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Dance: ABT Celebrates Two Legends

Frédéric Lagrange

Photo: Frédéric Lagrange

The choreographer Twyla Tharp, famous for her pop romps in the elysian fields of classicism, has enjoyed an enduring relationship with American Ballet Theatre—32 years—and her short but charming entry from 1990, Brief Fling, is returning to repertory after a 17-year absence. The ballet, which weaves traditional folk tunes through a contemporary score, is an energetic little company cameo—given extra juice by the tartan costumes designed by Isaac Mizrahi.

Brief Fling will be presented with a tribute to Antony Tudor; from October 21–November 2, ABT is honoring the centennial of the choreographer’s birth, highlighted by an all-Tudor program on October 31 (abt.org). Tudor, ballet’s poet of the subconscious, also had a long and productive association with ABT. He joined the company in its first season, 1939, creating and staging ballets until his death in 1987. In masterpieces such as Pillar of Fire (1942), Tudor brought psychosexual heat, as well as a Modernist torque, to classical dance. The Leaves Are Fading (1975) is Proustian in its evocation of memory. ABT’s tribute will have a classic on every program.

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