Vital Signs

March 17, 2010

Koresh Goes Gaga

Koresh Dance Company performs its first Ohad Naharin work, Passomezzo (1989), this month as part of its home season in Philadelphia. Set primarily to the familiar strains of “Greensleeves,” the duet shifts between highly physical partnerwork (the male dancer spins the female slowly with his foot; she pins him to the ground, stepping on his chest) and quirky solo movement. Naharin will teach a Gaga master class at Koresh during the run. April 29–May 2. See


When Will the Other Slipper Drop?

Richmond Ballet artistic director Stoner Winslett brings fellow company heads Suzanne Farrell (The Suzanne Farrell Ballet), Celia Fushille (Smuin Ballet), Victoria Morgan (Cincinnati Ballet), and Dorothy Gunther Pugh (Ballet Memphis) to Virginia on April 28 for “The Glass Slipper Ceiling,” a seminar on why there are so few female directors in dance. Part of the statewide MINDS WIDE OPEN: Virginia Celebrates Women in the Arts, the event, moderated by Anna Kisselgoff, is free and open to the public. See


A Delicious Mix

Dance Salad returns to Houston with another slew of international companies. Highlights include Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève performing a reworked excerpt of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Loin (the sensational Prince Credell, formerly of LINES Ballet and Hubbard Street, resurfaces here), David Dawson’s Faun(e) for Dresden SemperOper Ballet’s Raphael Coumes-Marquet and English National Ballet’s Esteban Berlanga, and the Spanish modern troupe Gelabert Azzopardi Companyia de Dansa. April 1–3.


Three’s Company

Oklahoma City Ballet artistic director Robert Mills joins Lee-Wei Chao and Helen Pickett (a 2007 “25 to Watch”) in presenting THR3E by THR3E, a program of new works. The piece by San Francisco–based Chao revolves around recovering from addiction, while Pickett’s 4 Cycles draws inspiration from the youthful eagerness of the dancers. Mills, whose work Touchstones is set to music by Brian Eno, last presented this format in 2007 when he was artistic director of Ballet Nouveau Colorado. See


Straight Out of Tokyo

Choreographer, dancer, and Rolex Mentor Saburo Teshigawara brings his striking solo Miroku (2007) to the Wexner Center in Columbus, OH, April 16 and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN, April 22–24. In addition to the choreography, Teshigawara designed the expansive set, searing lighting, and minimalist costumes for Miroku, drawing equally on his backgrounds in ballet and the plastic arts. See and


Shen Wei Re-turns

The riveting Shen Wei Dance Arts performs the complete Re- (Parts I, II, III) during the fourth installment of its five-year residency at the Kennedy Center. A journey through Tibet, Angkor Wat, and ancient and modern China, the piece weaves movement through other visual mediums, including Shen Wei’s photography. The NYC-based troupe has been picking up international momentum since forming in 2000 at the American Dance Festival. April 29–30. See


A Victory for (Wo)Mankind

“If you had one last dance in you, what shape would it take?” Vincent Dance Theatre explores this question in the U.S. premiere of director Charlotte Vincent’s If We Go On at Peak Performances in Montclair, NJ. The English choreographer infuses dance, song, and speech with her dark sense of humor. Vincent, whose company does extensive outreach work, is a leading voice in the UK for women choreographers. Last fall, she made news when she successfully negotiated childcare subsidies with the Arts Council England for two of her dancers. April 15­–18. See


The New Heroic­s

Before Twyla Tharp made Movin’ Out, she made Surfer at the River Styx, a marathon sextet that was based on Greek mythology. Described in these pages as “edgy, driven, grandly conflicted,” it gave John Selya a monumental role. You could hardly believe his outsized energy as he leapt, pirouetted, barrel-turned, and glided (the fact that he was a surfer gave the piece its title) to a point beyond exhaustion. It projected a new sense of heroism in dance. And now Company C Contemporary Ballet is bringing Surfer into its own rep, with the Selya role most likely going to the engaging Robert Dekkers. April 24 and May 8–9 and 14–15 in the Bay Area. See



Photo of OKCB in Amy Seiwert’s
Finding/Almost by Cindi Miller, courtesy OKCB