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CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS' queer dance fantasia at the Joyce Theater tonight
Last Edit: singleticket 12:10 am EDT 06/29/22
Posted by: singleticket 11:54 pm EDT 06/28/22

I very much enjoyed tonight's performance of Christopher Williams' dances at the Joyce Theater. There are four pieces, all taken from the classical Ballets Russes repertoire set to their traditional music but danced mainly with male casts. The remarkable Taylor Stanley, a principal from the New York City Ballet, dances three of the lead roles and he creates distinct fully formed personas for each. He's a magnetic presence on stage and his dancing is witty and breathtakingly beautiful. Stanley effortlessly, it seems, goes from the randy faun in "Afternoon of a Faun" to the dazzlingly fey Queen of the Sylphs in "Les Sylphides".

Williams arranges his new choreography of the old ballets around the theme of classical nymphs and looks deeply into their original meaning. The nymphs of the river, pond, mountains and forests are more feral here. They're more than just stock romantic elementals. In "Faun" the Naiads, the water nymphs, are also that spirit of the water than pulls animals into streams and scrapes them into pieces over jagged rocks. In "Narcissus" the Oreads, the mountain nymphs, are also that earthy element that transforms Narcissus into a flower. If all this sounds high fallutin', it really isn't. The dances unfold with a gentle sense of fun that can sometimes feel a bit kitschy but oddly never camp or ironic. They're sincerely, joyously fey.

"Christopher Williams Dances" will play this week at the Joyce Theater in Chelsea for five more performance.
Link Christopher Williams Dances
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