It's a new year, and while things are far from business as usual, we're still marking our calendars with all the great dance we're eager to see—even if that means queuing it up on our laptops rather than sitting down in theaters. Here are four shows that caught our interest this month.
Animating Faye Driscoll
Animation from Emergent System
Joshua Frankel, Courtesy Blake Zidell & Associates
Dancemaker Faye Driscoll adds "making movement for an animated film" to her resumé this month with Emergent System, a collaboration with animator Joshua Frankel. The newly commissioned film is set to Missy Mazzoli's "Three Fragile Systems" as played by Grand Band, a music group comprising six pianists who perform arranged in a circle. Its premiere will be part of the stream of Grand Band's 2020 Peak Performances concert on Jan. 10, which will be available for free via PEAK HD, a partnership with ALL ARTS. peakperfs.org.
A Dream Deferred
SFB's Sasha De Sola in Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream
Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB
San Francisco Ballet presented one critically acclaimed performance of Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream last March before the War Memorial Opera House was shuttered due to COVID-19. Now, the company kicks off its 2021 all-digital season with an archival capture of the magical comedy of errors, streaming Jan. 21–Feb. 10. Available as part of digital season subscriptions, which include behind-the-scenes content, or for 24-hour on-demand rental. sfballet.org.
Bubbling With Creativity
Still of Les Ballet Afrik performing New York is Burning at Lincoln Center
Dancing Camera, Courtesy Michelle Tabnick Public Relations
With live performance still largely on hold in New York City last fall, Works & Process at the Guggenheim produced a series of "bubble residencies" for dancers to isolate together and create new works in upstate New York. A docuseries following four groups of artists into their bubbles, Isolation to Creation, debuts in full (for free) on ALL ARTS beginning this month. It shows the likes of Anthony Vito Rodriguez, Chris Celiz, Leonardo Sandoval, Ephrat Asherie and Omari Wiles at work with their dancers and musicians on new commissions, which were filmed at site-specific locations around Lincoln Center for digital consumption last fall and will be presented as live stage performances once it's safe to do so. But it also dives into the logistical considerations of creating within these bubbles, including explanations from internist (and former ballet dancer) Dr. Wendy Ziecheck on how they were able to safely bring dancers together during a global pandemic. Jan. 27. worksandprocess.org.
Working in Concert
Shauna Davis improvising during the first episode of LACO Close Quarters
With its season gone entirely digital, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra has taken the opportunity to explore multidisciplinary collaborations. For its Jan. 29 Close Quarters concert, Los Angeles–based choreographer Shauna Davis responds to Derrick Spiva, Jr.'s "Mother of Bravery," a brand-new score commissioned this season by LACO that will also feature actors from Robey Theatre Company. The broadcast will be available for free on demand. laco.org.
An Underground Winter WonderlandWonderbound's Morgan Sicklick Amanda Tipton, Courtesy Wonderbound
DENVER Described as "Alice in Wonderland meets Studio 54," Winterland: A Discotheque Cabaret promises to be far from your average holiday fare. Wonderbound plans to premiere its wintery-yet-groovy theatrical revue, featuring choreography by artistic director Garrett Ammon and associate choreographer Sarah Tallman, at its studios, welcoming limited audiences with social-distancing and hygiene guidelines in place; originally slated for Dec., performances have now been rescheduled for Jan. 21–Feb. 7. wonderbound.com.