“The men of Houston Ballet tilt poetically in Aszure Barton’s sublime “Come In.”” Click here to read full article
“It is clear that Barton is thoughtful in all of her choices as a creator. Her process is not simply about making a dance piece but also about growth and examining where she was when she created the work and where the work can go. “Dance is in motion always,” she notes. “There is room for a piece to grow, evolve and change”… In speaking with Barton, you realize she has a kind of quiet power to her, a peacefulness that has been sustained through practice.” READ MORE!
“Working in the studio with Ms. Barton is electrifying, to say the least. She is more than willing to help find the unachievable, quickly and efficiently.. Ms. Barton is a strong voice in the dance world, and now I truly understand why.” READ MORE!
“Barton is an eclectic inventive artist and choreographic activist” – READ MORE!
Tobin is staging Les Chambres des Jacques at Los Angeles Ballet
“Aszure Barton’s Indomitable Waltz is a graceful etude in human flow. The piece moves you through the full range of human emotions and what they look like when they express in passionate extremes. Dancers glide like milk and honey streaming between bodies in seamless connection. There are no separations as the parts become the whole.
The easy fluidity and beautifully smoothe changes in positions deeply imprint the subconscious narrative of this elegant work. Dancers move to new highs or emotional lows with vertebra-by-vertebra flexing spines, swiveling hips, whole-body roll-ups, shivering shoulders or exuberant somersaults, jumping like Maasais in joy or sadness and every human emotion in between.
Distant strains in minor keys by the Balanescu Quartet and Nils Frahm add a melancholy element while Nicole Pearce’s dark mood lighting frames the dancers in moments of intentional connection or asymmetrical knees and arms in seemingly awkward agitation. As if needing to give or receive support from the buffeting winds of change, the final tableau depicts two dancers simply walking away from it all holding hands–in resolved acceptance–as the lights go down.
Malpaso is a company of technically strong, athletic dancers – the males and the females. Their muscular, toned bodies were unadorned in simple black leotards or bras with tight tank tops in Indomitable Waltz. Fritz Masten’s unflashy costuming adds a dramatically simple statement to the complexity of the human experience as danced by all ten dancers of the company in this lushly appealing work.”
READ ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE.
— TRANSLATED FROM GERMAN —
Nonett – A dance Essay about life
Prologue to the first blog text “Nonett – A Dance Essay on Life”
For a long time now I have been using the idea of regularly publishing texts on moments of life that seem to me to be put into a special light through words and to give these moments such an even greater emphasis.
Now finally came the last impulse to implement this project:
The new creation of the renowned Canadian choreographer Aszure Barton with “my” young dancers of the Bavarian Junior Ballet Munich (formerly State Ballet II) has enchanted me. At the Bosl Matinee on May 6, 2018 on the stage of the Bavarian National Theater.
And the magical work was so strong that I finally realize my plan.
NONETT – A DANCE ESSAY ON LIFE
I love art and culture. Especially dance. For me, art in all its forms is the soul of our society, and I believe that we need people who care completely for the soul and spirituality of our society. Give yourself.
I am often in the theater and see a lot of art on stage. Nevertheless, it rarely happens that I experience what I experienced at “Nonett” in the Bavarian National Theater at the Bosl-Matinee: A feeling of deep understanding in my being human. My human being spread out and mirrored in a choreography. An energy that encloses me as a spectator from the stage. Magic. Transcendence.
It was as if the Canadian choreographer Aszure Barton had a magic powder on the nine dancers on the stage and blew us in the auditorium. It has enchanted and reminded us that dance – and therefore life itself – does not always need action and drama, but that life, with its everlasting changes, can unfold a magic that we can not escape and that all of us share combines.
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“The leading dance house in contemporary dance,” Sadler’s Wells Theater “, has now presented the ENB with the program” Voices of America “, starting with a very fast-paced, elegant, eclectic work by Canadian Aszure Barton, who was born in 2016 for the ENB.” Fantastic Beings “to contemporary orchestral music by Mason Bates.” Anthology of Phantastic Zoology “is an original, high-culturally upgraded film-accompaniment music that Barton has crafted into richly detailed, musical-like, mercurial motion streams for the large group.
