Moving Targets

Choreographers Stride to Hit the Mark

Imagine an escalator carrying choreographers and their companies up through dance venues, from tiny lofts and 99-seat houses to the Kaye Playhouse, the Joyce Theater, Aaron Davis Hall, gigs at colleges around the country, the international touring circuit, and back to the distinguished reaches of BAM, City Center, and Lincoln Center. Artists go from renting theaters—an expensive strategy that's always a gamble—to being fully produced, which guarantees they'll at least break even, and on to being commissioned. The trip can take years—from, say, five for the supremely trendy to a dozen or more for riskier work. And not all choreographers benefit from making this journey. Some dances work best in intimate spaces, and are better served by running for several weeks in a small house than for one weekend in a barn where the most dedicated spectators—those in the cheap seats—are nearly a block from the stage.

After two decades of watching New York dance, I'm seeing some of my early favorites arrive at the top of these particular heaps. Susan Marshall, a Next Wave veteran who recently won a MacArthur Foundation grant, headlines a series reopening a much missed, newly renovated 140-seat space at the New 14th Street Y on September 7 and 10; this is the same address where she made her local debut some 15 years ago.

David Dorfman is a triple-threat artist who talks, plays several musical instruments, and choreographs funny, often heartrending dances for duos (his Live Sax Acts with Dan Froot are priceless), community groups, and a company of expressive performers who cleave to him. On September 15, at the Joyce, Dorfman and Froot host this season's Bessie Awards, a community celebration that marks the unofficial start of the fall season. And Dorfman makes his Next Wave Festival debut in December with To Lie Tenderly, which has original rock and roll music by Amy Denio and Hahn Rowe performed live. Examining multiple meanings of the verb "to lie," the dance explores emotional struggles between the urge for autonomy and the need for intimacy. The ramshackle BAM Harvey Theater sounds like the right crib for this show.

Stephen Petronio's new Strange Attractors opens for a week at the Joyce October 17, with contributions from a very British team: a lush, romantic score by Michael Nyman and additional music by James Lavelle, as well as costumes by Tanya Sarne of Ghost and a shiny metal landscape constructed by sculptor Anish Kapoor.

Ralph Lemon's Tree continues his intercultural explorations begun two years back. This year, Lemon's putative subject is Asia, but as always his approaches are circuitous and his methods diverse; catch up with him at the BAM Harvey Theater late in October.

Slightly younger, but making rapid strides both with his own troupe (September 28 and 29, Aaron Davis Hall, City College, 135th Street and Convent Avenue, 650-7148) and as a guest choreographer, is Ronald K. Brown, whose Grace highlights the Ailey season in December at City Center. He'll also contribute to the repertory of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (Joyce, October 10-15) a dance made collaboratively with veteran choreographer Donald McKayle.

Another young African American choreographer, incorporating the hip-hop landscape of his native Philadelphia into a very sharp rethinking of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, is Rennie Harris, who brings his Rome & Jewels to the Joyce September 26-October 1. The listings here barely skim the surface of what is shaping up to be a rich fall season of dance.


DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM
September 6-17
City Center, 135 West 55th Street, 581-1212

This beloved ballet company is back in Midtown for the first time in years, with new work by Augustus van Heerden and favorites by Balanchine, Smuin, and others.


'Y DANCE'
September 7, 9-10
New 14th Street Y, 344 East 14th Street, 780-0800, ext. 248

Susan Marshall, Beverly Blossom, Graham Lustig, Felicia Norton, Kraig Patterson, and more artists headline this festival in a newly renovated space.


'FOLK PARKS 2000'
September 9
Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center, 62nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam avenues, 571-1555

A free, daylong celebration of music and dance from the city's ethnic neighborhoods


'THE WORDS & THE MOTION'
September 12
Dixon Place, 309 East 26th Street, 532-1546

Paula Hunter, Samuael Topiary, Miguel Gutierrez, Liam Clancy, and Trajal Harrell launch a series obsessed with movement and the spoken word.


REGGIE WILSON/FIST & HEEL PERFORMANCE GROUP
September 13-30
Dance Theater Workshop, 219 West 19th Street, 924-0077

New works by a choreographer steeped in African and diasporic traditions


JODY OBERFELDER
September 14-October 7
The Flea, 41 White Street, 226-0051

Her new Slay the Dragon is an acrobatic piece about overcoming adversity.


ANNA SOKOLOW MEMORIAL
September 14
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, 966-5621

Members of her troupe, the Players' Project, celebrate the great choreographer's long life.


'FRESH TRACKS'
September 19 and 26, October 3
Dance Theater Workshop, 219 West 19th Street, 924-0077

Juried program of emerging choreographers


'PHAT TUESDAYS'
September 19, October 24, November 21, December 19
Dixon Place, 309 East 26th Street, 532-1546

A "monthly Mardi Gras" performance party curated by Boo Froebel, featuring dance, theater, media, puppet, and performance artists


'IN THE COMPANY OF MEN 2000'
September 21-24
Pace Downtown Theater, 1 Pace Plaza, Spruce Street between Park Row and Gold Street, 625-8369

New works commissioned from Andrew Asnes, Robert Battle, Matt Jensen, Nicholas Leichter, Gabriel Masson, Le Minh Tam, Nathan Trice, and artistic director Charles Wright


BIRMINGHAM ROYAL BALLET
September 21-October 1
City Center, 131 West 55th Street, 581-1212

Formerly known as Sadler's Wells, they'll show Edward II, a new full-length work by David Bintley, the first week, and a mixed bill of Bintley's more cheerful dances the second.


