February 2017 | Performance Corner

Performance Corner: Our sneak peek at dance shows we’d love to see

Rubberbandance Group

Vic’s Mix in Quebec

When and where: February 3, Théâtre Lionel-Groulx, Sainte-Thérèse, QC, Canada; February 6, Centre des arts, Baie Comeau, QC, Canada; February 8, Salle de spectacles Jean-Marc Dion, Sept-Iles, QC, Canada; February 10, Salle de spectacles de New Richmond, New Richmond, QC, Canada; February 11, Salle de spectacles de Gaspé, Gaspé, QC, Canada
Info: rubberbandance.com

Victor Quijada’s dance trajectory has been unusual. The son of Mexican immigrants, Quijada grew up immersed in Los Angeles’ West Coast hip-hop scene. He got an unexpected break into concert dance—and a trial-by-fire education—when Twyla Tharp hired him in an open audition. After stints with Ballet Tech and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Quijada started his own troupe and began developing his hip-hop/contemporary/ballet movement language. Vic’s Mix, alternately humorous and serious, remixes excerpts from the company’s past 15 years.

Waewdao Sirisook performs in Michael Sakamoto’s Soil, which explores transnational East–West identity.
Photo by JaNelle Weatherford

Michael Sakamoto


When and where: February 8–9, Hancher Auditorium, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Info: hancher.uiowa.edu

Contemporary butoh and performance artist Sakamoto presents a concert developed in collaboration with three performers: Cambodian dancer Chey Chankethya, Thai dancer Waewdao Sirisook, and Vietnamese-American dancer Nguyen Nguyen. Through dance and the dancers’ personal stories, the production delves into crises in three Southeast Asian cultures, explores the performers’ East–West identities, and addresses the notion of identity in the context of a rapidly globalizing world.

Treehouse Shakers perform Coyote’s Dance, a children’s dance theater production about the Native American trickster hero Coyote.
Photo by Mercedes McAndrew

Treehouse Shakers

Coyote’s Dance

When and where: February 11, Kumble Theater, Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY
Info: brooklyncenter.org

This Brooklyn-based company’s original dance theater works are intended to give intergenerational audiences, especially children and teens, a guided experience with modern dance. This humorous 45-minute show of dance, storytelling, puppetry, and live and recorded music follows Coyote—a trickster character in many Native American cultures—as he tricks a fox out of his eagle-feathered robe and dances with the stars in the sky. The characters get airborne with the help of several trampolines. Recommended for kids ages 4 and up.

Milwaukee Ballet

Genesis 2017

When and where: February 16–19, Pabst Theater, Milwaukee, WI
Info: milwaukeeballet.org

Who will be ballet’s next Justin Peck or Christopher Wheeldon? Choreographers have to start somewhere, and that’s the point of Milwaukee Ballet’s biennial Genesis competition, which offers three up-and-coming choreographers from an international pool of applicants the opportunity to create new works in just three weeks. Milwaukee audiences get to see the resulting dances and vote for their favorite; a panel of judges chooses a winner. The 2017 finalists are Enrico Morelli (Italy), Mariana Oliveira (U.S.), and George Williamson (U.K.).

In conjunction with museum exhibitions about Merce Cunningham, in Minneapolis and Chicago, CCN–Ballet de Lorraine will perform Cunningham’s Fabrications (1987).
Photo by Bernard Prudhomme

Centre Chorégraphique National–Ballet de Lorraine

Cunningham Dances and Exhibition

When and where: February 16, Northrop Memorial Auditorium, Minneapolis, MN; February 18–19, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
Info: walkerart.org

Though Merce Cunningham’s company has disbanded, this month brings Minneapolis and Chicago audiences the rare opportunity to experience the choreographer’s work in depth and firsthand. For a historical overview, visit Merce Cunningham: Common Time, at Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center (February 8–July 30) and Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art (February 11–April 30). (Chicago offers a free teacher tour on February 18; registration is required.) For the live experience, attend a “Cunningham Event” in the galleries or a performance by CCN–Ballet de Lorraine (co-presented

in Chicago by Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago). The company, which is directed by a former Cunningham dancer, will perform two famed Cunningham works: Sounddance (1975) and the chance-created Fabrications (1987).

Moving Collective


When and where: February 17–19, Vault 1031, Louisville, KY
Info: movingcollective.com

For the last decade, Theresa Bautista’s Moving Collective has worked to keep modern dance alive in the Louisville, Kentucky, region by presenting works by the area’s independent contemporary dancemakers—and in that time, Louisville has had no dedicated modern dance company. Now that’s changing, as Moving Collective transforms into a company. ID, choreographed by Bautista and new co-director Amanda Browning, is the company’s first evening-length work.

Louisville Ballet

Human Abstract

When and where: February 22–26, Kentucky Center, Louisville, KY
Info: louisvilleballet.org

Also in Louisville, the 65-year-old Louisville Ballet still performs the classics with rigor and love, but it also presents contemporary restagings and community-oriented collaborations fed by the energy of Louisville’s arts community. (A recent example: a virtual-reality-inspired Swan Lake with artist-created laser projections.) This month the ballet company teams up with Louisville Visual Art on Lucas Jervies’ Human Abstract, a psychological drama with designs by local emerging visual artists.