Turn It Out with Tiler Peck and Friends
November 2, 2023
On Sunday at The Soraya, American international dancing sensation Tiler Peck performed her outstanding "Turn It Out with Tiler Peck and Friends" project to the thrill of all of her adoring fans.
Hailing from Bakersfield, and now living in New York as a principal dancer with New York City Ballet (NYCB), Peck brought with her a highly accomplished cast of dancers and singers.
She is filled with love and joy for her craft and that is evident on stage through her passionate body movements and facial expressions. The audience is rocketed to another dimension while bearing witness to her awe-inspiring, extraordinary abilities. It was a privilege and an honor to be in the presence of her virtuosity.
Peck, who curated the program, describes this project as "a love letter to dance." Many different styles of dance were exhibited - ballet, tap dance, and even a bit of break-dancing.
There were four pieces on the program.
The performance opened with Thousandth Orange, six dancers displaying the superb choreography of Peck. Accompanied on stage by a piano quartet with music by Caroline Shaw, the dancers wore beautifully-colored leotards while creating a pleasing synergy between their dancing and the music. It was creative how Peck had the dancers dancing in pairs and then as a group, alternating back and forth. The creative lighting was also a key variable in this piece, as well as in the other three.
Next, was Swift Arrow, a duet featuring Peck and her usual NYCB partner Roman Mejia, created by well-known choreographer Alonzo King with music by jazz composer Jason Moran. They are a stunning couple that dance together with heightened emotion and passionate feeling for each other. At one point during their dance together, they are hugging while rolling on the stage. A really touching and sensual moment.
This led into Time Spell, a piece created by Peck and masterful tap dancer Michelle Dorrance, and included the hauntingly beautiful composition and voices of Penelope Wendlandt and Aaron Marcellus Sanders, both on stage with the dancers. Here, again, is a creative alternating between tap and ballet dancing. At the beginning of the piece, we saw Dorrance tap dancing on a raised platform that had the sound amplified. Then, other dancers joined in on the fun, mimicking the tap movements with their ballet shoes creating an intriguing chemistry.
To conclude the program, Peck chose choreographer William Forsythe's The Barre Project, Blake Works II with music by James Blake. Peck and Forsythe collaborated on this piece during the pandemic lockdown by using Zoom. The lockdown didn't stop Peck from continuing to work on her craft. She also had available virtual classes which found her instructing from the kitchen of her childhood home in Bakersfield.
One wouldn't think that using a barre on stage during a performance would be accepted, but Peck and the three other dancers made it work.
Each dancer, using the barre, did a solo first, practicing how they would in a rehearsal studio and then all dancers joined together away from the barre. It really is amazing the speed and control that Peck exhibits as she whirls around on the stage. It is at a higher level of being. Seriously jaw-dropping and astonishing.
All four dancers conquered Forsythe's demanding and challenging choreography, and the audience members were left wanting more greatness.