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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

In Context: Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet performs at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House from June 11—14. Context is everything, so get even closer to the nimble dancers, their repertoire, and more with this curated selection of articles, videos, and original blog pieces related to the show. For those of you who've already seen it, help us keep the conversation going by telling us what you thought below.

On the Blog

“Cedar Lake: Pivoting” (BAM Blog)
With a new artistic director and associate choreographer on board, Cedar Lake is having a moment.

Cedar Lake Videopalooza
Sample the extraordinary range of Cedar Lake in these videos.

BAM Blog Questionnaire: Nickemil Concepcion
Dancer Nick Concepcion looks back at ten years with Cedar Lake and talks travel, ritual, and family.

BAM Blog Questionnaire: Cedar Lake costume designer Nancy Haeyung Bae
"Costume construction involves finding solutions and sculpting to a unique concept every time."

Around the Web

Post-Show Talk with Cedar Lake Dancers (YouTube)
Artistic Director Alexandra Damiani and two dancers discuss Crystal Pite’s Grace Engine, Alexander Ekman’s Tuplet, and more.

On Orbo Novo (YouTube)
Choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui discusses the origins of his work Orbo Novo.

“On Cedar Lake’s New World” (
Dance Magazine explores choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Orbo Novo, “an old word for a New World.”

Jim French Lights Cedar Lake (
The Cedar Lake lighting designer talks train station skylights, "pinker than pink" pinks, and more.

Cedar Lake: The Dancers (
Get to know the faces of Alexandra Damiani’s remarkably diverse company.

Cedar Lake: The Repertoire (
Preview the works to be performed during Cedar Lake’s BAM debut.

Cedar Lake Rehearsal Footage (YouTube)
Former Cedar Lake artistic director Benoit-Swan Pouffer is featured in this engrossing rehearsal footage.

Audio Interview
Bill O’Connel with Alexandra Damiani (
The new Cedar Lake artistic director discusses her beginnings in dance, choreographer Crystal Pite,
and more.

Cedar Lake @ Flickr
Images of bounding abound.

Now your turn...

So? What did you think of the company? The choreography? The costumes? Tell us what's on your mind in the comments below.


  1. One of the best performances I've seen in a long time!

  2. Orbo Novo . . . Amazing.

  3. Loved the performance !

  4. It was tedious as the reviews have said. Pretentious and tedious.

  5. I agree. One of the best modern dance performance Ive seen in a long time. Great design lighting music choreography.

  6. It was long, without dynamic shifts, using a lot of material that has been used before.

  7. I thought the dancers were technically terrific and I really enjoyed the program. I was not crazy about how the cage panels were built because they seemed wobbly sometimes — however I like how they were used. Overall I was delighted with the evening and I liked the various dance movements, gestures and vocal aspects that were used in the piece. I also enjoyed the string quartet. I was blown away by how those dancers could move their bodies.

  8. while the performances themselves were fine (but just fine, nothing more), the audience experience was deeply disappointing. for the fourth time at a contemporary dance performance at BAM, we had to suffer through disruptive and disrespectful audience behavior (in this case, an extremely bellicose neighbor who LITERALLY wanted to fight). while i appreciate that BAM is expanding audiences for these works, the new BAM audiences seem prone to shouting at performers, using their mobile devices during performances, and / or harassing other audience members. sadly, BAM's staff of ushers seems unequipped or unwilling to deal with these problems (which is particularly egregious when one has been subjected to homophobic slurs and invitations to physical violence).

    even the BAMcafe experience has deteriorated dramatically, as my friend and i were served water instead of vodka (i.e., the bottle of tito's from which the bartenders were pouring contained water rather than vodka). another pair of friends had the same experience on a different night.

    to borrow a line from lcd soundsystem, "BAM, i love you, but you're bringing me down..."

    1. Hello, we are very sorry to hear about your negative experiences at the Cedar Lake performance, and would like to further address this. Please email us at info [at] with your name and which performance you attended. Thank you.

  9. Apologies, there was a mix-up in our email send and some people received the email in error. Sorry again!

  10. We were visiting from Sydney and it was exciting to see Cedar Lake for the first time. Really great choices to showcase the company and very impressed that the company are able to attract such high calibre choreographers. BAM consistently program exciting, high quality and innvovative dance the likes of which I have only seen on the festival circuit or at Sadlers Wells in London.

  11. I see a lot of modern dance, at BAM and elsewhere, and was delighted by Cedar Lake. Excellent dancers, beautiful choreography, interesting sets and lighting. Plus live music! Wonderful show.


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