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By Siobhan Burke
Space = Happiness
Wide-open spaces: In New York City, they’re notoriously hard to come by, especially danceable ones. That’s why the Gibney Dance Center—bright, welcoming, newly expanded but still intimate—has the city’s dance community rejoicing. Led by choreographer Gina Gibney, the center, which officially launched in September, has evolved over the past 20 years from a single rehearsal room into a generous facility with seven studios, production offices, and a media room, among other resources. In addition to plentiful space for rent (at reasonable prices), the center, located at 890 Broadway in the same building as ABT, offers classes, talks, and performances. See www.gibneydance.org/dance-center.
A member of Gibney Dance in the new Gibney Dance Center. Photo by Samantha Siegel, Courtesy Gibney Dance Center.
For better or worse, going to college doesn’t necessarily mean that your Nutcracker days are behind you. If the college is Point Park University, though, you have a chance of shaking up the usual proceedings. This season, Point Park faculty member Douglas Bentz is dusting off his Jazz Nutcracker (which premiered in 1983) for a performance by the university’s Conservatory Dance Company, Dec. 9–11 and 16–18, at the Pittsburgh Playhouse. While Bentz has updated the work over the years, this latest incarnation promises new sets, costumes, and video projections, along with live music by the Benny Benack Band (based on Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn). Other college dance departments take a more traditional approach to the holiday classic, including Indiana University Ballet Theater, Dec. 2–4, and Butler Ballet, Dec. 1–4. See www.pointpark.edu/dance, www.music.indiana.edu, and www.butler.edu/dance.