April 13, 2006
Lisa Rinehart's piece on James Sewell Ballet shows something she does particularly well - air her criticisms without seeming to try and settle a score.
James Sewell tries hard to make amusing, irreverent and meaningful dance, but with the three pieces on offer at the Joyce, he comes up short. His influences are a mixed bag of classical ballet, six years of contemporary dance with Feld Ballets/NY, and dabblings in yoga and Qigong. The result is work that's decently structured, professionally presented and essentially unremarkable—a virgin pina colada for the subscription set.
This is harsh criticism (better to be flat out bad than serviceable), but there's a method to the meanness. Sewell can do better.
There's a lot of food for thought on both sides of that idea - easy enough to say someone can do better. Yet, the painful truth is that some work, no matter how competent, is still not a valuable addition to the canon. And try telling that to the artist (myself included) who needed to make it.
A picture is worth a thousand comebacks. Read this entry on immigration by The Editors at the Poorman (scroll down at a leisurely pace for the best effect) for one of the best single picture retorts I have seen.
Posted by Leigh Witchel at April 13, 2006 11:49 PM
TrackBack URL for this entry:
"I suspect Sewell is too much the dancer when creating his pieces and isn't able to get past the pleasing physical sensation of performing a movement."
This is a very familiar situation!
Posted by: sandi k at April 23, 2006 1:40 AM