Performances Onstage This Month
From Stage to Stage
November is a busy month for Minneapolis’ resident jack-of-all-trades, Zenon Dance Company. Nov. 1–8, it will join in Minnesota Opera’s new Hansel and Gretel, choreographed by Doug Varone. Then, the company will try on the athletic, yet silky-smooth contemporary work of rising Cuban choreographer Osnel Delgado in his first piece for a U.S. company, at the Cowles Center, Nov. 21–30. zenondance.org.
Above: Alyssa Mann rehearsing Delgado’s Coming Home. Photo by William Cameron, Courtesy Zenon.
Vishneva As Impresario
Always up for an artistic challenge, ballet superstar Diana Vishneva is producing a festival of contemporary dance in Moscow, where classical ballet reigns. Last year, the event’s first, CONTEXT. Diana Vishneva brought together artists as far apart in style and distance as Cunningham-influenced Richard Alston from London and Israeli/American Barak Marshall. This year the festival introduces L.A.–based contemporary Ate9 dANCE cOMPANY, led by the wildly imaginative Danielle Agami, plus Nederlands Dans Theater 2, Ballet Preljocaj and Germany’s Gauthier Dance. CONTEXT, curated by Holland Dance Festival’s Samuel Wuersten, also aims to cultivate emerging choreographic talent. The festival includes a dance film program and provides a smaller, modern venue for young Russian dance artists to show their work and interact with more established choreographers. “Today there exists a hunger for new things in Russia,” says Vishneva. “We are still missing a choreographer of the Ratmansky caliber.” Fear not: The ravishing Vishneva isn’t just staying behind the scenes. She plans to perform works by Hans van Manen and Paul Lightfoot and Sol León—along with some surprises. Mossoveta Theatre. Nov. 26–29. vishnevafest.com.
Right: Vishneva in Carolyn Carlson’s Woman in a Room. Photo by Jerry Metellus, Courtesy Vishneva.
Elo at X
BalletX is getting Jorma Elo’s European touch with a premiere at the Wilma Theater, Nov. 19–23. Audiences can catch the troupe’s new hires from Miami City Ballet and Complexions Contemporary Ballet tackling his ooey, gooey choreography. balletx.org.
Left: BalletX in Elo’s Scenes View 2. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy BalletX.
Sashaying with Scissors
Matthew Bourne first showed his Edward Scissorhands, based on the 1990 Tim Burton film, back in 2005. Nearly 10 years later, the storyteller revisits the production, touring this November through March 2015. new-adventures.net.
Right: A scene from the original production. Photo by Bill Cooper, Courtesy Raw PR.
NEW YORK CITY
What do dancers love most about Broadway? The dancing, of course! That’s the bread and butter of American Dance Machine for the 21st Century, a new troupe with a rotating cast of professional ballet and Broadway dancers, led by artistic producer and founder Nikki Feirt Atkins. The company will stage numbers of pure dancing that run musical theater’s gamut—from Jack Cole’s Someone to Watch Over Me to Michael Bennett’s A Chorus Line to Andy Blankenbuehler’s In the Heights. The Joyce Theater, Nov. 11–16. adm21.org.
Above: ADM21’s Stephen Hanna and Naomi Kakuk in Susan Stroman’s Contact. Photo by Christopher Duggan, Courtesy ADM21.
A Different Kind of Rainbow
When you hear “Over the Rainbow,” you probably imagine a utopian place. So does Heidi Latsky. Her poignant piece Somewhere creates a world that accepts difference with grace and gravitas: One dancer has Parkinson’s, another is deaf and a third has cerebral palsy. Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, Nov. 6–8. colum.edu/dance-center.
Right: Saki Masuda and Jillian Hollis in Somewhere. Photo by Darial Sneed, Courtesy Latsky.
Her Dying Swan was as fragile as her Juliet was rebellious; her Odile, scheming, her Swanilda, insouciant. Her Belle was joyous, and her Carmen, both brooding and full-blooded. But there was one role in particular that prompted dance critic Arnold Haskell to ask, "How do you interpret Giselle when you are Giselle?"
At eight, Alicia Alonso took her first ballet class on a stage in her native Cuba, wearing street clothes. Fifteen years later, put in for an ailing Alicia Markova in a performance of Giselle with Ballet Theatre, she staked her claim to that title role.
Alonso received recognition throughout the world for her flawless technique and her ability to become one with the characters she danced, even after she became nearly blind. After a career in New York, she and her then husband Fernando Alonso established the Cuban National Ballet and the Cuban National Ballet School, both of which grew into major international dance powerhouses and beloved institutions in their home country. On October 17, the company announced that, after leading the company for a remarkable 71 years, Alonso died from cardiovascular disease at the age of 98.
William Forsythe is bringing his multi-faceted genius to New York City in stripped down form. His "Quiet Evening of Dance," a mix of new and recycled work now at The Shed until October 25, is co-commissioned with Sadler's Wells in London (and a slew of European presenters).
As always, Forsythe's choreography is a layered experience, both kinetic and intellectual. This North American premiere prompted many thoughts, which I whittled down to seven.
"Law & Order: SVU" has dominated the crime show genre for 21 seasons with its famous "ripped from the headlines" strategy of taking plot inspiration from real-life crimes.
So viewers would be forgiven for assuming that the new storyline following the son of Mariska Hargitay's character into dance class originated in the news cycle. After all, the mainstream media widely covered the reaction to Lara Spencer's faux pas on "Good Morning America" in August, when she made fun of Prince George for taking ballet class.
But it turns out
, the storyline was actually the idea of the 9-year-old actor, Ryan Buggle, who plays Hargitay's son. And he came up with it before Spencer ever giggled at the word ballet.