The Natasha Carlitz Dance Ensemble, based in San Francisco, California, specializes in powerful modern dance choreography addressing themes ranging from abstract mathematical concepts and verbal games to the physical puzzles posed by unusual spaces. Athletic and spirited, the dancers bring both strong technique and emotional depth to their performances.
The Dance Ensemble uses a wide variety of music, from classical to contemporary rock scores, and for its inaugural concert in 2006 came together with the California Guitar Trio, internationally acclaimed musicians; since then Carlitz has collaborated with CGT's Bert Lams on a new piece with a commissioned score. Critics have commented on the company's tight coordination of shape, colour, and musicality:
"Serious and graceful work... displays creativity and talent that are worth seeing... One of the really successful features of Carlitz' work is that the selected music and choreography fit so well together," writes Michael Phelan of baydance.com.
Critic Paul Hertelendy, artssf.com, describes the Natasha Carlitz Dance Ensemble as "a trim, well-drilled modern troupe with fluid lines... [The] sense of ensemble unity is extraordinary as groups come and go to the wings with aplomb..."
Founded in 2005 by artistic director and choreographer Natasha Carlitz, the company performs an annual season at San Francisco's Cowell Theater as well as appearing throughout the region in group concerts and festivals. The Dance Ensemble's 2010 and 2012 seasons were selected to be part of the In Performance Series at the Fort Mason Center Cowell Theater, which is supported by Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Fort Mason Center.
In 2010, NCDE was invited to represent the United States at the Egyptian International Modern Dance Festival, during which Carlitz led a modern master class with Egypt's national dance company and NCDE performed evening-length concerts in Cairo and Alexandria. "Last week the Natasha Carlitz Dance Ensemble presented a breathtaking show," wrote Rania Khallaf for Cairo's Al-Ahram Weekly. "A choreographer and dancer, Carlitz imbued the stage with a spirit of enthusiasm, romance and joy. The ensemble of eight dancers, all women, resonated with a sense of ecstasy and challenge."