"For her exacting performance in Sarah Michelson's Dover Beach, at The Kitchen, lending an innocent but romantically charged fervor to Michelson's eccentrically elegant vision of mortals in motion, a 2010 New York Dance and Performance Award goes to Allegra Herman."
"Yet its cool surfaces thrum with simmering heat, as well as with often disturbing power dynamics and erotic undertones, particularly in one dramatically lighted section toward the end that features Greg Zucculo partnering the diminutive, terrifically spooky Allegra Herman, who is just 13 and wears an inscrutable, world-weary face, like something out of a Velázquez painting.
Dressed in a high-necked black unitard, she seems in control, yet the duet ends with Mr. Zucculo carrying her, her head thrown back, into a narrow passageway behind the black paneled back wall. What fascinates here also repels, and Ms. Michelson is masterly in mining these tensions.
"Thirteen-year-old Allegra Herman proved to be the most arresting of several youngsters who appear amid the adults in Dover Beach. Partnered by Michelson-regular Greg Zuccolo, she rules the quiet section with accuracy and razor-sharp dramatic focus. Michelson may not be interested in—or, perhaps, capable of—giving viewers a firm foundation to stand upon: a point of view, a reliable sense of meaning, some “certitude” upon this “darkling plain.” But the unforgettable Herman, at least, appears to know who she is and why she’s dancing."
"Most provocative is a duet between Greg Zuccolo, who appears halfway through Dover Beach looking like Jane Eyre's Mr. Rochester in deshabille, and 13-year-old Allegra Herman, who has intermittently entered to watch. Sometimes Zuccolo treats this small, grave girl in black as he would an adult partner, sometimes as her ballet teacher (stretching her leg high, he looks toward us, as if gauging her progress in a mirror). But when he bends over, she pats his neck (horse imagery again), and when he disappears behind a free-standing black-paneled wall, she reaches out and pulls him onstage again. Finally, he carries her off. It's more than a little creepy, yet Herman's blend of adeptness and inexperience is also touching. Watching her and the other immature performers is like watching dancing in a pure, raw, unaffected form."
"Small but robust, Trainor Dance premiered at seemingly every dance hot spot in the Northeast last year, from Jacob’s Pillow to The Yard. With the fearless choreographer Caitlin Trainor at the helm, and a diverse collection of high-profile freelancers like Kaitlyn Gilliland at her side, the company offers a refreshing blend of highly formal but intensely human repertoire. Trainor’s movement resists classical patterns—a result of her late introduction to modern dance—but maintains clear lines and shapes. No two dancers in her company execute her movement the same. “I like to see unexpected pairings,” she says, “such as a petite woman lifting a muscular man, or very fast, light movement to a slow melody.” Odds are Trainor will continue to move in unexpected directions."