The Houston Ballet at the Joyce
Stanton Welch’s Play is the most unusual if not the most exciting ballet on the Houston Ballet’s program for their week at the Joyce Theater—not least because it is set to music from the much-licensed album of the same title by Moby. It shows people walking along a street and encountering one another, often making looser gestures than in academic dance, and wearing everyday clothes. The most charged moments, however, jar with the mumbled words in the music, which does not feel like more than a backing track.
The highlight of the program is surely Mark Morris’s lush Pacific, performed in long, sheer skirts that look like orchid petals, and set to Lou Harrison’s Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano. Besides these two large ensemble dances, there is Ben Stevenson’s Twilight, a pas de deux set to Rachmaninoff’s Elegie, Op. 3 No. 1, and Hans van Manen’s Solo, a work for one male dancer that is as vigorous and articulate as the Bach partita that accompanies it.
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