The World at Our Feet

As days grow short, dancers from around the planet visit our city to share their visions

Our leader may want to pull up the drawbridge and hurtle us back into the 19th century, but our arts presenters keep foraging abroad. This fall's dance offerings are notable for their breadth and global reach. Here we focus on international artists who'll grace our stages this fall. Dozens of gifted domestic troupes are scheduled as well; details about them run weekly on our Short List and in the dance listings.

At Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church (131 East 10th Street, 212-674-8194), the season opens with the U.S. debut of Compagnia Danza Francesca Selva, run by a former ballerina based in Siena, Italy. They'll perform Camminando-XYZ, a "dance meditation" in the ensemble's contemporary-infused neoclassical style (September 8 through 10). Other autumn highlights at the church include Gina Gibney Dance (October 13 through 16), Luis Lara Malvacias (October 20-23), the Movement Research Improv Festival (December 1 through 4), and two split bills: Joyce S. Lim and Paz Tanjuaquio (October 28-30) and Adriane Fang and Colleen Thomas (December 9 through 13).

Canadian choreographer Noémie Lafrance, who's worked magic in a Manhattan stairwell and a parking garage, brings 35 dancers and "special apparitions" to Williamsburg-Greenpoint's long-abandoned McCarren Park Pool (Lorimer Street between Driggs Avenue and Bayard Street, 718-302-5024) for Agora (September 13 through October 1). The piece has a multi-channel score by Brooks Williams, working with Norm Scott; Charlie Morrow provides a site-specific surround sound installation.

Pool Party: Lafrance (front) and the ensemble in Agora
photo: Tim Knox
Pool Party: Lafrance (front) and the ensemble in Agora

Michael Flatley, who created Riverdance and Lord of the Dance, touches down for the debut performance of his new Celtic Tiger, which "dramatizes the spirit of Ireland" (Madison Square Garden, September 27, 212-307-7171), before heading off on tour. English choreographer Christopher Wheeldon assembles a chamber group of dancers from the New York City and San Francisco ballets to perform three of his ballets to music by Hungarian composer Gy Ligeti, played live by FLUX Quartet and pianists Cameron Grant and Michael McGraw (Miller Theater, Broadway, at 116th Street, 212-854-7799, September 28 and 30 and October 1).

At P.S.122 (150 First Avenue, 212-477-5829), new director Vallejo Gantner launches the first roster assembled under his leadership. Israeli choreographer Saar Harari draws on both his dance and his military training for Herd of Bulls, in which four dancers physicalize the internal struggles of a peaceful soldier during conflict (October 19 through 23). The Norway in New York festival includes Ina Christel Johannessen's Zero Visibility Corp in . . . it's only a rehearsal, based on Ovid's story of Actaeon and Artemis (November 30 and December 1); the middle-aged ensemble Baktruppen, performing the subversive, funny Un-Do-Three (December 3 and 4); and the Iranian-born, Norwegian-educated Hooman Sharifi's autobiographical solo We Failed to Hold This Reality in Mind (December 10 and 11).

Local work on P.S.122's fall program includes Tamar Rogoff's Christina Olson: American Model, based on Andrew Wyeth's iconic woman and performed by Claire Danes (September 21 through October 2); another round of Terry Dean Bartlett and Katie Workum's "Danceoff!" (October 11 and 12) and Sally Silvers & Dancers' 25th anniversary season (November 16 through 20). Ken Nintzel's 'Twas the Night Before the Twelve Days of a Nutcracker Christmas Carol fuses holiday clichés into an "only in the East Village" seasonal spectacle (December 15 through 25).

BAM's Next Wave Festival (30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-636-4100) spotlights a production from mainland China: the National Ballet of China in Raise the Red Lantern, choreographed by Xinpeng Wang and Wang Yuanyuan and directed by film director Zhang Yimou (October 11 through 15). Brazil's Grupo Corpo offers dances by Rodrigo Pederneiras; the company's style fuses modern, ballet, African, urban, and folkloric forms (October 25 and 27 through 29). Italy's Compagnia Aterballetto brings two Ballets Russes signature works to Stravinsky, Les Noces and Petrushka, reimagined by artistic director Mauro Bigonzetti (November 8 and 10 through 12). German choreographer Sasha Waltz returns to the Next Wave with Impromptus, inspired by and performed to piano pieces by Franz Schubert, which mixes American postmodernism with German expressionism for her multinational troupe (December 6 and 8 through 10).

At BAM's Harvey Theater (651 Fulton Street, Brooklyn), the ongoing Act French festival feeds the Next Wave Bright Abyss, a surreal nouveau cirque enterprise written and directed by James Thiérrée and performed by La Compagnie du Hanneton (November 9 through 13). In the intimate James and Martha Duffy Performance Space at the Mark Morris Studio (3 Lafayette Avenue, diagonally across the street from BAM), Israel's Batsheva Dance Company plays for two weeks in Mamootot, choreographed by the terrific Ohad Naharin (November 15 through 20 and 22 through 27); tickets to this are likely to be very scarce. The sole domestic dance event in the Next Wave is Wally Cardona's Everywhere, to music by Phil Kline performed by Ethel (at the Harvey, December 13, 15, and 17).

Cisne Negro: From Brazil to the Joyce
photo: Joyce Theater
Not to be missed at the Joyce Theater (175 Eighth Avenue, 212-242-0800, is Belgium's austere Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker performing her solo Once, set to the entire classic LP Joan Baez in Concert, Part 2 (November 8 through 13). Brazil's Cisne Negro Dance Company brings choreography by Patrick Delcroix, Rui Moreira, and Dany Bitencourt, all new to New York (November 1 through 6) and Montreal's Compagnie Marie Chouinard shows a solo and a group piece (December 13 through 18). American artists include Joan Myers Brown's Philadanco (September 20 through 25), ODC/San Francisco performing dances by Brenda Way and KT Nelson(October 11 through 16), and Savion Glover (December 20 through January 15).
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