As the fall performance season kicks into high gear, we've been cramming as much excellent dance on our calendars as possible. But if you're feeling overwhelmed by all the options, we've got you covered: From rare U.S. appearances by one of our 2018 "25 to Watch" to an autumn mainstay for New Yorkers, Romeo and Juliet to The Handmaid's Tale, here's what caught our eye.
New York City Center just announced programming for the 2018-19 season, and we're frantically marking our calendars for all the must-see dance. This year is the venue's 75th anniversary, and they're pulling out all the stops—from the reliable fan favorite Fall for Dance to the most epic Balanchine celebration and more:
Fall For Dance is always a huge talkabout here in the Dance Media offices. So after all the programs were performed this year, a few of the editors from Dance Magazine, Pointe and Dance Teacher got together on Google Hangouts this morning to share our thoughts. Here are excerpts from our convo:
One of my favorite parts of working with Wendy Perron over the past 12 years has been listening to her talk about dance. More than anyone I know, Wendy can explain a piece of choreography or a dancer's approach in the most visceral, compelling way. She doesn't even always use words—sometimes she turns to sounds or body language to fully describe something she loves.
Having a casual chat with her can be like getting a master class in the most interesting dance going on right now. And as Dance Magazine's editor at large, she sees a lot. She's one of the most well-connected people I know in the dance world, so more often than not she's got juicy insights, strong opinions and fascinating background info.
We decided to share this with you by filming a short video clip each week, capturing Wendy talking about the dance events she's most looking forward to in our new series, "What Wendy's Watching." Or, as she puts it: "Just wind me up and make me talk dance."
Troy Schumacher is on a roll. The 31-year-old was recently promoted to soloist after almost 12 years with New York City Ballet, but that's nothing compared to what he has going on this month. Over the course of a few weeks he will premiere two ballets of his own creation: his third work for NYCB (Sept. 28) and another for the ensemble he founded back in 2010, BalletCollective (Oct. 25), using colleagues from NYCB, including his wife, Ashley Laracey. We spoke with him just as he was gearing up for this choreographic marathon.
What is it like working on commissions while planning for your own company's season?
I'm loving being so busy, working on multiple projects, all extremely different from each other. It's like when you're dancing a lot of ballets at once, and you're warm, both physically and mentally. You can get back into rehearsals and performances much more easily.
Maybe it's just by chance, but it seems like the upcoming lineup in New York City is designed to remind us of the women giants of our field. What a great welcome to the new season!
• Twyla Tharp brings new and old work to the Joyce. She may be the most prolific living choreographer in any genre. Her movement is always bursting with inventiveness, and she challenges her mighty dancers with impossibly complex and non-stop motion.
Back in May at our photo shoot for Dance Magazine's 90th-anniversary issue, we fell in love with Michelle Dorrance all over again. We've known for years that she's obviously gifted, but our jaws still dropped as she improvised on set, rattling off playful but rigorous strings of tap genius with the utmost ease. Now, she's got us drooling once more.
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Last summer, Bill Irwin and Tiler Peck debuted Time It Was/116 at Vail before bringing it to Fall for Dance. Photo by Kyle Froman.
Though we haven't even reached summer, now's the time when dance companies and fans alike are setting their sights towards fall. Today, New York City Center announced its 2016–17 lineup. Aside from the popular two-week Fall for Dance Festival (yes, all tickets are still just $15), City Center will host another fest, a Big Apple iteration of the Vail International Dance Festival.
Could this be a trend of late? It's not the first time this year a summer festival has announced special programming in NYC. Just this March, the American Dance Festival unveiled that it will close its regular season with performances at The Joyce Theater, August 1–3. For summer outlets like ADF and Vail, the additional performances offer a chance for NYC audiences, who may not have the chance to travel to North Carolina or Colorado, to get in on the action. It's particularly a keen move for Vail, since many of its dancers are already based in New York. A press release from City Center mentioned that Vail Dance Festival: ReMix NYC, with shows November 3–6, will feature many Vail regulars, including American Ballet Theatre's Isabella Boylston (the festival's artist in residence for 2016) and Herman Cornejo; New York City Ballet's Sara Mearns, Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck; tapper extraordinaire Michelle Dorrance; and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's rehearsal director, Matthew Rushing. Former Pacific Northwest Ballet star Carla Körbes, jukin' phenom Lil Buck, tango artist Gabriel Missé, and others will also be in tow.
The full Fall for Dance lineup has not yet been released, but City Center promised 20 different companies and artists from around the world and two world premiere commissions for its 13th edition, September 26–October 8. Featured performers include ABT, Ailey, Australia's Bangarra Dance Theatre, London's Richard Alston Dance Company, Brazil's Grupo Corpo, France's Compagnie Accrorap, classical Indian dancer Shantala Shivalingappa and Hong Kong Ballet.
If that isn't enough, the always cool Nederlands Dans Theater will make a tour stop at City Center, November 16–19, with four U.S. premieres. For tickets and more info on the rest of the upcoming season as it becomes available, see nycitycenter.org.