Performances Onstage This Month

May 31, 2014


Rizqi Rachmat of Urban Artistry. Photo by Isaac Oboka, Courtesy Dance Place.


Urban Dance Sampler


Following its grand reopening in September, Dance Place continues to present weekly performances, now with expanded space and technology. Up next is the Urban Dance Theater Festival, curated by Junious “House” Brickhouse of local troupe Urban Artistry, with Ariston “B-Boy ReMind” Ripolya from California’s Style Elements Crew; Helsinki’s Sara “Lil Flex” Hirn; and Memphis jookin’ pioneers G-Force. Dec. 6–7.




Two Mediums Meet


Fitting right in with the dance-in-museums craze is Shen Wei, a choreographer who actually is a painter, as well. His latest effort draws on both talents, co-presented by Miami Dade College’s Museum of Art + Design and MDC Live Arts. Shen Wei—In Black, White and Gray premieres during Art Basel—Miami Beach with five gallery performances by Shen Wei Dance Arts, Dec. 5–7. Shen Wei’s 11 paintings stay on view until Feb. 1. or


Above: Shen Wei’s
Undivided Divided. Photo Courtesy Rockaway PR.




A Choreographer’s Next Step


Jessica Lang
has spent 15 years as a freelance choreographer, creating works for prominent companies like the Birmingham Royal Ballet, Joffrey Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet. Yet just this year, she won a Bessie Award for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer. What qualified her to oddly fall under the elusive “emerging” umbrella? Her troupe Jessica Lang Dance is a green 3 years old. “Freelancing helped me figure out who I was as a creator,” says Lang. “When I started choreographing, I knew the last thing the world needed was another dance company that couldn’t support its dancers—they don’t deserve that. Now I have the foundation I need to have a company. And I’m able to investigate more and reach my fullest potential.”

This month, Lang premieres her first narrative full-length work set to Franz Schubert’s song cycle Die schöne Müllerin, about a young woman who misleads the love of a journeyman. But The Wanderer will not be your typical swoony ballet. The scenery—trees, roots, brook and all—will be made entirely of 3,000 yards of white string, a stage installation that the dancers will manipulate from scene to scene. Brooklyn Academy of Music, Dec. 3–6.


Above: Laura Mead and Kirk Henning in
The Wanderer. Photo by Stephanie Berger, Courtesy BAM.




Ratmansky Redux


It seems as though

modern-day storyteller Alexei Ratmansky is out to redo all the ballets, one classic at a time. Next in line is Paquita at Bayerrisches Staatsballett. Dec. 13–Jan. 11 (select dates), Nationaltheater Munich.


Right: Ratmansky rehearsing with American Ballet Theatre. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor, Courtesy ABT.







You’ve probably seen or danced The Nutcracker too many times to count. On Land of Sweets overload? Here are four new or notable productions to shake up your holiday tradition.


Grand Rapids Ballet

Dec. 12–14, 19–21

The company debuts Val Caniparoli’s collaboration with Chris Van Allsburg, author and illustrator of The Polar Express and Jumanji, and Eugene Lee, who designed sets for Broadway musicals Sweeney Todd and Wicked.

Oklahoma City Ballet

Dec. 13–22

Choreographed by artistic director Robert Mills, this production will feature scenes by Emmy Award–winning designer Gregory Crane.



American Ballet Theatre

Dec. 12–21

Alexei Ratmansky’s version will have its fifth and final run at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Beginning next year, ABT will bring it to Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, each winter.

Pacific Northwest Ballet

Nov. 28–Dec. 28

Kent Stowell’s production will take the stage for the last time. The company will dance Balanchine’s next season.


Above: Lindsi Dec in PNB’s
Nutcracker. Photo by Angela Sterling, Courtesy PNB.