This system’s spotlight, fittingly titled “New Conversations,” confirmed us this dynamic particularly obviously. This exceptional piece grew out of a collaboration between Brown and the Mexican-born pianist Arturo O’Farrill, the founding father of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance. The 2 artists met in Havana whilst operating with the Cuban dance corporate Malpaso; they get on well and started growing “New Conversations” all over a residency at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Pageant.
On the obvious degree, the dialog of the name is between Brown’s dancers and the musicians of O’Farrill’s ensemble, who proportion the degree. The piece started with the low growl of a tuba, just like the voice of God, and the sense of being within the presence of otherworldly beings constructed because the dancers drifted onstage. They turned around their shoulders and hips with liquid ease. However the undulating bodily softness used to be fortified with muscular keep watch over; a dancer may come to an abrupt standstill or corkscrew round in a unexpected twist.
The subtitle of this paintings is “Iron Meets Water,” a curious symbol that brings to thoughts rust and rot. However because the dance’s theme of waft and resistance evolved, it used to be transparent that Brown had in thoughts some other view of oxidation, the place one thing flowing and cushy can defeat a reputedly invincible impediment. An unstated dialog grew a number of the dancers as they noticed and echoed one some other, buying and selling new strikes, countering with slight permutations.
The track of the Arturo O’Farrill Ensemble used to be assertive and rolling, with an agitated flute taking on from the tuba. If to start with the dancers appeared to glide upon the track, moved by way of it, by way of the tip they have been inseparably joined to it. Song and dancers resolved right into a unified entire.
It used to be a poetic and spiritually uplifting level, made gently, as is Brown’s taste. This system’s nearer, “Grace,” which Brown created for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater 20 years in the past, tells a equivalent tale of the non secular energy of dance. However Brown has extra tales to inform: Those two works of lush attractiveness bookended an excerpt from a darker piece from 2001, “Strolling Out the Darkish.” Right here used to be the desperation of other people seeking to confide in one some other in solos so emotionally pushed, with palms thrown overhead and dancers flinging themselves at the flooring, you must nearly pay attention the shouts and really feel their ache.
Brown’s 9 dancers are the most effective within the trade, so excellent that they make his paintings glance deceptively simple. But it surely’s no longer simply the mechanics of the dancing our bodies that seem easy. It’s additionally the best way Brown feedback on fresh society: our inclinations to wall ourselves off, or no longer, and the way gentleness can transfer someone else to open up greater than tough insistence can. His paintings feels undying and of the instant, unexpectedly.