The Perks of Stardust

Choreographer Avichai Scher has made a name for himself in a most curious way. Generally, audiences don't come to Scher's self-produced shows to see his work. They come for the top dancers he hires: New York City Ballet’s Ashley Bouder, American Ballet Theatre’s Marcelo Gomes, San Francisco Ballet’s Sofiane Sylve, Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Carla Korbes. It's kind of astounding. His productions don’t exactly offer much exposure or prestige for these artists, and his work relies on cheap choreographic clichés. How does he corrall such talent? He’s a master networker, drawing on contacts he made as a student at the School of American Ballet. Once one star agrees to perform in a particular show, he name-drops, creating a domino effect of others who want to join in, too. (Heavy funding from the likes of Michael Kaiser doesn't hurt, either.)

 

His show next week at the Ailey Citigroup Theater features Boston Ballet’s Misa Kuranaga partnered by ABT’s Herman Cornejo, as well as the Joffrey’s Derrick Agnoletti. Kuranaga and Conejo are delightful together but rarely get to pair up. Seeing these larger-than-life dancers perform with each other—within spitting distance from your seat—is simply extraordinary. It's the crux of Scher's genius. For info and tickets, go to avischer.com.