NEW YORK CITY SummerStage is back, offering free outdoor performances in all five boroughs. This month, the Francesca Harper Project performs Harper’s Modo Fusion: Art Prototype, a foray into the world of beauty pageants that fuses dance with music and film in the East River Park, Aug. 16. In a series of theatrical vignettes, the work explores the exploitation of women and the way beauty pageants have evolved over time. The previous week, Aug. 9 & 10, Harlem Dance Caravan brings Illstyle & Peace Productions (a hip-hop based company), Camille A. Brown & Dancers, and Forces of Nature Dance Theatre to Marcus Garvey Park. www.cityparksfoundation.org/summerstage.
Dominique Rosales of Francesca Harper Project. Photo by Lois Greenfield, Courtesy Summerstage.
Russian Stars Come London Calling
LONDON The Bolshoi, that purveyor of bravura, takes over the Royal Opera House for three weeks through Aug. 17. Its most buzzed-about ballerinas, namely Zakharova, Obraztsova, and “25 to Watch” Smirnova, appear in works like Balanchine’s Jewels, La Bayadère, and Swan Lake. It is hoped that director Sergei Filin will be able to join them (see “Dance Matters,” June). Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev make a one-night-only, megawatt guest-star turn in Ratmansky’s Flames of Paris, which has been sold out for months—a housewarming party of sorts for Osipova, who joins The Royal Ballet as a principal dancer for the upcoming season. www.roh.org.uk.
Osipova in Flames of Paris. Photo by Elena Fetisova, Courtesy Bolshoi.
Dreams from My Father
MOUNT TREMPER, NY “This dance honors my past, present, and future family.” The enigmatic Souleymane Badolo shows his Buudou, BADOO, BADOLO, part ecstatic ritual, part seance, at the Mount Tremper Arts Festival on Aug. 3. (Buudou means “family” in Badolo’s mother tongue Gourounsi.) The natural wonder of Mount Tremper’s Catskill Mountains locale only adds to the work’s eeriness. www.mounttremperarts.org.
Badolo in Buudou, BADOO, BADOLO. Photo by Ian Douglas, Courtesy Danspace.
Sounds of Summer
NATIONWIDE Tap festivals for all ages and levels abound in August. Get down with star faculty and performers at workshops across North America:
Rhythm World at Chicago’s American Rhythm Center with Lane Alexander, Derick K. Grant, and Chicago Human Rhythm Project, through Aug. 4. www.chicagotap.org.
L.A. Tap Fest with Jason Samuels Smith and Chloe Arnold, Aug. 5–10. www.latapfest.com.
Bay Area Tap Festival with Channing Cook Holmes and John Kloss. Aug. 13–18. www.stepology.com.
Motor City Tap Fest with Gregg Russell, Claudia Rahardjanoto, and Sarah Reich, Aug. 15–17. www.motorcitytapfest.com.
Tap United at the Collins Center for the Performing Arts in Andover, MA, with Aaron Tolson, Tap Attack, and Sean Fielder, Aug. 16. www.tapunited1.com.
Jersey Tap Fest with Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and Jason Janas, Aug. 22–25. www.jerseytapfest.com.
Santa Fe Tap Festival with Mark Mendonca and the D’Jeune D’Jeune African Drum and Dance Ensemble. Aug. 29–30. www.stepology.com.
Vancouver International Tap Dance Festival with Dianne Walker, Jumaane Taylor, and Michelle Dorrance, Aug. 30–Sept. 1. www.vantapdance.com.
Charles Renato of Brazil jumps into Rhythm World in Chicago. Photo by Adilson Machado, Courtesy CHRP.
A Rash of Small Ballet Troupes
NEW YORK CITY The Joyce is trying something new this summer. Gathering six small ballet companies from around the country, it is presenting a two-week sampler from Aug. 6–17. New Yorkers don’t often get to see BalletX from Philly, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater from Houston, Company C Contemporary Ballet from the Bay Area, or Whim W’Him from Seattle—though each group has a following in its hometown. Add to this intriguing roster two from NYC—Jessica Lang Dance and BalletCollective (a project of New York City Ballet’s Troy Schumacher)—and you have a mini festival that may lure you away from the beach. www.joyce.org.
