Press & Reviews

...from The Wild Divine premiere

Deborah Abel Dance Company's The Wild Divine

 

"Beautifully danced, with the 8 accomplished musicians of Sweet Rasa,... filled with movement of liquid flow and lush exchanges of weight... Abel calls her aesthetic Bhakti Modern, which unfolds from the ebb and flow of breath. Gorgeous, inventive partnering includes soaring dives, striking angular shapes, and lifts that cartwheel legs end over end...full group circle dances recall the power of ritual...."

KAREN CAMPBELL, THE BOSTON GLOBE

March 18, 2018

The Wild Divine A story of Healing by Deborah Abel Dance Company

“The dancers channeled the full breadth of Abel’s choreography—juxtaposing moments of athletically primal muscularity against the luxurious melting of ever-shifting, sculptural vignettes.”

MERLI V. GUERRA, FJORD REVIEW

March 1, 2018

 

Dance International, 2016

"Through this process, dance and music emerge together in a varied, multi-layered expression of Abel and Perlman’s own devotion to one another, to their Hindu sources and to the transformative potency of art."

"When the audience arrives, what awaits them is an experience of exquisitely rendered shapes — sonic, visual and kinetic — that frequently move people to tears. "

-Kimerer L. LaMothe , Dance International

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...from Calling To You, the India tour

 

“The Eternal Bond” The Hindu

Lakshmi Krupa
December 18, 2012


“Deborah Abel Dance Company from the U.S. has an emotional connect when it performed ‘Calling to you’ at Kalakshetra’s Rukmini Arangam”

 

“…a fiery dance performance accompanied by Sanskrit chants”

 

“The narrative and music were…a beautiful mix of traditional and modern values.”

 

"Drama Through Dance”  The Hindu

Rupa Srikanth 

December 27, 2012


“...artistic visuals with clever layering, visually in which the out-of-sync modern couple was confined to a domestic scene in the foreground, while the spiritual awakening in ashrams and temples took place in the rear, and contextually, when the stories were deftly alternated in the narration.”

 

“The movements were sharp, with contact improvisation stretching the range of back bends and lifts, with every landing precise.”

 

“The ashram scene opened to a graphic picture of seated monks shrouded in white muslin, swaying to an inaudible rhythm, a display of Deborah’s inspired imagery.”

Past Works

The World is Breathing

 

“Abel’s dance is anything but the thrill-packed, angst-driven spectacle that dominates our stages. that, of course, is the point. Influenced by Hindu philosophy and yogic physical practice, the dance flows along, assimilating crisis and celebration as if they were natural features in a landscape. Accompanied by Sanskrit chanting and Indian-influenced instrumentals,three episodes of what you might call life drama are connected by and somehow synthesized into the group’s actions. Struggle, weakness, grief, even love, are subdued and balanced against the larger, stressless whole.”

 

“With a musical ensemble directed by Lee Perlman, the 10 dancers established an atmosphere of profound calm…”

 

“The entire evening was skillfully put together.”  THE BOSTON PHOENIX, 2007

 

“Often one partner’s body was urged to move with only the suggestion of touch, an implied caress, a gentle beckoning of the fingers as if the two were playing with the currents of air between them.”  THE BOSTON GLOBE, 2007

 

“In ‘World’, relationships – like breaths- are fluid movements”

 

“Abel has solid choreographic chops and her company has talent”

 

“One of the most gratifying aspects of choreographer Deborah Abel’s hour long concert over the weekend was that, at its most elemental, it reminded us to breathe…it reinforced the power of personal connections, or relationships both intimate and communal.”

 

“Abel and Jeffrey Polston emerged as the central couple… their duets were the heart of the work…their partnering became more intricate and dynamic with striking lifts and deeply intwined embraces.” – THE BOSTON GLOBE, 2007

 

The Beauty Road

 

“…the choreography was so substantial. Abel sent her dancers through space with a luxurious, visceral sweep and flow, alternating long, clean lines with fluid curves. Lifts cartwheeled and spiraled. Leaps and turns seemed to ride on currents of air. Perhaps the dancers smiled because the lyrical movement was so gratifying to perform.”

 

”…danced to and connected by live music created collaboratively by a terrific ensemble of eight musicians, led by Abel’s husband, composer-singer-songwriter Lee Perlman. The danced score is an appealing, accessibly tuneful new age-style fusion of folk and modal melodies improvised over drones and repetitive harmonic changes.”

