Vive la Danse

From Paris in the spring to a Delancey Street parking lot, the French make their move

Dances by three Francophone artists stud the spring season, varying in temperament from heavy to light, in venues ranging from the baroque Howard Gilman Opera House at BAM to a parking garage at Essex and Delancey streets. First up, in mid April at the Joyce, is Maguy Marin's Les Applaudissements Ne Se Mangent Pas—"You Can't Eat Applause"—an exploration of oppression and dictatorship from a choreographer whose concerns range incredibly wide. A few weeks later, Philippe Decouflé's new extravaganza, Tricodex, opens at BAM; Decouflé's a comic wizard of multimedia movement, tweaking video to create new worlds—or, in this case, bring old ones to life. He'll deploy 25 dancers from Yorgos Loukos's marvelously eclectic Lyon Opera Ballet. They'll fly through the air, inspired by Luigi Serafini's Codex Seraphinianus, a fanciful encyclopedia full of mythical creatures and the ornate worlds they inhabit.

Choreographer Noemie LaFrance hails from Quebec; last year her Descent, which invited spectators to follow dancers playing domestic servants down a curving, 12-story staircase in a shabby office building, won a Bessie. This May, as one of two dance artists sponsored by the 2004 Whitney Biennial, LaFrance offers Noir, a site-specific dance installation that shows us her spectacle through the windshields of parked cars. Five couples will act out a story of suspense and romance while moving among vehicles in a garage near Delancey and Essex; the lighting will simulate the monochromatic effect of a black-and-white film. The chilling music, by Brooks Williams, issues forth from the cars' radios. You can buy an individual ticket (front-seat views cost $30, backseat ones $20) or, in the best old drive-in tradition, load up your own car and wheel it in for $100. Or, hey, let the kids sleep in the back and save the cost of a baby-sitter.

Compagnie Maguy Marin, April 6-11,
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, 212.242.0800
Lyon Opera Ballet, April 20 and 22-24, BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, 718.636.4100
Noemie LaFrance, May 5-22, Delancey and Essex Municipal Parking Garage, 105 Essex Street, 212.868.4444


PAUL TAYLOR DANCE COMPANY
Through March 14
City Center, 135 West 55th Street, 212.581.1212

Are curtain times earlier because the audience is aging, or because sensation-hungry New Yorkers prefer to eat and carouse after a performance? In addition to a world premiere and two local ones, Taylor's season boasts 7 p.m. start times on Tuesdays and 6:30 curtains on Sundays. Le Grand Puppetier, the master's latest, set to Stravinsky, is on the B program, one of three.


'HARKNESS DANCE PROJECT'
March 3-28
Duke on 42nd Street, 229 West 42nd Street, 212.369.6200

Cutting-edge choreographers in this Times Square black box, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays—sponsored by the 92nd Street Y. Right now, Nicholas Leichter's dance troupe, followed by Johannes Wieland, the Wally Cardona Quartet, and David Dorfman Dance.


'DANCENOW/NYC'
March 5 and 6, May 7 and 8
Joe's Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, 212.239.6200

This plucky, artist-curated series puts diverse talents under a cabaret microscope; pull up a chair and watch them perform practically in your lap! This week, Pat Catterson, Sean Curran, Chris Elam, and more; a whole other roster in May.


BODYVOX
March 9-14
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, 212.242.0800

Ashley Roland and Jamey Hampton, former Pilobolus, Momix, and Iso dancers based in Portland, Oregon, share the stage with a company of six, performing short dances and screening award-winning films (like Deere John and Case Studies From the Groat Center for Sleep Disorders) directed by Mitchell Rose.


SOULOWORKS/ANDREA E. WOODS & DANCERS
March 10, 11, 19, and 20
Dance Theater Workshop, 219 West 19th Street, 212.924.0077

An evening celebrating the spirit and the soul, to music by Philip Hamilton, Madeleine Yayodele Nelson, and Randy Weston.


KAREN SHERMAN
March 11-14
P.S.122, 150 First Avenue, 212.477.5288

Cold Comfort, for six terrific dancers, delves into ice and isolation, suffering and ecstasy, and the harsh beauty of Antarctica.


PETER BOAL & COMPANY
March 16-21
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, 212.242.0800

New York City Ballet's principal dancer is joined by Wendy Whelan and Sean Suozzi, performing works by Twyla Tharp, William Forsythe, Marco Goecke, and John Alleyne


'TRIBECA PERFORMING ARTS FESTIVAL'
March 18-28
Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 199 Chambers Street, tribecapac.org

Ellis Wood Dance, Suarez Dance theater, Richard Rivera's Physual, and Kraig Patterson's Bopi's Black Sheep, artists in residence downtown, fill a week in this steeply raked space.


'WALL TO WALL GEORGE BALANCHINE'
March 20
Symphony Space, Broadway at 95th Street, 212.864.5400

This astonishing, free, 12-hour event (seating is first-come, first-served) will feature many generations of Balanchine dancers, rare video clips, and performances by artists from the New York City Ballet and students from the School of American Ballet, in yet another celebration of the great choreographer's centennial.


MOVIN' SPIRITS DANCE THEATER
March 24
BRIC Studio, 647 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, 718.636.4181, ext. 2229

Marlies Yearby, whose recent Brown Butterfly, about Muhammad Ali, turned many heads locally, presents excerpts from her developing (Woom' en) n.. Singer Gina Breedlove completes the program.


BRIAN BROOKS + JULIE ATLAS MUZ
March 24 and 25, April 2 and 3
Dance Theater Workshop, 219 West 19th Street, 212.924.0077

The young and the young at heart cheer for the inspired silliness of these artists: Brooks celebrates the color green, and Muz takes on Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, one more time.


JESSICA NICOLL & BARRY ORECK
March 25-28
Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church, 131 East 10th Street, 212.674.8194

A pair of mature, elegant dancers offer their own choreography as well as works by Phyllis Lamhut, Claire Porter, and JoAnna Mendl Shaw, to live music.

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