7 Performance Events on Our Must-See Lists This Month
Last dances, first-time collaborations, gatherings of disparate dancemakers—October’s dance card is full of intriguing events. Here are seven of the most enticing performances.
Rainer’s Last Dance
NEW YORK CITY What Yvonne Rainer says will be her “last dance” is set to premiere this month. HELLZAPOPPIN’: What about the bees? incorporates projected excerpts from 1941 Hollywood musical HELLZAPOPPIN’ and Jean Vigo’s 1933 film Zero for Conduct alongside text and dance as the work reflects on the U.S.’s ongoing racial reckoning. Co-commissioned by Performa, the work for nine performers appears at New York Live Arts Oct. 5–8. newyorklivearts.org.
Holding On and Letting Go
DUBLIN Jean Butler’s What We Hold places traditional and contemporary Irish dance side by side. Performed for audiences of 30 by a multigenerational cast throughout the rooms of Dublin’s City Assembly House, the intimate work draws on the little-documented history of Irish dance as it considers what is held by our bodies and the effects of letting go. Co-produced by Butler’s Our Steps, the work premieres Oct. 5–9 at the Dublin Theatre Festival. dublintheatrefestival.ie.
One Big Umbrella
LONDON Contemporary dance descends on London in a major way with the annual Dance Umbrella festival. It opens with the UK premiere of Georgia Tegou and Michalis Theophanous’ fantastical Reverie and closes with the premiere of Alleyne Dance’s Close to Home: Mass Dance Event, a large-scale outdoor work co-created and performed by an intergenerational cast of a few hundred Lewisham locals. In between: the premiere of nora chipaumire’s audiovisual dub culture adventure ShebenDUB, Chiara Bersani’s Seeking Unicorns, appearing at the National Gallery, and Oona Doherty’s Sadler’s Wells debut with her recent Navy Blue. The digital program (available through Oct. 31) is headlined by the film premiere of Abby Z and the New Utility’s Radioactive Practice, alongside chipaumire’s #PUNK, Doherty’s Hunter and The Devil, and panels including a conversation moderated by Dr. Funmi Adewole between companies Candoco and Boy Blue. Oct. 7–23. danceumbrella.co.uk.
GRAND RAPIDS With Liar Lear King, Danielle Rowe sets the Shakespearean tragedy of an aging monarch in 1970s New York City. Made in partnership with Satellite Collective, the work premieres on Grand Rapids Ballet’s Elemental Movement program, which also features Lar Lubovitch’s Elemental Brubeck and Katarzyna Skarpetowska’s Off the Canvas. Oct. 14–16. grballet.com.
Dance On By
SANTA MONICA Where do you go after The Beatles? If you’re Mark Morris, the answer is Burt Bacharach. The ever-musical choreographer follows 2017’s Pepperland with The Look of Love, collaborating with composer Ethan Iverson to plumb Bacharach’s songbook of chart-toppers. The new evening-length is set to premiere at BroadStage Oct. 20–23 before touring to the Kennedy Center (Oct. 26–29) and beyond. markmorrisdancegroup.org.
Camille A. Brown Across Town
NEW YORK CITY Camille A. Brown’s 2012 Mr. TOL E. RAncE—a searing, comical examination of minstrelsy—marked a major turning point in the choreographer’s career. She followed it with BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play in 2015 and ink in 2017, but the three works have never been presented together—until now. In a first-time partnership between two powerhouse presenters, the first two pieces in what Brown has dubbed The Trilogy will appear at The Joyce Theater (in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood) Oct. 25–30, followed by the third at the Apollo (uptown, in Harlem) Nov. 4–5. Amidst all the firsts, though, will also be a bittersweet last, as Brown makes her final onstage appearances before turning her focus entirely to choreographing and directing. joyce.org and apollotheater.org.
Fall for One
MINNEAPOLIS The Cowles Center serves a feast of Minnesota dancemakers with the new Fall Forward Festival. Shared programs place Cowles mainstays alongside up-and-comers and new works beside beloved favorites, spanning—and often interrogating—genres. Duniya Drum and Dance Ensemble, Twin Cities Ballet, Rhythmically Speaking, Threads Dance Project, Atlantis13, Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre, Black Label Movement, Crash Dance Productions, HIJACK and Aparna Ramaswamy are slated to perform over four weekends, Oct. 29–Nov. 20. thecowlescenter.org.