Two dance productions from Montclair State University’s Peak
Performances series made The New York
Times’ list of Top 10 new dance works for 2013 – with one named the best of
Alastair Macaulay, The
Times’ chief dance critic, included Unfinished
Business and glacier as No. 1 and
No. 4 respectively on his annual best performances list.
“When seen at Peak Performances at Montclair State
University in New Jersey last December, this struck me as the greatest dance
duet created this century by anyone except Merce Cunningham,” Macaulay writes
in The Times of Richard Alston’s Unfinished Business in naming it the top
dance performance of the year – a first for the University.
“To have Richard Alston’s Unfinished Business picked as the absolute number one dance work of
the year and for that dance work to contain the best dance duet of the century
is heart stopping,” says Executive Director for Arts and Cultural Programming
Macaulay also chose the Peak Performances-commissioned,
world-premiere performance of Liz Gerring’s glacier
as No. 4 on his list in the article, “Duets,
Trilogies and Revisiting Motown.”
“Peak Performances has a history of bringing world class
artists to our campus,” says Wheeler. “To read that Alastair Macaulay was
inspired by two of those artists in one season is humbling.”
Considering all the other major dances were presented at
high-profile venues, Wheeler is delighted that the Peak Performances
productions topping the list were presented at Montclair State’s Alexander
Peak Performances commissioned Gerring to create glacier at Montclair State and while
Alston is a veteran choreographer, Wheeler notes that Gerring is a relative
“Giving an artist an opportunity to create work is a gamble.
But to have an artist hit her personal best while leaping forward with new
ideas is breathtaking in and unto itself,” says Wheeler. “It speaks well for
the research atmosphere the University provides. The performing arts are a
risky business in general, but who knew that Gerring’s work would be Number 4?”
Since its inception in 2005, Peak Performances has brought a
wide range of internationally acclaimed artists and productions to the
Alexander Kasser Theater. With an emphasis on inter-disciplinary work, Peak
Performances has presented more than 50 world and American premieres by
international and American artists.
For information about Peak Performances and its upcoming productions, visit peakperfs.org.