OK, we’re all upset that Cedar Lake is folding. But there is another place where you can get your fix of European choreographers: Houston’s Dance Salad. The 20th anniversary edition begins this Thursday, with dancers from Norway, Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium, as well as Australia and South Korea. Certain artists are so popular that they keep coming back, like Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, who sometimes uses Dance Salad to try out new versions of his work. Dance Salad artistic director Nancy Henderek travels far and wide to cull the most intriguing artists for her audience. The result is a rare treat, with the only drawback being that sometimes the excerpts just whet your appetite and you end up wanting a whole meal. But if you're anywhere near Houston this week and are curious about international dance, rush to the Wortham Center, Cullen Theater, and indulge your curiosity.
Here are a few of the highlights:
• Dresden’s Semperoper Ballett returns with works by David Dawson and a pas de deux from William Forsythe’s Workwithinwork.
• Queensland Ballet from Australia and its artistic director, Li (Mao's Last Dancer) Cunxin, bring works by Nils Christe and Andrew Simmons, whose work I long to see again after loving a piece of his with New Zealand Ballet last year.
• Introdans from the Netherlands, in their first Houston outing, with the comedic Trompe l'Oeil by Jirí Kylián.
• Houston Ballet faves Melody Mennite and Connor Walsh in a duet from Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s haunting Cylindrical Shadows.
• The one U.S.-based choreographer, Karole Armitage, brings excerpts from her beautifully astringent Ligeti Essays.
• The last special event is quite special: A screening on April 4 of Mao's Last Dancer, one of the best dance movies of all time, followed by a conversation with ex-superstar Li Cunxin moderated by the witty Nancy Wozny. Wish I could be there.
For more info and to buy tickets, click here.