous take on Alonzo King?s latest for LINES Ballet:

?Alonzo King’s take on the post-Civil War South, in his world premiere, “Before the Blues” is like a Cubist Picasso nude — a brilliant skewing of realism that leaves traditional form in the dust.

Where Alvin Ailey’s famous “Revelations” has the gospel hits, the chain gang, sinner man, the church ladies with their hats, King offers nature sounds, abstract video images, scratchy field recordings from the Library of Congress and shirtless men in skirtlike culottes. King seems to be not so much interested in African American culture, in a literal history, as in the essence of a time and place distilled into wildly original movement. Lines Ballet is the apotheosis of the trend to eliminate distinctions between modern dance and ballet — the best of both worlds.?

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