Performances Onstage this Month

February 28, 2014

GöteborgsOperans Danskompani rehearsing
Noetic. Photo by Tilo Stengel.


The Grass Is Always Greener…

  Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s newest work takes on a familiar theme: the need to understand the rules in order to break them. The Belgian choreographer’s Noetic, for Sweden’s GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, explores the human desire to find order, only to long for freedom once that’s achieved. Playing with this idea of building up and breaking down, sculptor Antony Gormley has designed a set with six large rings that support the dancers’ weight and connect to create new structures. Upping the piece’s European cool quotient even further, the dancers are decked out in costumes by Belgian menswear duo Les Hommes. Premieres March 8–April 12 at The Göteborg Opera.




Luhrmann Makes a Musical

   Baz Luhrmann’s movies owe a debt to Broadway spectacle—Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge! and, most recently, The Great Gatsby jump off the screen with electric colors and drama-fueled plots. But he entered new directing territory when reimagining his first major flick, Strictly Ballroom (1992), for the stage. The pasadoble-filled musical about a champion ballroom dancer premieres on March 25 at the Sydney Lyric Theatre.

Strictly Ballroom: The Musical. Photo courtesy AB Publicity.




Lights for LINES


   Distraction or enhancement? That’s the question about the LED light set for Alonzo King’s work Constellation. At times, electronic artist Jim Campbell provides a giant pegboard of lights; at others, the dancers cradle individual lights in their hands or feet. Either way, King’s oozy, stretchy choreography is never less than gorgeous, and the dancers of LINES Ballet are never less than compelling. A bonus: Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Maya Lahyani will sing live. March 18–23 at The Joyce Theater.


Yujin Kim and Zachary Tang in King’s
Constellation. Photo by Margo Moritz, Courtesy LINES.




Choreographer’s Choice

  Robert Moses typically uses his company to showcase his silky contemporary work. But the closing weekend of the Black Choreographers Festival is a rare chance to see Robert Moses’ Kin dancers take on a range of pieces by other artists. His Draft/By series at the ODC Theater includes choreography by Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance alum Bliss Kohlmyer, hip-hop/modern dancer Dexandro Montalvo and former LINES Ballet maverick Gregory Dawson. But Moses loyalists need not worry—the artistic director will show a new work, too. March 6–8. bcfhereandnow.


Robert Moses’ Kin preparing for Draft/By. Photo courtesy Robert Moses.




Not Your Momma’s Flamenco

  There is a flurry of flamenco festivals this month, but the Philadelphia Flamenco Festival, March 1–16, is a chance to see some of Spain’s most applauded alongside Philly’s own: Local all-female troupe Pasión Y Arte will host and perform; Spanish star Israel Galván, whose dances blend traditional flamenco with theatrical contemporary movement, will show new work; and his sister Pastora Galván will dance, as well. For the truly unconventional flamenco-goer, Sevillian postmodernist Rosario Toledo will stomp up a storm—in sneakers.


Spain’s Israel Galván. Photo by Felix Vazquezla, Courtey Feischman Gerber & Associates.





   You wouldn’t expect the cool, contained formalist Beth Gill to do something huge and dramatic. But this time out, in a work commissioned by New York Live Arts, that’s what she’s aiming for. Her lighting designer, Thomas Dunn, is capable of giving an uncanny feeling of hot and dry, and her dancers succumb to glaring light and spatial vastness. If this is beginning to sound like being in a desert, you got it: The piece is called New Work for the Desert. March 20–22.


Gill’s dancers in residency for Desert at Florida State University. Photo by Chris Cameron, Courtesy Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography.