Jangle (2008)

Choreography: Lar Lubovitch

Music: Béla Bartók, “Rhapsodies #1 and #2 for Violin and Piano”

Lighting: Jack Mehler

Costumes: Ann Hould-Ward

Original Cast: Jonathan E. Alsberry, Mucuy Bolles, Attila Joey Csiki, Jay Franke, Charlaine Mei Katsuyoshi, Brian McGinnis, Katarzyna Skarpetowska

Length: 20 minutes.

Number of dancers: 7 (4 men & 3 women).

What the critics have to say:

“A new work, Jangle, is a direct paean to folk. Subtitled “Four Hungarian Dances” and set to Bartok, its angles and bold rhythms are a nice contrast to the unfettered lyricism that defines his style. The circle and line dances serve as reminders that Lubovitch’s dances are often about community.”

– Susan Young, Dance Magazine, January 2009

“Jangle,” as a whole, represents a departure for a choreographer better known for his sense of beauty. It exists here, but there is also barely restrained anger, lending layers of new meaning.

– Caroline Palmer, Star Tribune, 12/6/2008

“Shone with the lilt and lyricism, the pop appeal and structural integrity, that distinguish his talent…a twist on the choreographer’s gifts at mingling the freedom of modern dance and the beauty of classical form. Here he notably tosses in ethnic dance, too, and the folk transplant seamlessly joins contemporary and classicism for an altogether original piece that is invigorating and delightful. It luxuriates in Slavic choral lines and snappy footwork, just as it brings out the folk strains in Bela Bartok’s classical score.”

– Sid Smith, Chicago Tribune, November 24, 2008

“The dancers echoing the folksy derivations of the music, linking arms in a celebratory circle, shimmying shoulders, and so on. And like the music, the choreography balanced an earthy grit with graceful complexities and symmetries, the troupe at times forming patterns of snowflake-like beauty.”

– Marty Hughley, The Oregonian, January 30, 2009

“Upbeat atmosphere created by the dances. The four movements were, excellently choreographed numbers that included one dance in which members shifted snakelike across the floor.”

– Julian Martin, The Daily University of Washington, February 12, 2009

“Performers…move with czardas-influenced stamps and dashing jumps through varying solo and group configurations, evoking the good humor of casual street dances.”

– Roslyn Sulcas, The New York Times, November 7, 2008

“[I]ts vivacity, tied to folk forms, and its varieties of mood increase as the dance progresses, and the music is irresistible.  The piece has a marvelous duet for a troubled couple and cheeky bravado in Jonathan E. Alsberry’s solo passages that suggest Lubovitch may be moving beyond his familiar boundaries.”

– Tobi Tobias, Bloomberg News, November 7, 2008

“The activity travels from communal earthiness – twirling figures and upheld arms not far from the world of “Fiddler on the Roof” – to muscular solos and a duet of unconventional lifts and turns. In the finale, the company performs beckoning gestures and wild flights, with the piece’s nimble soloist, Jonathan E. Alsberry, landing in front at the curtain. It’s a robust and fun crowd pleaser.”

– Donald Rosenberg, Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 2, 2008

“This is a tougher, denser work, just like Bartok’s music. What remains is Lubovitch’s response to the rough-hewn music — its intensity and dissonance.”

– R.M. Campbell, The Seattle Inquirer, February 6, 2009

“Features many Lubovitch signature images.  Less abstract in mood or feeling there is a strong rendering of time and place…Confidence in humanity thrives as the group holds hands, skips forward and back, sways side to side and kicks exuberantly…Hungarian in feeling, celebratory in execution, its crisp airborne jubilance implies breaking through barriers.”

– Husso, Attitude, Volume 22 No. 4 (winter 2009)

“Jangle” (2008), set to Bartók’s Rhapsodies No. 1 and No. 2 for Violin and Piano, was a folk-flavored romp, complete with claps, slaps and hip swivels. The star here was Jonathan E. Alsberry, whose high kicks and swift moves lent him a dervishlike prowess among a tight corps of dancers. The final movement, alternating ensemble work with fleeting solos, fit together like the smoothest of puzzles.”

– Michael Upchurch, The Seattle Times, February 6, 2009

Jangle was commissioned in part by the Joyce Theater’s Stephen and Cathy Weinroth Fund for New Work, by the Rudolph Nureyev® Dance Foundation, and by Ellen C. Monk.
Choreography copyright © Lar Lubovitch 2008