So, wife Madeleine and I, both rabid dance enthusiasts and also eager to participate in the opening up of the arts to all manner of under-represented genders, in this case, women, took two aisle seats up front, at a live presentation of five world premieres by five women choreographers — brought together as “ChoreograpHERS” — at the Citizens Bank Opera House, a smart walk from the Park Street Red Line Station.
Two little girls three rows and to the right in front of us had doffed their pink hoodies, and, vibrating with giddiness, seemed to be congratulating each other on being present at such an opportune age in such an opportune era.
When the curtain opened on “Point of Departure” to reveal a trio of musicians, live, nested to the rear of a tutti frutti of colorfully costumed dancers on the point of breaking into choreographed motion, it appeared from the applause that the spirit of youth had entered all of us — twice fortunate to be alive at a live presentation.
I decided, since there were five choreograpHERS, to conduct my appraisal as if I were reviewing downtown restaurants: one-to-five stars, perhaps because we had stopped for a sandwich and cappuccino at our favorite coffee shop just across from the Boston Common on Tremont Street and around the corner from where we were now seated.
In my appraisal, there were, of the five, two indubitably top-rated for the music, the stagecraft and the motion. Everything to my mind blended together to make an impression in these two world premieres that was of a piece, yet with vast room for the personalities of the dancers to shine.
Perhaps, I was thinking, feeling, the feminine sensibility will set the pace for art during and after this pandemic. Hopefully the audience will come along with the prompts of these leaders, but will also signal back by their applause, their reviews how it feels to be so led, and the leaders will listen.
One of the five top-rated, opened as with a galaxy of dancers in contorted positions, as if they were under water at those high pressures that can be easily dangerous unless oxygen is dispensed mindfully. Miraculously, it seemed it was, and more.
From cramps impossible to escape, dancers flowed into their own interpretations of escape, seeming to forget for moments that between mindful ecstasy and forgetful giddiness is a fine line.
Pushing that line, were they signaled back from danger by their own instincts or by the instinct of their troupe? Nothing was obvious, as it used to be in classical dance, when serried ranks of tutus called back the errant with accompanying blares from the orchestra.
At this moment in our lives more things can seem in tension than in accord, tension being the constant, accord, the inconstant, the suspected.
It’s a gift to fans of dance when such an ethereal mood can be made, for moments, visible and audible. And that with bodies which look like those we pass on the street, even look at in the mirror.
Coming up to that bar twice in a group of five dances is certainly worth the few hours of a Sunday matinee. And then there’s the shared cappuccino and Jamaican Jerk sandwich.
(The Boston Ballet presentation of “ChoreograpHER” continues through March 13 at the Citizens Bank Opera House, 539 Washington St., Boston, Massachusetts; show times are Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Its following presentation, “DREAMstate,” takes place March 17 through 27. For tickets and more information, visit bostonballet.org.)