TWO BY TWO - an evening of duets

TWO BY TWO - an evening of duets

SENSEDANCE Pas de deux en pointe and barefoot - New duets explore different types of relationships.


SARAO for Erin Ginn and Matt Van is set to a fiery piano score by frequent collaborator, composer Ricardo Llorca. Just as the music deconstructs a Scarlatti Sonata, so does the choreography play with the conventions of a classical pas de deux and puts wit in the phrasing. SARAO is a Spanish word for party. Not every relationship continues after the ball is over.


Temple Kemezis is joined by choreographer Henning Rübsam in the architectural yet movIng BORDERS, a declaration of love. The couple overcome the emotional void that has set between them as they learn to trust each other in choreographic tableaux that require mutual support. Music by Jürgen Knieper.

“BORDERS, a stylized and other-worldly duet displayed Mr. Rübsam's choreography at its most impressive, and Temple Kemezis, with her unique look and potent dancing, seemed wonderfully at home in this dancescape.”  

                     P. Gardner, Oberon’s Grove, Nov. 2013

"An einsamer Quelle" to music by Richard Strauss is a free-flowing movement poem for Heidi Green and Oisín Monaghan. Sculptural moments morph and evaporate in liquid malleability. "By the lonely brook" is one of Strauss' early 'Stimmungsbilder.'

The program includes  RUSSIAN LESSON, a male pas de deux, accompanied by Russian phrases of a phonetic language lesson set to a moody jazz score. Simple phrases such as “Welcome to Moscow,” “what is your name” and “where is your hotel” serve as part of the aural backdrop for performers Juan Rodriguez and Matt Van. Motivated by Russia’s recently implemented propaganda law, Rübsam’s choreographic statement is also a political one. 


Russian Lesson and Sarao stood out for their intriguing ambiguity, and indirect communication. The scores for both these works are fascinating, The Grooves being oddly seductive and understated, while Ricardo Llorca’s piano solo is passionate and sophisticated.” - The Dance Enthusiast, Nov. 2013

Repeat of sections from last season's BRAHMS DANCES and revivals of the short but wildly contrasting older pas de deux SARABANDE (en pointe to Bach) and SAVE THE COUNTRY (barefoot to Laura Nyro) show Rübsam's eclectic versatility and musical sophistication.

The pas de deux CAVES to a guitar work pays tribute to the long-time collaboration of the two Juilliard graduates and faculty members Rübsam and Llorca. The unconventional use of point work as a means of story telling is demonstrated by company member Temple Kemezis who is partnered by Lloyd Knight.   

HALF-LIFE, originally premiered as a quartet in 2011 and re-worked as a sextet last year, will receive its premiere as a septet this season. A reaction to the nuclear disaster of Fukushima, the increase in cast members mirrors the escalation of the catastrophe. This ensemble work will break up the flow of a variety of pas de deux.

The duet PETIT PAS will be substituted for smaller stages.

Choreographer, writer, scholar, the German born Henning Rübsam honors balletic traditions, crafting his dances with musicality, clarity, and nuance.

The fact that Rübsam’s newest works have more emotional shading bodes well for the company’s evolution. Roundly applauded by a full house, Sensedance's program proves that a small ballet company with a single choreographer and small budget can thrive.

The Dance Enthusiast, Deirdre Towers,

Nov. 26, 2013