 

”The final “Step by Step’’ was a touching, beautifully layered portrayal of separation and moving on. The dancers created human stairs and bridges, passing over and under one another before taking their leave, one by one.” – THE BOSTON GLOBE, 2009

 

“Elegantly framed and well danced…the feel of something grand and stark and American, like Martha Graham’s Frontier or Appalachian Spring.” THE BOSTON GLOBE, 1992

The Eye of the Heart

 

"Women’s Healing Circle is infused with lovingness, and I found myself moved…” – THE BOSTON PHOENIX, 1996

 

"Embraces are never far away from the abstract gestures in Deborah Abel’s dances. Whether drawn together by eroticism, mutual support, tenderness or even more demanding and equivocal connections, the dancers hug, move away, and return to hold each other... tender embraces warm Deborah Abel’s world." - THE BOSTON GLOBE, 1996

 

 “Deborah Abel takes giant steps towards perfection Giving human form to emotional/spiritual states is a tricky business: it is so easy for the heartfelt and soulful to slide into maudlin. Yet in Abel’s capable hands…[the pieces] emerge as authentic and abundantly inventive on stage. The evening’s success was due as much to the exquisitely in-sync, focused performance of Abel and White as to the choreography."

 

"The instrument for doing so is Abel’s personal iconography: a confluence of broad strokes (including mirrored plies and all manner of embraces) and telling details (say, fingers that close like a fan across the other’s face); the lyricism and technical acuity of Jose Limon; the primodial thrust of Martha Graham; the sculptural peregrinations of Pilobolus. And infusing it all is a sense of breath powerful as the butoh concept of (to quote Sankai Juku founder Ushio Amagatsu) ‘inward wind’-an internal force…” THE BOSTON PHOENIX, 1991

 

 

“The Deborah Abel Troupe Searches Out Ancient Wisdom… an ambitious 75-minute dance piece with sets, lighting, exotic costumes, and live music. Its subtitle is “A Tale of Ancient Wisdom in the Modern World,” and its scenario juxtaposes the story of an unhappy contemporary couple with a version of a parable…the concluding dance sequences gave wisdom life…The wisdom…was in the dance.” Jeffrey Gantz, The Boston Globe, March 26, 2012

The Perfect Relationship

 

“The Right Touch is a duet of domestic irritation, a funny, seesawing partnership between Abel and the very capable Andrew LeBeau. The embraces that turn into strangleholds are handled with just the right light touch.” THE BOSTON GLOBE, 1994

 

“Or The Right Touch, a flirtatious romp of dynamic shifts that zoom from flying leaps to pratfalls.” – THE BOSTON PHOENIX, 1991

 

“In these half dozen meditative yet articulate,lucid yet intricately structured pas de deus, Abel explores the various phases of intimacy, journeying from the honeymoon period (A Dream of Unknowing) to mature love (I’ll Meet You there). Along the way, she stops at points of revelation (The Naming), deep trust (The Reflecting Pool), sexuality (The Right Touch), and spiritual communion (Shiva and Shakti)” – THE BOSTON PHOENIX, 1991

 

“A funny seesawing partnership…handled with just the right light touch.” THE BOSTON GLOBE, 1994

The Play of Consciousness

"Her choreography is yogic, but of a particularly American type. The movements are cut free of religious inference while the messages tilt toward rather contemporary strategies of self-assertion and emotional health."

 

"Abel is a choreographer who walks the edge of a paradox. A program like this one alternates between a commitment to her Indian downbeats and a wish to disengage her dancing from time itself.” – “Abel’s solemn, graceful work evokes ashram” - THE BOSTON GLOBE, 1990

 

"Boston choreographer Deborah Abel creates dances in which bodies are continually interwoven, arms and legs entangled, weight supported and then released…This movement dynamic is both visually alluring and kinetically alive. The dancers seem a part of a single, seamless movement sculpture.”  “Abel’s movement sculpture”  THE BOSTON HERALD, 1990

 

“The new duet Reflecting Pool, which she dances with Larry Lee Van Horne, on loan from Concert Dance Company echoes the sexual clasps of Indian miniatures. The way the two partners cover each other’s eyes and she is lifted to rock on his knees is very solemn and graceful. What Reflecting Pool also has – and this is true of the ensemble work Into White – is a sense of being transported. The slowest, smoothest gestures keep a pulse alive below them, like some underground stream.” – THE BOSTON GLOBE, 1990

 

“As Abel travels her long, liquid arms part the space like oars breaking water. The two meet and, like a human cat’s cradle, commence to slide effortlessly from one startling formation to another.” THE BOSTON PHOENIX, 1991

 

“…the loving, youthful frolic of Abel and Kevin Kortan, is the best example of how Abel plays out the power of rhythmic pulses. The dancers mirror each other, lope like lithe animals, and finally join into one figure, Abel astride Kortan’s back as a growing tree.” THE BOSTON GLOBE, 1989

Going Home

 

“Deborah Abel’s program of recent choreography is entitled Going Home, and she means psychically, home being the place of inner peace. Yet like so many earlier spiritual seekers, Abel seems to have focused her sights on Mother India as a place of orientation…choreographing to traditional Indian music for the erotic duet Shiva and Shakti, or the ensemble Night Song/Cool of the Day set to the eerie close harmonies of the American acoustic band Trapezoid."

 

"Abel builds on a steady, articulated, and complex eastern pulse. Her work is unusual in its rhythmic acuity – perhaps due to her Connecticut College training – and if the effects are a little studied, they are also often pleasing.” – THE BOSTON GLOBE, 1989