Domenico Luciano of Dominic Walsh Dance Theater in Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake. Photo by Frank Atura, Courtesy DWDT.
Ladies, Start Your Engines
SAN FRANCISCO Eight dance groups—all with women at the helm—perform at San Francisco’s Summer Performance Festival, SPF6. The artists were recent participants in The Garage residency, under the auspices of SAFEhouse, a local incubator for emerging artists with a strong LGBTQ bent. Different movement styles and topics are tackled, from Aura Fischbeck Dance’s Have we all melted yet?, which explores assimilation, to BodiGram’s D.R.U.N.K.S, a satirical look at drinking culture (complete with drinking games). At the ODC Theater Aug. 14–18. www.spf6.org.
The Milissa Payne Project’s Up in the Air. Photo by Lynn Fried, Courtesy SPF6.
Chicago’s Finest, For Free
CHICAGO Where can you see Hubbard Street, Giordano, the Joffrey Ballet, Ensemble Español, Natya Dance Theatre, and Chicago Human Rhythm Project for free? Five times over? Chicago Dancing Festival, of course. These Windy City companies are joined by dancers from Ailey, Brian Brooks Moving Company, Philadanco, Juilliard, and Lar Lubovitch Dance Company (Lubovitch is a CDF co-founder). Performances take place at the Harris Theater, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and the Auditorium Theatre, with an outdoor finale at the vast Pritzker Pavilion of Millennium Park. Aug. 20–24. www.chicagodancingfestival.com.
Krithika Rajagopalan of Natya Dance Theatre. Photo by Eileen Ryan, Courtesy CDF.
VAIL The Vail International Dance Festival this summer, which celebrates its 25th year with a wealth of programs and events, has something for everyone. The anniversary benefit performance presents styles from tango to ballet, with Charles “Lil Buck” Riley (see cover story), Gabriel Missé, Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild, and Herman Cornejo, among others. The festival continues to show its range in two evenings of international dance, a ballroom spectacular, and performances by dancers from popular TV shows. And Damian Woetzel, the festival’s mastermind, hosts an evening of premieres, including works by Paul Taylor, Larry Keigwin, and Fang-Yi Sheu. July 28–Aug. 10. www.vaildance.org.
Kit McDaniel and Brandon Cournay of Keigwin + Company. Photo by Matthew Murphy, Courtesy VIDF.
WASHINGTON, DC “The Ballets Russes changed the way people viewed dance.” So wrote Deborah Jowitt about the legendary company on the occasion of its centenary (see “Russes Revolution,” Feb. 2009). The burst of fauvist color, themes of eroticism, and blockbuster collaborations woke audiences up to the allure of ballet. Now on display at the National Gallery of Art’s Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, 1909–1929: When Art Danced with Music in Washington, DC, are costumes, set designs, rare film footage, and drawings (by the likes of Bakst, Matisse, Picasso, and Chanel) from that ground-breaking period. Of special note is Natalia Goncharova’s cubist backdrop for Fokine’s glorious Firebird. Through Sept. 2. www.nga.gov.
Léon Bakst’s costume design for an Odalisque from Schéhérazade, 1911. Photo from Collection of the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Gift of Robert L. B. Tobin, Courtesy NGA.
A Different Kind of Peace Process
NEW YORK CITY Transplanted Israeli choreographer Zvi Gotheiner takes an ancient Arab line dance for the basis of his dynamic work DABKE, which comes to Lincoln Center Out of Doors Aug. 3. With images of both protest and prayer, the dance unites Israeli and Arab traditions. ZviDance shares the evening with El Gusto, a group of both Jewish and Muslim musicians. (Maybe dancers and musicians can accomplish what Hillary Clinton could not.) Other offerings in the series—which is free—include Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion on Aug. 1, and Dance Heginbotham on Aug. 8. www.lcoutofdoors.org.
Gotheiner’s DABKE. Photo by Jacqueline Chambord, Courtesy Lincoln Center.
