Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ballet to Blush

Ballet insiders often complain that their art form is misunderstood as prissy and old-fashioned when, really, it is all about sexy, young things and sensual feats. Three of the works Configuration Dance presented at the Ailey Citigroup Theater on Monday night seemed intended to underline this fact. All were choreographed by Michael Shannon, who cultivates the naughty side of his female dancers. Feminist critics have long rolled their eyes at the tutu-clad, pedestal-enshrined ballerina. But there’s more than one way to objectify a woman in toe shoes, as Mr. Shannon’s “What’s the Pointe?” handily proved.

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