Vital Signs

February 27, 2013

A Wellspring of Rites

One hundred years after Nijinsky’s riot-inducing
Le Sacre du Printemps premiered, dance companies around the world are celebrating this iconic work (see “After the Revolution,” Feb.). Performances happening this month include:


American Repertory Ballet
premieres director Douglas Martin’s version. BalletMet Columbus performs James Kudelka’s new Rite of Spring. Bill T. Jones’ collaboration with SITI Company, A Rite, comes to Purchase, NY. Bolshoi Ballet premieres Tatyana Baganova’s Rite of Spring. Carolina Ballet performs Christopher Stowell’s version. Colorado Ballet continues performances of Glen Tetley’s version. Compagnie Marie Chouinard’s Le Sacre du Printemps tours to Gothenburg, Sweden; Santa Barbara, CA; Easton, PA; Chicago, IL; and Burlington, VT. At Houston Ballet, Stanton Welch’s new version premieres March 7–17. The Joffrey’s famed reconstruction of Nijinsky’s ballet comes to Lincoln, NE; Omaha, NE; Austin, TX; San Antonio, TX; Amherst, MA; Providence, RI; Portland, ME; and Chapel Hill, NC. At San Francisco Ballet, Yuri Possokhov’s new Rite of Spring continues performances. Check company websites for dates and venues.


The Joffrey Ballet in Nijinsky’s
Le Sacre Du Printemps. Photo by Herbert Migdoll, Courtesy Joffrey.



Moving Mountains


Last spring, Cassie Meador, director of the Washington, DC–area Dance Exchange, trekked the 500 miles from her home to the sources of energy that power it, from electrical plants to a strip-mining site in West Virginia. Over two months, she collected stories, among other collaborations, from dancers and artistic folk along the way. The experience formed the basis of the evening-length How To Lose a Mountain, which premieres March 16–17 at Dance Place. Find out more at


A quick rest stop. Photo by Jori Ketten, Courtesy DE.



Gaga in Georgia

Atlanta Ballet takes on Ohad Naharin’s work for the first time this month when it performs his edgy Minus 16. (Hubbard Street and Ailey already have the piece in their reps.) The programming of the work, which shares a bill with Wheeldon’s Rush and a premiere by Austin-based Gina Patterson, continues in one vein of AB’s aesthetic; its previous resident choreographer was Lauri Stallings, who is heavily influenced by Gaga.

Heath Gill rehearsing
Minus 16. Photo by C. McCullers, Courtesy AB.



Site-Specific Heritage

“What has brought us to this place?” asks choreographer Heidi Duckler in an ongoing series of performances dubbed Expulsion. On March 16, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre performs Expulsion East LA, in a vacant lot on scaffolding three stories high. (The company has been at the forefront of Southern California’s site-specific scene for more than 25 years.) Previous iterations of Expulsion, which highlight the experiences of ethnic communities, have been mounted in Long Beach’s Cambodia town and Portland, OR, in partnership with the Native American Painted Sky Northstar Dance Company. Expulsion East LA is a collaboration with local Mexican folk dance troupe Danza Floricanto/USA.


Expulsion in Long Beach. Photo by Vivian Babuts, Courtesy HDDT.



Back in Boston

The intricate storytelling and haunting choreography of maestro Jirí Kylián will again meet the talent of Boston Ballet this month. The company will perform Wings of Wax, Tar and Feathers, and Symphony of Psalms. The program, to judge by past Kylián performances in Boston, will draw audiences eager for the choreographer’s evocative style. March 7–17.


Boston Ballet in Kylián’s
Tar and Feathers. Photo by © Sahron Mor Yosef, Courtesy BB.



Mixing It Up

Giving audiences a rare opportunity to experience international dance, the Dance Salad Festival brings a wide array of notable companies to Houston every spring. Teatr Wielki/Polish National Ballet, under director/choreographer Krzysztof Pastor, returns to the U.S. after more than 30 years. Compañia Nacional de Danza brings Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s In Transit (see cover story, April 2012), and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s company Eastman, based in Belgium, will perform his PUZ/ZLE. March 28–30.


CND in Ochoa’s
In Transit. Photo by Jesus Vallinas, Courtesy Dance Salad.



Not Everything is Black and White

A surreal world of color vs. black-and-white is the setting for Ballet Austin’s Cult of Color: Call to Color, which returns to the stage March 28–April 7. The visually stunning work brings the drawings and paintings of Trenton Doyle Hancock to life. It premiered in 2008 after three years of collaboration between Hancock, composer Graham Reynolds, and choreographer (and BA’s artistic director) Stephen Mills. The creeping, creature-ly movement and the outrageous, pillow-y costumes pose a interesting challenge for the dancers.


Photo by Tony Spielberg, Courtesy BA.


Contributors: Kathleen Dalton, Kina Poon