Vital Signs

March 20, 2011





Whet Your Appetite

Houston’s Wortham Center bursts with international talent at this year’s Dance Salad. Highlights include Ballet National de Marseille performing artistic director Frederic Flamand’s dreamy Metamorphoses. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s company Eastman will dance his Faun, the choreographer’s version of Nijinsky’s exotic original. The Jasmin Vardimon Company, helmed by Vardimon—the Israeli-born, Brighton-based choreographer who, like Cherkaoui, is an associate artist at Sadler’s Wells—makes its U.S. debut. April 21–23. See


O Fortuna!

Nashville Ballet’s Carmina Burana leaps onto the stage April 29–May 1. Director Paul Vasterling, who choreographed the ballet in 2009, chose to revive the piece as NB’s 25th anniversary season closer, due to strong audience response. The haunting grandeur of Carl Orff’s opus is welcome in a city like Nashville, where everyone is connected to the music business. The Nashville Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Children’s Choir and vocal soloists will add even more drama. April 29–May 1. See


Pieces Form a Whole

Ballet Arizona is celebrating its 25th anniversary, so it’s fitting that the penultimate production of the company’s season is artistic director Ib Andersen’s masterpiece, Mosaik (2004). Andersen, also a serious visual artist, not only choreographed the evening-length ballet, but designed the elaborate costumes and painted the expansive backdrops. Beyond the spectacle, Mosaik showcases the strength and expressiveness of Andersen’s dancers. For fun, the piece is sprinkled with good-natured jabs at ballet moments like Sleeping Beauty’s Rose Adagio. April 29–May 1. See


Diving In

For emerging choreographers, getting your work seen beyond your local theater can be challenging. It’s out of this idea that the Velocity Dance Center (Seattle), The Southern Theater (Minneapolis), ODC Theater (San Francisco), and Philadelphia Dance Projects have created SCUBA, a touring network that also provides logistical and creative support. The Southern Theater presents three SCUBA artists this month: Seattle’s Amelia Reeber, Philadelphia’s Jumatatu Poe, and local choreographer Judith Howard. April 22–23. See


When Worlds Collide

Melding modern dance and bharata natyam, DC-based Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company comes to the Painted Bride in Philly this month. The classically trained Singh became enamoured of Anna Sokolow in his 20s, resulting in the company’s unique repertoire. On the bill are “As I Remember,” a suite of Sokolow solos that Lorry May helped stage, and Vasanth, Singh’s multi-genre work that tells the story of how the goddess Spring descended to earth. April 8–9. See


Quixote Goes Crazy

Known for taking the classics and resetting them in modern, extravagant settings, Boris Eifman brings his Don Quixote, or Fantasies of the Madman, to Chicago, Costa Mesa, San Francisco, and Cleveland from April 21 to May 15. The ballet’s title character is an insane asylum inmate who imagines himself as the Don. While a Kitri, Basil, Lorenzo, and Gamache make appearances and there is a marriage subplot involved, the ballet’s trajectory is decidedly different than any other Don Q. Whether you love or hate the changes, the beauty and strength of the Eifman Ballet dancers are undeniable. See


Capital Tap

With more than 35 master classes from teachers like Michelle Dorrance, Harold Cromer, and Dianne Walker, opportunities for students to perform and compete, and a special concert with an international lineup honoring Jason Samuels Smith, tap is taking over Washington, DC, from April 15–17. From Chloé and Maud Productions, the third annual DC Tap Festival welcomes all ages and levels. New additions include an improv class with live music, a musical theater class, and a seminar on the business side of tap. See


A Modern Marvel

The thrilling modern dance company BejingDance/LDTX embarks on a North American tour this month. After performances in Boston, St. Paul, Ottawa, and Chapel Hill, the company, known for marrying Eastern traditions with international influences, goes further west to L.A. and Houston. Repertoire includes the stunning Cold Dagger, which finds peace in danger and vice versa, and the political All River Red, set to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. April 1–24. See



Nashville Ballet’s Sadie Harris and Jon Upleger.  Photo by Marianne Leach, Courtesy NB