A select handful of renowned choreographers will snag residencies at top companies and as new talent emerges, the industry becomes backed up. There are few tunnels to encourage the success of amateur choreographers kickstarting their professional paths and young talent is left unpaid or unnoticed at the bottom of the ranks.
On Friday night, the entire New York dance community filled the theatre with dancers from ABT Company, the school, administration, and artistic staff – past and present – all rooting for the first live showcase to be a success. Such a large turnout with an audience engaged and teeming with enthusiasm proves the success of ABT Incubator and why the dance community needs lab initiations to vouch for emerging choreographers.
My review of the program ABT Incubator itself is glowing: Jose and the team at ABT are taking a strong stand on a relevant issue in the dance community. ABT Incubator is a wonderful leader for other dance companies on a global scale.
However, the review of the compositions themselves is twofold. It feels unfair to review the works as a professional piece as a whole, as that is not the goal of the program. The goal of is to experiment, grow, and learn as a novice choreographer, so it feels rather fair to critique the individual pieces from that perspective.
The evening as a whole did have an air of a college composition class – but as it should; ABT Incubator is not a professional performance but a choreographer’s lab. While on one hand the show lacked a natural flow because the pieces were unrelated to each other and there were clunky moments of choreographers running up to the stage to bow from their seats in the audience, on the other, it was refreshing to enjoy the liberation of an un-curated program on a professional scale.