Our sneak peek at dance shows we’d love to see
L.A. Phil Plays for Three Companies
When and where: September 8, Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA
Concert dance with live music has become a rare pleasure. But on September 8, you can enjoy a trifecta: the Los Angeles Philharmonic, music by three L.A.-based composers, and premieres by three L.A. dance companies. Ate9 performs Danielle Agami’s Me, exploring humanity’s conflicting desires for intimacy and solitude, to Daniel Wohl’s pulsing electronic/acoustic Replicate Part 2; Bodytraffic performs Gustavo Ramirez Sansano’s dance to Adam Schoenberg’s Bounce; L.A. Dance Project performs Justin Peck’s dance to Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Helix; and the orchestra ends the concert with Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.
On the Road
When and where: September 9–10, American Dance Institute, Rockville, MD
ZviDance presents this evening-length multimedia work as part of ADI’s “Incubator” series. Israeli-born artistic director Zvi Gotheiner started his career dancing with Batsheva Dance Company; for more than 30 years he has been an influential teacher in New York City, where he teaches a daily open ballet class that is beloved by both professionals and amateurs. Inspired by Jack Kerouac’s iconic novel about the Beat generation, and featuring Gotheiner’s lush, space-eating choreography, On the Road encompasses youthful rebellion, jazz music, and the social upheaval of the 1960s. Pre-show discussions take place 15 minutes before each performance.
Powwow in Denver
Annual Friendship Powwow and American Indian Cultural Celebration
When and where: September 10, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
The Denver Art Museum’s annual powwow celebration celebrates its 27th year with dance competitions for all ages in traditional and fancy categories, drum groups, artist demonstrations, vendors, and artmaking activities. The gourd dance begins at 10am, and the powwow grand entry at noon. Plus, take advantage of free gallery admission to visit several dance-themed exhibits. Don’t miss Anna Pavlova’s ornate Dying Swan tutu or the playful immersive installation #dancelab.
Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company
Fall Season in SLC
When and where: September 15–17, Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Salt Lake City, UT
Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company is the repository for the work of multimedia pioneer Alwin Nikolais, so it’s fitting that its fall program aims to blur the lines between dance, visual and installation art, and theater. Artistic director Daniel Charon and Bulgarian-born choreographer Tzveta Kassabova (also a costume designer and installation artist) contribute world premieres. Jonah Bokaer’s Fragments (2014) plays with the visual fragmentation and reflections that result as the dancers move among mirrored panels and in the eerie glow of fluorescent tube lights.
Pacific Northwest Ballet
When and where: September 23–October 2, McCaw Hall, Seattle, WA
Symphony in C’s classical grandeur, unusual pas de deux, and formations of dancers doing basic classroom steps with speed and precision make it one of Balanchine’s best-loved ballets, and its exhilarating difficulty is a vivid demonstration of the artistic freedom granted by killer technique. This French-themed evening (Symphony in C was originally created for Paris Opera Ballet) also offers two works by Benjamin Millepied: a world premiere, Appassionata, set to music by Beethoven; and Three Movements (2008), to Steve Reich. On September 16, PNB artistic director Peter Boal hosts a studio rehearsal of program excerpts with company dancers.
Lucky Plush Productions
Trip the Light Fantastic: The Making of SuperStrip
When and where: September 29–October 1, The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, IL
This Chicago-based company of dance theater comedians creates tightly orchestrated ensemble pieces that mix snappy dialogue with full-bodied dancing. Lucky Plush has found inspiration in airport queues, reality shows, intellectual property, and Shakespearean heroines; this time comic books and classic pulp fiction mash up with the jargon of arts management. Several washed-up superheroes decide to reinvent themselves by forming a nonprofit think tank for do-gooders. Naturally, they must develop a mission statement, choose a name, and struggle to build consensus. Live performance and video projections entwine in an evening that’s both absurd and thoughtful.
Mark Morris Dance Group
Layla and Majnun
When and where: September 30–October 2, Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley, CA; calperformances.org
October 6–8, Meany Center for the Performing Arts, Seattle, WA; meanycenter.org
October 13–16, University Musical Society, Ann Arbor, MI; ums.org
Mark Morris, one of the most musical choreographers around, seems especially drawn to opera. His latest evening-length work tackles the first Middle-Eastern opera, Uzeyir Hajibeyli’s Layla and Majnun (1908), a story of tragic love written in Azerbaijan’s classical mugham style. Morris’ dancers will perform with a starry group of musicians: Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble and father–daughter duo Alim Qasimov and Fargana Qasimova, whose singing is emotional and richly ornamented. On October 1 in Berkeley, MMDG offers an open community class.