by Kat Fadrilan
Thomas Adès’s dance production “Concentric Paths – Movements in Music” in the Lincoln Center’s White Lights Festival, was magnificent as a whole, but one particular choreography stood out: “Polaris” choreographed by Crystal Pite.
This choreography garnered a standing ovation at the end of the production. What makes this piece even more astounding is majority of the dancers were fellow NYU students. Performing together professionally in the New York City Center, 50 Tisch dancers shifted and glided in perfect symmetry. Imagine the elegance of ice skating, the flawless unity of poised ballerinas and energy of contemporary dance fused into a massive choreography of 66 dancers. Dancers slid and shifted in quick, fluid movements, looking impeccably like a creature or huge movement, not like individual dancers carrying out their own styles and choreography.
“I chose this piece because it seemed so wonderfully preposterous,” said Pite in the program note. “I wondered if I could meet the intensity of the music with human bodies”
Even through the eyes of those unfamiliar in the dance world, it was clear that Pite and the dancers were creating a revolutionary dance. Constant gasping and murmuring from the audience was enough to signify how unprecedented and astonishing this choreography was.
The theme Pite strives to exemplify behind the physical wonder she composed, grants more admiration to her masterpiece.
“A flock or a swarm of humans aligned in their task is both beautiful and chilling,” said Pite. “The collective body has enormous power, but synchrony does not require consciousness. It does not even require aliveness.”
This idea of harmony is moving – even more so with the fact that fifty of our own NYU dancers united together to create a beautiful piece.
Though this production is over, it conveyed further how remarkable Tisch and the dancers it prepares for the professional world are, and that we as NYU students are lucky enough to witness them in action.
Kat Fadrilan is a Contributing Writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org