September 2015 | Performance Corner

PerformanceCornerTOur sneak peek at dance shows we’d love to see

Urban Bush Women

Walking with ’Trane

When and where: September 25-26, American Dance Institute, Rockville, MD
Tickets and info: americandance.org/performance/

Recently named one of America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures by the Dance Heritage Coalition, Urban Bush Women has since 1984 brought powerful dance, music, and text together with the history and traditions of the African diaspora. Inspired by jazz legend John Coltrane’s revolutionary album, A Love Supreme, founder and artistic director Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Urban Bush Women dancer Samantha Speis created this full-length work on the coinciding anniversaries of the company (30th) and album (50th).

 

Nrityagram Dance Ensemble

Stanford Live

When and where: September 26, Bing Concert Hall, Stanford, CA
Tickets and info: live.stanford.edu/ 

Based in Nrityagram, a southern Indian village that was founded as a dance school and community, and from which the company derives its name, the ensemble performs Odissi, a classical Indian dance form that originated in the second century BC and enjoyed a resurgence and revitalization around 70 years ago when India achieved independence. Both ancient and modern, the form utilizes sensuous curves, sinuous movement, and powerful rhythmic footwork.

 

Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra

Black Girl Linguistic Play, performed by Catherine Foster, Camille A. Brown, and other company members, explores black female identity. Photo courtesy John Michael Kohler Arts Center

Black Girl Linguistic Play, performed by Catherine Foster, Camille A. Brown, and other company members, explores black female identity. Photo courtesy John Michael Kohler Arts Center

Raymonda

When and where: September 24-27, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa, CA
Tickets and info: scfta.org

Petipa’s full-length Raymonda, as danced by Mariinsky Ballet, represents the grandeur of ballet’s classical era. Very few companies perform a full-length version of this work; seeing the Mariinsky’s production of a ballet that premiered in 1898 is an opportunity to witness history as well as to see glorious dancing by this revered company.

 

Wayne McGregor | Random Dance

Tree of Codes

When and where: September 14-21, Park Avenue Armory, New York, NY
Tickets and info: armoryonpark.org/

Choreographer Wayne McGregor collaborated with artist Olafur Eliasson—known for large-scale works like The New York City Waterfalls—and producer/composer Jamie xx to create a work performed by dancers from Wayne McGregor | Random Dance and Paris Opera Ballet.

Tree of Codes was inspired by Jonathan Safron Foer’s novel of the same name, which is both a narrative and a work of art created by cutting words out of the pages of Bruno Schulz’s The Street of Crocodiles to create a new story. McGregor and his collaborators likewise explore the idea of how we “read” art and create it using or discarding layers of perception.

McGregor’s dances employ dazzling visual effects and highlight the prodigious physical gifts of the performers. Here’s a great chance to see how Paris Opera Ballet and McGregor’s company variously, simultaneously, collectively, and collaboratively interpret his work.

 

Camille A. Brown & Dancers

Mariinsky Ballet is one of the few companies to perform Petipa's full-length Raymonda. Photo by Valentin Baranovsky

Mariinsky Ballet is one of the few companies to perform Petipa’s full-length Raymonda. Photo by Valentin Baranovsky

Black Girl: Linguistic Play

When and where: September 22-27, The Joyce Theater, New York, NY
Tickets and info: joyce.org

In this world premiere, Brown examines the complexities of black female identity in the urban American landscape. Collaborating with composers and musicians Scott Patterson and Tracy Wormworth, Brown incorporates stepping, double dutch, juba, and other African American vernacular dance forms to create a dynamic, intensely rhythmic language that is also infused with exquisitely subtle gestural notes.

 

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan

Rice

When and where: September 16-19, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY
Tickets and info: bam.org/dance/2015/rice

Lin Hwai-min founded Taiwan’s first modern dance company in 1973. Since then the company has performed internationally to great acclaim, with Lin earning such honors as the Taiwan National Award for Arts, and designation by Time magazine as one of “Asia’s Heroes.”

Lin often creates large-scale works like Rice, in which visual, music, and design elements combine with movement drawn from modern dance, ballet, Chinese opera, and martial arts. This multihued palette makes an elemental subject—rice, the staple that sustains populations worldwide—available to audiences on a variety of levels.

 

 

Ballet Folklórico de México

Camille A. Brown, a TED2015 Fellow, performed Black Girl: Linguistic Play at the 2015 TED Conference. Photo Ryan Lash

Camille A. Brown, a TED2015 Fellow, performed Black Girl: Linguistic Play at the 2015 TED Conference. Photo Ryan Lash

Tour

When and where: September 13, Long Center, Austin, TX
September 25, Genesee Theater, Waukegan, IL
September 30, The Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield, CT
Tickets and info: thelongcenter.org; geneseetheatre.com; ridgefieldplayhouse.org

Founded in 1952, Ballet Folklórico de México is arguably the most celebrated dance company in Mexico. Presenting traditional dances and music from various regions, the group has toured extensively, appeared on TV, and received numerous awards; it’s a staple attraction in Mexico City. With its colorful, elaborate costumes and sets and an ensemble comprising 40 dancers and 16 musicians, the company takes audiences on a high-energy, highly entertaining tour of Mexico’s music and dance.