'DANCE AS EVER'
September 28-October 1
Pace Downtown Theater, Spruce Street between Park Row and Gold Street, 346-1715

Leigh Witchel's chamber ballet troupe offers four premieres.


ICE THEATRE OF NEW YORK
October 3-6
Sky Rink, Chelsea Piers, Pier 61, 23rd Street and Twelfth Avenue, 929-5811

Choreographers Ann Carlson, Elisa Monte, Peter Di Falco, and Doug Webster make dances for these terrific skaters.


EUN ME AHN DANCE
October 5-8
Joyce Soho, 155 Mercer Street, 334-7479

Avant-garde Korean dancer-choreographer presents a new work performed by Mark Haim, and a group piece on the female life cycle.


BRAZILIAN CAPOEIRA FESTIVAL
October 7
Symphony Space, Broadway at 95th Street, 864-5400

Featuring Mestre Ombrinho, Grand Mestre No, and Capoeira Angola Palmares


DAYTON CONTEMPORARY DANCE COMPANY
October 10-15
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, 242-0800

Works new to New York, by Donald McKayle with Ronald K. Brown, Dwight Rhoden, and the troupe's new artistic director, Kevin Ward


BALLET ARGENTINO
October 11-14
City Center, 131 West 55th Street, 581-1212

Julio Bocca's ensemble in works by Araiz, Mendez, Bigonzetti, and Stekelman


LUCINDA CHILDS DANCE COMPANY
October 11, 13-15
BAM Harvey Theater, 651 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, 718-636-4181

Six works, including four U.S. premieres, celebrating the troupe's 25th anniversary


HEADLONG DANCE THEATER
October 19-22
Dance Theater Workshop, 219 West 19th Street, 924-0077

Smart, funny, Philadelphia-based dance collaborative


AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE
October 24-November 5
City Center, 131 West 55th Street, 581-1212

New works by Christian Holder and Natalie Weir, and repertory picks


GARTH FAGAN DANCE
October 24-November 5
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, 242-0800

Rochester-based troupe of stunning performers brings a new work to music by Wynton Marsalis.


MARCEL MARCEAU
October 24-November 12
Kaye Playhouse, 68th Street between Park and Lexington avenues, 772-4448

The mime master's new show, The Bowler Hat, and two solo weeks


CHENG/HARRINGTON
October 27-29
Cunningham Studio, 55 Bethune Street, 11th floor, 924-0077

Anita Cheng and Heather Harrington share a program of three premieres with multimedia accompaniment.


CLOUD GATE DANCE THEATRE OF TAIWAN
November 1, 3-5
BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-636-4100

Lin Hwai-min presents Songs of the Wanderers.


NEUMANN/DAWSON
November 2-26
P.S. 122, 150 First Avenue, 477-5288

David Neumann and Stacy Dawson offer Pearl River, Chinese-style fistfights and flirtations.


'DANCES WITH PROGENY: PARENTS AND CHILDREN IN PERFORMANCE'
November 5
Harkness Dance Center, 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue, 415-5553

Jane Comfort, Catherine Gallant, Lynn Parkerson, Ann Biddle, and Maja Lorkovic celebrate the mother-child bond in dances with their kids, who range from teens to the as-yet-unborn.


MERCE CUNNINGHAM DANCE COMPANY
November 7-12
Joyce Theater, 175 EighthAvenue, 242-0800

He studied and performed with Martha Graham, and now he's filling one of the weeks vacated by her troupe with a series of "events," 90-minute collages of new and vintage choreography.


CATTERSON/CROLL
November 9-12
St. Mark's Church, Second Avenue at 10th Street, 674-8194

Pat Catterson and Tina Croll offer new and revived work; Croll's titlehas live music performed by Michael Ginsburg and his 12-piece Balkan brass band, Zlatne Uste.


'MICHAEL MOSCHEN IN MOTION'
November 14-26
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, 242-0800

Mystical juggler does lovely, delicate things with globes and other implements.


NEW YORK CITY BALLET
November 21-February 25
New York State Theater, Lincoln Center, Columbus Avenue at 63rd Street, 870-5570

An opening gala November 21, followed by Balanchine's Nutcracker through the end of the year


SYDNEY DANCE COMPANY
November 28-December 3
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, 242-0800

The new Air and Other Invisible Forces has music by Giya Kancheli and Michael Askill.


'IMPROVISATION FESTIVAL/NY'
November 28 and 30, December 1 and 3
Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church, Second Avenue at 10th Street, 539-2611

Movement Research opens its ninth annual extravaganza here, then takes off for venues Downtown; featured will be Katie Duck, Julyen Hamilton, Kirstie Simson, Mary Overlie, and many others.


DOUG VARONE AND DANCERS
November 29-December 17
Lower East Side Tenement Museum, 90 Orchard Street, 431-0233

Gifted, diverse troupe of modern performers enacts stories of intertwined relationships in the rooms of an 1863 tenement.


EIKO & KOMA
November 29-December 3
BAM Harvey Theater, 651 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, 718-636-4181

In When Nights Were Dark, this provocative pair brings to the stage the concept of a portable, womblike performance environment.


ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER
November 29-December 31
City Center, 131 West 55th Street, 581-1212

New dances by Alonzo King, Carmen de Lavallade, and Dwight Rhoden, and repertory works performed by this sizzling ensemble


'THE REMEMBER PROJECT'
December 2
St. Mark's Church, Second Avenue at 10th Street, 840-0770

A benefit for Dancers Responding to AIDS, this 12-hour festival features 85 troupes.


BALLET HISPANICO
December 5-17
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, 242-0800

New works by Ramon Oller and Pedro Ruiz


NEW YORK THEATRE BALLET
December 15-31
Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street, 355-6160

The Nutcracker in an hour-long version

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