Twenty dancers dressed in dark, high-necked whole-body jerseys glide across the stage in front of a star-studded night sky. Animal movements dictated by instincts dissolve with classical, dynamically performed, beautiful steps. Despite the fact that Barton makes use of various dance idioms, you will not be bored for a second. Because she is a true master of phrasing, she surprises by the seemingly random juxtaposition of Cunningham and Broadway, Break or Balanchine. It serves every beat and gag of the music, but so flattering and pointed that it somehow ennobles this music. “Fantastic Beings” is refined. “
“Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, and the third time – in this case – it is definitely a thing with female Canadian choreographers. Crystal Pite and Emily Molnar are top-quality acts, and so, it seems, is their compatriot Aszure Barton, choreographer of the evening’s opening piece, Fantastic Beings (2016). Set to a symphonic score by Mason Bates, it’s an abstract piece that flirts with creatureliness without pinning anything down – are those hairy things apes or bears (or wookiees)? Are the lycra-clad dancers more like birds or lizards or gazelles? Whatever; they’re beautiful and so is the backdrop of twinkling stars. Bates’s score is long and Barton’s material feels stretched in places; at each of the (many) ending-type climaxes I thought it was a suitable time to stop. But credit for the striking sections, too: I won’t forget the image of two female dancers wheeling and diving like birds over fluttery clarinet noise, or the power of the last movement with all the dancers spinning in uncanny hair suits. (Pictured above: Crystal Costa in Fantastic Beings)
ENB’s spring triple bill at Sadler’s Wells has become a highlight of the dance year.” – theartsdesk.com
Aszure Barton has created a gem of a ballet for Milan’s Teatro alla Scala. Mahler 10 uses the first movement of Gustav Mahler’s unfinished Tenth Symphony and above it, Barton fashions a small world with a community of people who play, cry and love with directness and simplicity.
Although the music is Mahler’s, the atmosphere is certainly not European, evoking the open spaces of North America, or maybe Russia: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers meets The Cherry Orchard? Reviewing the premiere of Jerome Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering (also set to European music yet infused with American expansiveness) critic Clive Barnes for The New York Times wrote that it was “as honest as breathing”. Barton is truly honest. She doesn’t do fancy, prefering to communicate clearly and openly.
A white circular dance floor occupies La Scala’s large stage, and around the wings and backdrop hovers a semi-circular panel, similar to a Seven Brides for Seven Brothers cinemascope screen, in effect. From beneath this, dancers burst into the performance space — no one wanders, they all have something to say. At one point three of the men rush on, like the On The Town sailors, so eager to be alive and bursting to leap and turn.
And how they turn. Turns of every imaginable kind – in fact, circularity, like the set, is the work’s dominant theme. Dancers come together to form Busby Berkley-like flower patterns, they slowly rotate their hips, they trace circles around themselves while sitting on the floor – it creates an impression of unending movement, of flow, a brook which eddies and purls around the stones.
Barton’s movements complement the music, adding a layer above it by not attempting to mimic its phrases and dynamics. Although there are some complex passages of choreography with brilliant footwork and intricate lifts, nothing is affected or uncalled-for. Barton is a master at marshalling groups, and her power in Mahler 10 is to use her 26 dancers to maximum effect by having them do the simplest actions as one — just slowly rising to half-pointe, gently swaying, rushing from one point to another on the stage like a flight of doves, and merely laying sparsed across the stage.
Antonino Sutera is Mahler 10’s central figure, and Barton manages to tap into this virtuoso dancer’s deeper well of emotion, for his sometimes fixed, if charming, smile can become a security blanket and mask what he can really express. He was excellently supported by featured dancers Claudio Coviello, newly nominated Principal Dancer Virna Toppi, Antonella Albano, Stefania Ballone, Christian Fagetti, Federico Fresi and Chiara Fiandra, who worked convincingly as dancing actors, never less than thoroughly engaged.
Burke Brown’s eloquent scenery is matched by his subtly shifting lighting, caressing the dancers throughout, and contributing to Mahler 10’s simple, memorable and emotional closing moments. Aszure Barton’s enchanted world entices with simple fascination and you leave it with a sense of melancholic satisfaction.
ENB unleashes another triumph with Voices of America bringing the opening night audience to a standing ovation: I have rarely seen anything so THRILLING – Do NOT miss.
“Originally commissioned for ENB’s female choreographer programme She Said, Aszure Barton’s Fantastic Beings looks like a keeper. The ensemble’s transition from slithery, reptilian creatures into fur-covered sloth-like Wookiees is endlessly intriguing and ultimately exhilarating. The ENB Philharmonic who accompany this piece is on blistering form.”
