Vital Signs

April 23, 2012

An Epic Odette

The Bolshoi returns to North America with two full-length productions this month. The question is, will the company project its usual bravura without Osipova and Vasiliev, formerly two of its biggest stars? First up is Toronto, with Swan Lake May 15–19 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. Our cover guy David Hallberg tweeted that this version, by Grigorovich after Petipa, “kinda feels like Swan Lake on steroids, it’s that epic.” The company brings Coppélia to the Kennedy Center May 29–June 3, then that lavish Swan Lake to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in L.A. June 7–10. Here’s hoping it also brings new Bolshoi principal Evgenia Obraztsova, who graced our Feb. 2011 cover.


Svetlana Zakharova. Photo by Damir Yusupov, Courtesy Music Center of LA.



Building Bridges

Collaboration is the name of the game at the San Francisco International Arts Festival. The annual series pairs Bay Area dancemakers with their global counterparts. Leyya Tawil, director of the improvisational troupe Dance Elixir, premieres Thieves, which incorporates a sound score by Dutch composer and engineer Lars J. Brouwer. Post:Ballet, helmed by Robert Dekkers (2011 “25 to Watch”) is working with composer Daniel Berkman and German filmmaker Alexander du Prel on a new work. Shinichi Iova-Koga’s company inkBoat and renowned Butoh artist Ko Murobushi will reprise The Crazy Cloud Collection, based on the life of the puckish Buddhist monk Ikkyu Sojun. May 2–May 20.


Post:Ballet’s Christian Squires. Photo by David DeSilva, Courtesy SFIAF.



Moody Magic

One of the few Butoh masters living in the U.S., Oguri brings his collaborative Cold Dream Colour to L.A.’s REDCAT May 16–20. The dancemaker, who can be both bizarre and serene, teams up with fellow choreographers Liz Roche and Morleigh Steinburg. The otherworldly work of 20th-century Irish painter Louis le Brocquy is choreographically interpreted to The Edge and Paul Chavez’s moody guitar score.


Oguri in 
Cold Dream Colour. Photo by Eoin McLoughlin, Courtesy REDCAT.




Who else makes dances that are full of fear as well as fight? Bodies that are soft yet sinister? Groupings that are tribal yet full of individuality? Israeli-born choreographer Hofesh Shechter has made one of his pounding pieces, Violet Kid, for Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, which presents the New York premiere during its season at the Joyce, May 15–27, alongside works by Crystal Pite, Angelin Preljocaj, Regina van Berkel, Alexander Ekman, and Jo Strømgren. Then, June 1 and 2, the company takes Violet Kid to the Spoleto Festival in Charleston as well as Preljocaj’s spirituality-as-sensuality, lesbian-tinted


Matthew Rich, Harumi Terayama, and Jon Bond in Regina van Berkel’s
Simply Marvel. Photo by Julieta Cervantes, Courtesy Cedar Lake.



Houston, We Have a Celebration

Producing 10 seasons of contemporary ballet is no small feat, and Dominic Walsh Dance Theater isn’t taking the celebration lightly. To close this anniversary season May 3–5, DWDT premieres Walsh’s dance theater piece about French sculptor Camille Claudel—student, muse, and lover of Auguste Rodin. Also on the lineup are reprises of favorites from the past: Walsh’s The Itch, Mats Ek’s Pas de Dans, and Matthew Bourne’s White Swan pas de deux from his racy Swan Lake. Walsh has invited three of Houston’s most beloved ballerinas to return to the stage in his version of The Dying Swan. Following Lauren Anderson and Tyann Clement’s renditions earlier in the season, this time Krissy Richmond makes her cameo performance.


Kathryn Walsh Thomas and Domenico Luciano in
Camille Claudel. Photo by Lynn Lane, Courtesy DWDT.



Virginia is for Dance Lovers

Now in its 16th year, the Virginia Arts Festival of Norfolk, VA, kicks off its dance series with the festival debut of American Ballet Theatre in Giselle. Lula Washington Dance Theatre and Gallim Dance round out the roster of this eclectic festival of arts awesomeness. LWDT performs For Those Who Live and Die for Us and Gallim presents the exuberant Pupil Suite as well as the sobering Mama Call. An added bonus: LWDT will teach a master class. April 16–June 6.


Lula Washington Dance Theatre’s Haniyyah Tahirah in
Global Village. Photo by E. Mesiyah McGinnis, Courtesy LWDT.



Make Some Noise

Rhythms abound across the country for National Tap Dance Day, which falls on Bill “Bojangles” Robinson’s birthday, May 25. Annual events include Windy City Rhythms in Chicago (courtesy Chicago Human Rhythm Project) and NYC’s Tap Extravaganza, which will honor Eleanor Powell (who would be 100 this year). And in Dallas, students from regional studios will perform May 22–26 as a pre-show for the musical Memphis at the Music Hall at Fair Park.


Eleanor Powell and Fred Astaire in
Broadway Melody of 1940. Photo from DM Archives.


Contributing writers: Wendy Perron, Kina Poon, Rachel Rizzuto