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By Wendy Perron
Turning It Upside Down
If Doug Elkins’ new story dances are even a fraction as funny as his Fräulein Maria, then we’re in for a treat this month. He is mounting two tales: Scott, Queen of Marys (a fitting title, since Elkins turns everything including gender on its head), and Mo(or)town Redux, a re-imagining of Othello set to Motown music. It’s not just that he makes you guffaw with unexpected reversals, but his performers play their roles to the hilt. Postmodern joins hip-hop under the edict “Embrace the ridiculous.” Baryshnikov Arts Center, Dec. 5–8. bacnyc.org.
Donnell Oakley in Mo(or)town Redux. Photo by Christopher Roesing, Courtesy BAC.
New & Old at Ailey
Robert Battle is making seismic shifts at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. This season at New York City Center, the company performs its first Kylián—the sexy and elegant Petite Mort; yes, the one with huge stiff dresses for the women and swords for the men. Battle has also commissioned Another Night, by the always surprising Kyle Abraham, to music by jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. A favorite confection of Caribbean flavors and physical momentum by Garth Fagan, From Before, will be another challenge for Ailey’s terrific dancers. One of those dancers, the much loved Renee Robinson (see “Awards”), takes her final bow on Dec. 9. Nov. 28–Dec. 30. www.alvinailey.org.
Linda Celeste Sims. Photo by Andrew Eccles, Courtesy AAADT.
Russell Maliphant’s Rodin Project. Photo by Laurent Philippe, Courtesy The Joyce.
Glowing & Flowing
When Russell Maliphant brought his AfterLight to Fall for Dance two years ago, many found it mesmerizing. The arching, melting, twirling solo for Daniel Proietto seemed to blend in with the revolving light on the floor. The visual metaphor changed from swirling clouds to a snowstorm to a waterfall. Maliphant returns to NYC with his Rodin Project, inspired by the sculptor Auguste Rodin, which comes to the Guggenheim Works & Process Dec. 3 and The Joyce Dec. 4–9. The six-dancer work integrates popping and breaking with contemporary dance but promises to have the same incandescent flow as AfterLight. www.joyce.org and www.worksandprocess.org.