Joyce Ballet Festival Spotlights Women, but Only One Dance Stands Out

But what’s best about this ballet is that it adds up to more than a mere collection of poses: Ms. Bond’s vivid use of petit allegro — small, brisk jumps — and her focus on port de bras, or the carriage of the arms, leave behind lasting afterimages. The women, especially, with bent elbows and hands softly framing their faces, float through this sweeping dance, yet the entire cast performs with an understated voluptuousness. The elegant, soulful Ms. Williams, left alone onstage in the end, most gorgeously encapsulates it.

Less convincing were Ms. Bond’s other two works, “The Giving,” a ponderous duet for Christine Shevchenko and Cory Stearns that explored facets of isolation, and “Impressions,” titled after Jennifer Higdon’s score. “Impressions” was too long and aesthetically confusing — the costumes by the Ballet Theater principal James Whiteside, who also performed in the work, had the shimmer of competition dance — and failed to cement just who Ms. Bond is as a choreographer.


Shania Rasmussen, top, and fellow members of Amy Seiwert’s Imagery in Ms. Seiwert’s “Wandering.”

Andrea Mohin/The New York Times

Yet dances on other programs felt even more generic. Cirio Collective, led by its artistic director, Jeffrey Cirio, another Ballet Theater principal, and its associate artistic director, Lia Cirio (his sister), unveiled an evening brimming with familiar markers of contemporary ballet: vacuous, overwrought partnering; shifts between stillness and ferocious movement; more bare chests than Martha Graham could have dreamed of; and even, in “Minim,” a dance set to poetry, beginning with, “I saw the face of God today.” Sometimes the stage looked like a haunted house.

This program, which featured works by Mr. Cirio, Paulo Arrais and Gregory Dolbashian, was all over the place yet depressingly colorless. Both Emery LeCrone and Claudia Schreier, who presided over their own evenings, had too little momentum in their choreography. The dances just about wilted.

Ms. LeCrone, recycling her well-worn patterns and phrases, presented one lethargic ballet after the other, while Ms. Schreier, whose bland choreography is overly embellished with Balanchine touches — a raised hip, a flexed foot — had an oppressive, sanctimonious air. Their works had plenty of star dancers, but no urgency. Why do they choreograph? It…

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