Vital Signs

August 31, 2012

A Storm of Movement

Crystal Pite, that master of rigor and recklessness, kicks off the tour of her latest creation, The Tempest Replica, for Frankurt/Vancouver–based Kidd Pivot this month. Exploring the themes of revenge/forgiveness and reality/imagination that run through Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the piece engages a dual cast of characters: Dancers dressed in street clothes and the “replicas,” clothed in all white with covered faces. Replica appears at the Power Center in Ann Arbor, MI, Sept. 21–22 and Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Theatre Sept. 27–28, and will travel to Halifax, Nova Scotia; Montreal; Vancouver; and NYC through the fall.


Eric Beauchesne with Peter Chu, Jiri Pokorny, Yannick Matthon, and Jermaine Maurice Spivey in
The Tempest Replica. Photo by Jörg Baumann, Courtesy UMich.



OK Adventurous

A midsized company with big dreams, Tulsa Ballet opens its season with ambitious fare: the return of Jorma Elo’s furiously fast Slice to Sharp, the company premiere of Edwaard Liang’s Age of Innocence, inspired by the novels of Jane Austen, and Wayne McGregor’s PreSentient. The last, set to the music of Steve Reich, is a U.S. debut, with TB joining only a handful of stateside companies to which the choreographer has entrusted his overstretched, highly kinetic movement. Sept. 14–16.


Alfonso Martin and Sofia Menteguiaga in Liang’s
Age of Innocence. Photo by Julie Shelton, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet.




Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Time-Based Art Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary of putting experimental art front and center. In the festival’s first year under the direction of Angela Mattox, a former curator at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, interdisciplinary performances will take over warehouses and streets, as well as theaters. TBA:12 welcomes back Faustin Linyekula and Miguel Gutierrez, while Nora Chipaumire makes her first appearance in Miriam, a world premiere that grapples with popular expectations of femininity. Another sociopolitical piece comes courtesy of Bay Area–based Keith Hennessy, with his Turbulence (A Dance About the Economy). Sept. 6–16.


Okwui Okpokwasili and Nora Chipaumire in
Miriam. Photo by Antoine Tempé, Courtesy PICA.



New Choreo in Cincinnati

Cincinnati Ballet has commissioned three pieces from female dancemakers for its Kaplan New Works Series, all of whom have local roots as alumni of Cincy’s School for Creative and Performing Arts.Paige Cunningham Caldarella, assistant professor at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago and a former Cunningham dancer; Bay Area–based choreographer Amy Seiwert; and Heather Britt, on faculty at Northern Kentucky University will contribute the premieres, while Jessica Lang’s Baroque-influenced La Belle Danse rounds out the program. Sept. 6–16.


Joshua Bodden in Heather Britt’s
Blind Man’s Map at the Kaplan New Works Series 2011. Photo by Peter Mueller, Courtesy CB.



Going Viral

Noémie Lafrance’s work, in which dancers have scaled buildings, performed in empty swimming pools, and “melted” while perched on a brick wall, evokes a visceral response. Her latest project, Choreography for Audiences, uses technology to incorporate the public into the performance. When reserving tickets to the concert (Sept. 15–16), individuals were given a secret website link with instructions about the roles they will play in the piece. Lafrance also plans to film the performances and distribute the footage online, adding another layer of audience members.


Noémie Lafrance’s
The White Box Project. Photo by sens production, Courtesy Lafrance.



Into Living Rooms Across Philly

The annual Philadelphia Live Arts Festival has invited international guests, as well as local dancemakers, to perform a slew of shows that put the audience first. In Sylvain Émard Danse’s Le Grand Continental, more than 200 residents will take over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with a combination of Émard’s contemporary movement and line dancing (the choreographer’s childhood love). Philly-based Brian Sanders’ JUNK (which often incorporates found objects) performs The Gate Reopened, in which the dancers scale a 20-foot-high octagon with moving parts, surrounded by the audience. Local troupe Headlong Dance Theater brings This Town Is a Mystery into the living rooms of four homes—with the residents as the performers. Sept. 7–22.


Sylvain Émard Danse’s
Le Grand Continental. Photo by Robert Etcheverry, Courtesy PLA.



Fêting Forty

Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal’s home season at the Théâtre Maisonneuve is especially sweet this year, as the edgy company celebrates 40. The program includes Benjamin Millepied’s duet Closer with the luminous Céline Cassone and recent Juilliard grad Alexander Hille; Fuel, by Cayetano Soto; and a premiere by Barak Marshall for the full company (set to a mash-up of jazz, Israeli folk music, and traditional Québécois music). Sept. 27–29. The company will tour nationally and internationally this fall, including a run at the Joyce in New York beginning Oct. 30.


Alexandra Gerchman and Morgane Le Tiec in
Fuel. Photo by Benjamin Von Wong, Courtesy Danse Danse.