5 New Shows We're Curious About this Month
From Fort Worth to Minneapolis to London, tango to contemporary to bharatanatyam, May is packed with unexpected premieres.
Keigwin & Wolcott are Reuniting (and It Feels So Good)
Keigwin and Wolcott. Photo by Christaan Felber, Courtesy DANCE NOW.
You never quite know what you're getting yourself into when you drop in on a DANCE NOW performance at Joe's Pub, a space beloved for its anything-goes attitude. Places Please!, its most recent commission, is a duet reuniting Keigwin + Company co-founders Larry Keigwin and Nicole Wolcott. Set in the hectic moments before the curtain rises, the work takes the audience on a zany, comic journey through life behind the scenes while tracing the duo's artistic relationship. May 4–6. dancenownyc.org.
London's New Genre-Mixing Master
We like to think of Akram Khan as the master mixer of disparate dance styles with his signature kathak/contemporary aesthetic, but one of his longtime associates might be giving him a run for his money. Jose Agudo adds bharatanatyam and flamenco to the mix with Silk Road, an evening of world premieres with which he is launching his Agudo Dance Company. The program features Agudo dancing two solos—one by Spanish choreographer Rafael Amargo, the other by kathak artist Nahid Siddiqui—and a duet with bharatanatyam/contemporary dancer Mavin Khoo. The eclectic blend of styles promises an intriguing cultural collision. May 4–5. sadlerswells.com.
Having "The Talk" with Joshua L. Peugh
Peugh (right) rehearses members of Dark Circles Contemporary Dance in his Bleachers. Photo by Richard Hill, Courtesy Peugh.
The whimsical Joshua L. Peugh brings another wacky-wonderful premise to the table with Bleachers. The new work for his company, Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, confronts the issue of gay sex ed—or rather, how its absence impacts young gay men and their view of themselves. Set in the late '90s with music to match, expect awkward charm and rigorous honesty. May 5–7. darkcirclescontemporarydance.com.
A Tango with Danger—In Musical Form
Immigrants—do they have stories to tell! Colombian-born Sergio Trufillo (Jersey Boys, On Your Feet!, A Bronx Tale) is directing and co-choreographing (with Julio Zurita) Arrabal for Harvard's American Repertory Theater. It's about a young woman who searches for her father in Argentina 18 years after he was "disappeared" by the ruling junta. The musical asks the questions, What is our responsibility? Do we just turn away and pretend that these violent acts, so commonplace for many in South America, did not happen? Despite the dark nature of the narrative, the exuberant Trujillo says the choreographic process has been "exhilarating," calling the musical "a story told through tango." Trujillo is working with a book by John Weidman and music by composer Gustavo Santaolalla (Brokeback Mountain), whose live rock-tango rhythms propel the action onstage. May 12–June 18. americanrepertorytheater.org.
Awesome Mix, Vol. 7: Hip-Hop Edition
The artists of MIXTAPE. Photo by Bill Cameron, Courtesy Cowles Center.
Seven hip-hop artists local to the Twin Cities are coming together at the Cowles Center for MIXTAPE. Using their diverse backgrounds and origin stories within hip hop as a starting point, the evening of work probes the dance form's multifaceted evolution and questions the appropriation and commercialization of hip-hop culture. May 19–21. thecowlescenter.org.
Just four years ago, the University of Southern California's Glorya Kaufman School of Dance welcomed its first class of BFA students. The program—which boasts world-class faculty and a revolutionary approach to training focused on collaboration and hybridity—immediately established itself as one of the country's most prestigious and most innovative.
Now, the first graduating class is entering the dance field. Here, six of the 33 graduates share what they're doing post-grad, what made their experience at USC Kaufman so meaningful and how it prepared them for their next steps:
Every dancer knows there's as much magic taking place backstage as there is in what the audience sees onstage. Behind the scenes, it takes a village, says American Ballet Theatre's wig and makeup supervisor, Rena Most. With wig and makeup preparations happening in a studio of their own as the dancers rehearse, Most and her team work to make sure not a single detail is lost.
Dance Magazine recently spoke to Most to find out what actually goes into the hair and makeup looks audiences see on the ABT stage.
On a sunny July weekend, hundreds of Seattle-area dance fans converged on tiny Vashon Island, a bucolic enclave in Puget Sound about 20 miles from the city. They made the ferry trek to attend the debut performance of the fledgling Seattle Dance Collective.
SDC is not a run-of-the-mill contemporary dance company; it's the brainchild of two of Pacific Northwest Ballet's most respected principal dancers: James Yoichi Moore and Noelani Pantastico. The duo wanted to create a nimble organization to feature dancers and choreographers they felt needed more exposure in the Pacific Northwest.