One of the unsung hero capabilities of dance, is its power to surprise. Sure, it is beautiful, fun, heartbreaking and silly, and all of those traits make for great storytelling. Yet I remain compelled and grateful for when it sneaks up on me and reminds me of how essential movement is to our well-being and our connection to the world. Though it seems the more jarring break-into-song-and-dance mode never tires, what I am really re-discovering in my selects this week are the moments when movement and moving bodies appear in an unfamiliar place and are essential to it, rather than a mere juxtaposition. And when this magic happens in the commercial world, it can turn what might otherwise be an anecdote into a fully fleshed-out narrative.
- Air Pods. With dramatic bodies as big as the architecture they drape, how could you not want to hear what these dancers are listening to?
- Levi’s “Dangerous Liaisons.” A reminder that history is not boring or static, and that dressing and undressing is a choreography central to us all.
- Coil and Drifts’ ‘Unconscious Forms’ When dancer turned designer John Sorensen-Jolink directs a new lookbook and accompanying film, everyday life takes on a fantasy quality worthy of the beautiful forms in his furniture and lighting.
- This FaceTime love story. Miranda July has created a short film/play with actress Margaret Qualley via the video app, released together on Instagram. Qualley’s dancing (which you know from Spike Jonze’s Kenzo ad, choreographed by Ryan Heffington) brings the tense call—general enough to be universal, specific enough to be brilliant—to a new level of despair.
- Jacob Jonas The Company X Entireworld. This time of year, monochromatic basics have many more applications than the dance studio, but arguably it’s there that they reach peak drama.
- William Forsythe’s ‘A Quiet Evening of Dance.’ Last month, Hudson Yards’ The Shed was anointed with the master choreographer’s approach to deconstruction and ballet, environment and musicality. After a 20-year hiatus, Mr. Forsythe apparently has a renewed love of the classical form, acknowledged through his work, ‘Seventeen/Twenty One,’ a physical description of dance through the centuries.