Saturday, May 26, 2018

RIOULT Dance NY Kicks Off 2018 New York Season

Photo by Sofia Negron

Next Wednesday May 30th, kicks off the much anticipated 2018 New York season of RIOULT Dance at the Joyce Theater, which will run through June 3rd. 

RIOULT is an internationally known New York City based American modern dance company, that was created in 1994 by Pascal Rioult, a former principal dancer with the Martha Graham Company.  

This season, Rioult celebrates the historic connection between choreographers and composers in a program titled Written for Dance.  The program is inspired by the music of Russian composers and will take its audience on a journey through three musical periods – the romantic, the neo-classic, and the contemporary.  It will also include the company's premiere of Nostalghiawhich will be performed to live music.  Nostalghia is a collaboration between company choreographer Pascal Rioult, and Russian composer Polina Nazaykinskaya.  

Nazaykinskaya is a Teaching Artist at the New York Philharmonic Composers Bridge Program, and her music has been performed by the Russian National Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.

Together they examine the unique relationships individuals have with their cultural history and reflect on how this history persists in the face of the growing influence of western pop culture. Inspired by Andrei Tarkovsky’s film Nostalghia, RIOULT incorporates cinematic elements into the choreography. Long-time RIOULT collaborator Brian Beasley will design a projected visual “score” enhancing the theatrical experience. With costumes by Naomi Luppescu and lighting design by the Company’s resident lighting designer Jim French, RIOULT will capture the nostalgic and evocative atmosphere defined in Tarkovsky’s films.

Guests were invited to an open rehearsal for a preview of snippets from the upcoming performance.  A breakdown of Nostalghia showed just have intricately woven the movement is with the music.  The dancers' ability to effortlessly sail through each layer, and communicate each underlying note with such clarity, pulls you in like a magnet.    
Each time I watch RIOULT perform, it feels like the first time.  The  choreography is such that I always find something new to appreciate in every movement, and dub it a must see for anyone, especially those with an adoration for the arts. 

Tickets are available at or by phone at 212-242-0800


Last night I attended day two of Rioult's 2018 New York season at The Joyce Theater in New York City.  The show opened with Dream Suite, a lively, whimsical piece full of color.  The dancers executed the movement with soft, balletic undertones and captivating fluidity, which I loved.      

 The middle of the program included Les Noces, a company classic from 2005.  This erotic piece showed the deconstruction of the marriage ritual, and the union of two individuals into one.  Eight dancers were coupled off, and began in their underwear, slowly adding on layers by the end.  The remarkable silhouettes, and imagery in this piece are such genius that I doubt they will ever be duplicated.  Pascal is his own fiercest competitor when trying to match this breathtaking work of art.    


The program closed with the world premiere of Nostalghia.  The attention to musicality and detail were so meticulous that your entrancement is inevitable.  The score contains hidden elements that are highlighted by the choreography, and soon become so obvious that you wonder how you didn't hear them before.  The dancers demonstrate incredible strength and athleticism with countless lifts and the building of a pyramid. 

Rioult continues to be a source of innovation and influence within the dance world.  Rioult's season ends June 3rd, and I would recommend experiencing them before it's over. 

 Photos by Emma Kazaryan, Eric Bandiero and Nina Wurtzel

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