Both performances at the Delacorte featured the same program: The STREB Extreme Action Company, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, New York City Ballet and the Paul Taylor Dance Company. I am familiar with the last two and love them both, but had (sorry) never heard of the first two companies. I was intrigued to see what they would present. All of the photos of the dance companies are from the internet. I'm happy to take them down if so asked.
First up was Human Fountain, presented by STREB Extreme Action Company. According to the program, the company members are all highly trained in ballet, modern dance, martial arts, acrobatics and the circus arts. Well, all of the that training was on full display in Human Fountain! It was amazing, if, maybe, a tad too long. Again from the program, "Inspired by the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas, Human Fountain takes place on a three-story, honeycomb structure that 20 dancers occupy and leap from to create ongoing cascades of airborne liquid muscle." Actually, that describes the piece way better than I can. It was aerodynamic, lyric and very exciting. The shapes the bodies made, both on the structure and through the air/space, were incredible. And at some points, they did create movement that looked like a fountain. All of the performers had charm and talent to spare, and they kept coming up with ways to top themselves. The audience kept gasping with excitement, especially when the performers leapt off the top rung, which was nearly 30 feet up, though I will admit that the piece became a little redundant by the end and maybe cutting a couple of minutes would really tighten things up. But maybe I wanted it trimmed because I was cold and needed another sweater. More on that later... ;)
After the intermission, New York City Ballet performed Red Angels, a piece I'd never seen before. Choreographed by Ulysses Dove, with music by Richard Einhorn, the piece featured a live electric violinist, Mary Rowell. Electric violin is always fun. Red Angels is an abstract ballet for four dancers, and each dancer is shown both dancing for themselves and dancing for their partner. There is a lot of strengh and beauty in the choreography. It's not linear, but it's very dramatic and it was superbly performed by four incredible dancers. Their movement was sharp and strong, yet still silky and seductive at the same time. I didn't love the music, but I loved how the dancers occupied the space inside the music, if that makes sense. I liked this piece very much.