New York Notebook

April 27, 2010



Out of Africa

DanceAfrica and its founder Chuck Davis are taking audiences to a different part of the African continent this season with the Pamodzi Dance Troupe of Zambia. Pamodzi, an offshoot of the Zambia National Dance Troupe in southern Africa, perform a style that emphasizes the waist and buttocks instead of the strong legs, torso, and arms movements of other Southern African dances. Called “African Rhythms/American Echoes,” this year’s festival at BAM also features the youth company the BAM/Restoration DanceAfrica Ensemble. May 28–31. See —Karyn D. Collins


Dancemakers & Bridgemaker

In a burst of enthusiasm for new works, New York City Ballet has commissioned seven world premieres for its spring season May 2–June 27. Five of them are designed by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, and four will have new music, giving the season its title: “Architecture of Dance: New Choreography and Music Festival.” The seven choreographers are Wayne McGregor, Benjamin Millepied, Peter Martins, Mauro Bigonzetti (whose Oltremare transformed the dancers into fiercely struggling immigrants), Christopher Wheeldon, Melissa Barak, and Alexei Ratmansky. Naturally, the season also includes 22 ballets by Balanchine and 7 by Robbins. —Wendy Perron

From Moth to Raven

As part of their three-year, 25th-anniversary retrospective, Eiko & Koma—that apocalyptic duo—are stopping at Danspace Project May 27–29. They’ll bring White Dance, Moth (1976), the first piece they made in the U.S. “It was before we had a concept of choreography,” says Eiko. “It was more like, Here is what we do.” They also bring the new Raven, which has sets created with a scorched canvas. Raven combines images from Land (1991), originally done with Native American Robert Mirabal, and Hunger (2008). Hunger, says Eiko, “is part of our thinking and part of our body.” Each perfor­mance includes a talk with different colleagues, including Charles Reinhart and David Gordon and Valda Setterfield. See —W. P.



Photo of Pamodzi Dance Troupe courtesy BAM