So far, the Baryshnikov Arts Center has generally shown excellent taste in the artists it has chosen to sponsor and present. OtherShore is a new venture: Dancers Sonja Kostich and Brandi Norton, both with impressive résumés, have gathered together a crew with equally impressive résumés and have commissioned work from Edwaard Liang (of New York City Ballet), Stacy Matthew Spence (of Trisha Brown), and Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar (of Big Dance Theater). The guiding force and vision are vague at this point, but the materials are high-grade. Baryshnikov Arts Center, 450 West 37th Street, 212-279-4200, bac.nyc.org.
For the centennial of his birth, the ballets of the British-born choreographer Antony Tudor—canonical but sometimes neglected—get put into heavy rotation by the company he helped to found. Tudor was a poet of repression, and though his plots and the morality behind them have become dated, his expressionistic use of ballet can still rend the heart. Jardin aux Lilas, his finest and most delicate work, returns after a few years' absence, joining the melodramatic Pillar of Fire and the late and more abstract The Leaves Are Fading. An all-Tudor evening on October 31 adds the sweet and simple pas de deux from Romeo and Juliet and the low comedy of Judgment of Paris. City Center, 135 West 55th Street, 212-581-1212, nycitycenter.org.
'Les Écailles de la Mémoire'
The performances of those Brooklyn-based ladies, Urban Bush Women, have always been about the African diaspora. But in this collaboration with the all-male Compagnie Jant-Bi from Senegal, the connections between Africa and America are especially explicit, and the contrasts are as interesting as the continuities. A typical UBW formula—suffering and struggle alchemized into kinetic force and joy (and leavened with some timeworn jokes)—produces fresh work with new ingredients, especially Senegalese sabar dancing and sexual tension. The powerful, Zimbabwe-born Nora Chipaumire, now her company's star, provides a bridge. BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-636-4100, bam.org.
Misnomer Dance Theatre
Chris Elam is one of the most original voices in contemporary dance. Put another way, his work is very strange. He's a contortionist and a fantasist, and he twists and transforms his dancers in improbable ways until they look creaturely, like himself. Sometimes the strangeness is precious; often, it's fascinating, even thrilling. Having lately made himself into a pioneer of Internet dance and a choreographer to Björk, Elam brings out three new pieces, including Zipper, which features a score by Evan Ziporyn, played live by the Real Quiet trio. Joyce Soho, 155 Mercer Street, 212-242-0800, joyce.org.