Click here to read more
“Despite the fact that Barton makes use of various dance idioms, you will not be bored for a second. Because she is a true master of phrasing, she surprises by the seemingly random juxtaposition of Cunningham and Broadway, Break or Balanchine. It serves every beat and gag of the music, but so flattering and pointed that it somehow ennobles this music. “Fantastic Beings” is refined. You really like to watch it, but a little bit you also have the feeling that algorithms have produced it and our brain, which constantly creates contexts of meaning, now consistently suggests that everything runs according to human logic. ” she surprises by the seemingly random juxtaposition of Cunningham and Broadway, Break or Balanchine. It serves every beat and gag of the music, but so flattering and pointed that it somehow ennobles this music. “Fantastic Beings” is refined. You really like to watch it, but a little bit you also have the feeling that algorithms have produced it and our brain, which constantly creates contexts of meaning, now consistently suggests that everything runs according to human logic. ” she surprises by the seemingly random juxtaposition of Cunningham and Broadway, Break or Balanchine. It serves every beat and gag of the music, but so flattering and pointed that it somehow ennobles this music. “Fantastic Beings” is refined. You really like to watch it, but a little bit you also have the feeling that algorithms have produced it and our brain, which constantly creates contexts of meaning, now consistently suggests that everything runs according to human logic. “
Aszure Barton’s Fantastic Beings is “consistently gorgeous”.
“The programme opens with Aszure Barton’s Fantastic Beings which just about sums up its ethos. I could not take my eyes off the excellent Isaac Hernandez, whose performances just seem to get better and better.” – By Jefferey Taylor, Sunday Express
“First came a particularly fine reworking of Fantastic Beings, an abstract ballet by Canadian choreographer Aszure Barton, a protégée of Mikhail Baryshnikov. To the sounds of Mason Bates’s orchestral symphony Anthology of Fantastic Zoology, the 16-strong troupe… it remains an otherworldly celebration of the possibilities of the human form.”
– The Daily Telegraph, London
We are thrilled to announce that Aszure will be return to Houston Ballet next season. Click here for more information.
“Aszure brings a unique joy and capacity that meets up with a current that runs through the dancers, its essential element posing the question: Where do we come from? The dancers come from a specific culture that informs how they work. Aszure was faced with the problem of how to create a work of art without being familiar with that culture. She demonstrated her capacity to go deep, discovering and offering a new vision tied into her relationship with each dancer, each of who has his or her own obsessions, insecurities, and values.” Click here to read full article
“A cast of four women and three men are illuminated by spotlights and four hanging lightbulbs in an all-black setting for Indomitable Waltz. Fernando Benet begins the piece with a phrase of joint isolations: a shoulder pulled out to the side, followed by his torso taking a winding trip to reach its new destination. His thoughtful facial expressions shine like one of the starlike bulbs from above, bringing vulnerability to his solid frame. He and his castmates wear black and gray practice clothes to reveal muscular bodies. At moments, long limbs undulate, only to punctuate a step with an awkward jerk or a hunched back. As Barton explains in the interview supplementing the Joyce’s program notes, “The process, and ultimately the dance, manifested in an intimate exploration of the soul.” Flashes of beauty and ease jut up against uncomfortable contortions; Barton seems to be experimenting with the messy imperfections of human existence. While a waltz-step was nowhere to be found, the score included one. The Balanescu Quartet and Nils Frahm made up the wafting string sounds and occasional plucks of joy that accompanied the dancers’ physicalized anguish. Yet for Barton, as the piece’s title indicates, the soul’s dance on earth seems to be unbeatable.” Click here to read full review.
The final work, choreographer Aszure Barton’s “Indomitable Waltz,” from 2016, was the gem of the night, a piece of gorgeous scene-setting from the very first moment, when the dancers magically appeared from the black backdrop. Barton pulled bravura from each dancer without drawing attention to herself or her cleverness.”
— Click here to read the entire Times review.
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“The evening began with a piece staged to offer no distractions. The dancers performed in black stockinged feet, tight black shorts, and sports bras and tops, as though we had interrupted them in rehearsal. Lighting and backdrop were minimal in a refreshing artistic choice that placed all the attention on the dancing, which was extraordinary. The piece, Indomitable Waltz, choreographed by award-winning choreographer Aszure Barton…” – www.dmagazine.com