Contributors: Suzannah Friscia, Wendy Perron, Kina Poon
The Music Man
Mark Morris Dance Group is plenty busy this month, headlining Luminato, Toronto’s annual arts festival, with Morris’ masterwork L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato in its Canadian premiere June 21–23. Morris directs this year’s Ojai Music Festival (the first choreographer to do so), where his dancers will perform; and at Ojai North!, a collaboration with Cal Performances in Berkeley, MMDG will premiere Morris’ Rite of Spring, danced to a new arrangement of Stravinsky’s music by The Bad Plus jazz trio. www.luminato.com and www.ojaifestival.org.
MMDG in L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato. Photo by Elaine Mayson, Courtesy Luminato.
Adventures in Action
Two daring dancemakers return to this year’s Festival TransAmériques in Montreal. Lemi Ponifasio brings Birds with Skymirrors, in which frenetic limbs contrast with intense stillness. At 54, the indomitable Louise Lecavalier performs So Blue, a whirlwind solo and duet for which she receives her first sole choreographic credit. May 29–June 7. www.fta.qc.ca.
Lecavalier in So Blue. Photo by André Cornellier, Courtesy FTA.
Feast for 40
This year marks John Neumeier’s 40th anniversary at the helm of Hamburg Ballet. To celebrate, the company has expanded its annual summer festival Hamburg Ballet-Days. HB will dance in 16 productions over the three weeks, joined by its school and two guest troupes led by former company dancers: Ivan Liska of Bavarian State Ballet and Jean-Christophe Maillot of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo. While companies all over the world have been feting the centennial of The Rite of Spring, Neumeier, whose personal collection of Nijinsky memorabilia is legendary, has dedicated several evenings to his idol/muse. June 9–30. www.hamburgballett.de.
Neumeier rehearsing Carsten Jung in his Liliom. Photo by Holger Badekow, Courtesy HB.
Swiftly but Gently
A free series of site-specific performances around San Francisco, presented by Dancers’ Group/ONSITE, honors a local pioneer this month. Amara Tabor-Smith, a former associate artistic director of Urban Bush Women who now directs Oakland-based Deep Waters Dance Theater, pays tribute to her mentor, choreographer Ed Mock, an AIDS casualty in the 1980s. June 15–23. www.dancersgroup.org.
Amara Tabor-Smith. Photo by Alan Kimara Dixon, Courtesy Tabor-Smith.
Twenty years after his death (and 75 after his birth), Rudolf Nureyev’s impact on ballet is still felt worldwide. Tributes to the unrelentingly charismatic star have been happening all year, and this summer brings still more. In addition to a gala at the Vienna State Opera Ballet at the end of the month and a production of his Swan Lake at Teatro alla Scala later this summer, Le Palais des Congrès de Paris hosts the Noureev and Friends gala May 31–June 1. The fabulous lineup of today’s stars come from companies like the Bolshoi (Obraztsova), the Mariinsky (Kondaurova and Somova), and English National Ballet (Rojo). www.viparis.com.
Nureyev in costume for Don Quixote. Photo by Serge Lido, DM Archives.
Three enduring goddesses of downtown dance—Sara Rudner, Vicky Shick, and Jodi Melnick—come together at The Yard June 22–30. Each one alone is glorious to behold, but together they’ll be an irresistible pileup of brainy female sensuality. Also on the agenda at Martha’s Vineyard’s largest dance festival: Faye Driscoll (see “Word Play,” April), Doug Elkins, Everett Dance Theatre, and Deborah Lohse (see “Nine Who Dared,” Nov. 2012). Without a doubt, The Yard, now helmed by former DTW chief David White, is undergoing a major revitalization. www.dancetheyard.org.
Melnick. Photo by Matthew Karas.
Forsythe: Former and Future
William Forsythe’s approach to ballet technique was revolutionary in the 1980s. His style is still often imitated, never matched. In recent years, with his own Forsythe Company, he has moved into the realm of dance theater—where whimsy and crazily delicious dancing play equal roles. His latest piece, which comes to Sadler’s Wells this month, aims to cover it all. Study #3 incorporates movement sequences, choreographic methods, music, costumes, and technical effects from 30 works spanning the last 30 years. www.sadlerswells.com.
The Forsythe Company in Study #3. Photo by Dominik Mentzos, Courtesy Sadler’s Wells.
Contributors: Suzannah Friscia, Wendy Perron, Kina Poon