New York Notebook

January 25, 2009

Heating Up Winter

The Flamenco Festival brings something for everyone, starting with an unusual performance at the Skirball Center on Feb. 13, featuring Rosario Toledo, who projects the joyful robust spirit of her native Cadiz. Next up, one of Spain’s most popular traditional dancers, Isabel Bayón and her company. Fans of Antonio Gades’ masterpiece Carmen can look forward to the evocative restaging of the classic show by the Antonio Gades Company, captured on film by Carlos Saura, at City Center Feb. 19. Los Farruco—the first family of flamenco, five of them with two guitarists and three singers—blazes onto the stage of City Center Feb. 21–22. —Valerie Gladstone


Dance Alchemy

Douglas Dunn is a mad alchemist of dance—a dancer and choreographer whose elegant structural ideas are coupled with a zany intuition. His dances are confounding fun, with unexpected twists on a postmodern sensibility. For the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Festival at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, Dunn remounts Pulcinella, his modern ballet to Stravinsky’s score, first commissioned by the Paris Opéra Ballet in 1980, now performed by 15 New York dancers. Dunn will also premiere Then Boss in Man?, a suite of duets for which Tali Roth plays classical guitar and Charles Atlas, a master of light and images, creates the design. Feb. 25–March 1. See —Cynthia Hedstrom


Hold the Sugar

After leaving New York City Ballet as a dancer in 2007 to join Los Angeles Ballet, Melissa Barak returns to the company where she choreographed her first ballet. For those of us who remember the crystal clarity and whiff of romance in her first two forays, we are looking forward to this premiere to music by Benjamin Britten during the company’s winter season. Barak, who was a 2002 “25 to Watch,” says, “I wanted to make it sweet and romantic without making it cheesy. I was working within a fine line. That’s what made me nervous—bringing out the greatness of the music without dumbing it up.” The piece, for nine women and three men, premieres Feb. 17. See —Wendy Perron



Photo: Luis Castilla, Courtesy World Music Institute