Fall Dance Picks

William Forsythe, Martha Clarke, Shantala Shivalingappa, and more.



Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company
Forysthe's I don't believe in outer space
Dominik Mentzos
Forysthe's I don't believe in outer space

September 16–18, 20–25

Perhaps you’re too young to have seen three memorable duets made and performed by Bill T. Jones and his partner, Arnie Zane: Monkey Run Road(1979), Blauvelt Mountain, and Valley Cottage: A Study (both 1980). The two Body Against Body programs presented by New York Live Arts (the merger of Jones’s company with Dance Theater Workshop) reconstruct them with today’s Jones/Zane dancers, through whom some viewers will inevitably glimpse Bill and Arnie—young, gorgeous, and smart as hell. New York Live Arts, 219 West 19th Street, newyorklivearts.org


Pick Up Performance Co(s) | David Gordon

October 6–9

A NJ Transit train and a short walk get you to Montclair State University (other options exist). The Peak Performances series there includes a revival of David Gordon’s 2004 Dancing Henry V. In this witty, politically astute deconstruction of Shakespeare’s stirringly jingoistic history play, the great Valda Setterfield presides over a battlefield of objects and misguided endeavors, while the voice of Laurence Olivier and William Walton’s score for his 1944 film hover above the fray. Alexander Kasser Theater, Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey, peakperfs.org


The Forsythe Company

October 26–29

Don’t we always want to see what William Forsythe has been up to? His company of 18 arrives at the BAM 2011 Next Wave Festival with the New York premiere of his 2008 i don’t believe in outer space, a take on the nature of existence as Forsythe sees it. We can count on being delighted, amazed, stimulated, and/or provoked by performers who talk, sing, dance—possibly all at the same time—in brainy, comico-tragic deconstructions of what we think of as the “normal” flow of movement and logic. BAM Howard Gilmore Theater, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, bam.org


2011 Fall for Dance Festival

October 27–November 6

Fall for Dance arrives at a newly renovated City Center. Ten nights, five mixed programs, 20 companies from the U.S. and abroad. Hip-hop artist Charles “Lil Buck” Riley appears on a program with Mark Morris’s group. Pontus Lidberg Dance from Sweden makes its U.S. debut, as does Britain’s Steven McRae. Dances new here by Richard Alston and Ohad Naharin! The Royal Ballet of Flanders, the New York City Ballet, the Ailey, the Joffrey! $10 a seat! City Center Theater, 133 West 55th Street, nycitycenter


Shantala Shivalingappa: Dancing the Gods

October 30

Some people may remember Shantala Shivalingappa in Pina Bausch’s late works, or in Bartabas’s Zingaro. But her performances in India’s classical Kuchipudi style have a different kind of beauty—that of a temple statue come to charming life. The precision of her gestures, the vividness of her facial expressions, and her rhythmically stamping feet tell tales of gods who make love to willing maidens and attest to the power of dance itself to enlighten us. Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place, skirballcenter.nyu.edu


American Ballet Theatre

November 8–13

Good news! ABT is reviving Twyla Thap’s tremendous In the Upper Room (1986), in which ballet and modern dance spar and mingle. That might be a theme of the company’s brief repertory season: Alexei Ratmansky’s beautiful ballet, Seven Sonatas, and a premiere by Argentinian Demis Volpi; two more Tharps (Sinatra Suite and a duet from Known by Heart); Merce Cunningham’s Duets; Paul Taylor’s Black Tuesday and Company B; and Martha Clarke’s The Garden of Villandry. City Center Theater, 131 West 55th Street, nycitycenter.org


Richard Move

November 16–19

When 6’4” Richard Move channels Martha Graham, the result is both hilarious and touching. His latest re-embodiment, Martha @. . .The 1963 Interview, places her onstage at the 92nd Street YM-YWHA being interviewed by critic Walter Terry (Lisa Kron), with intermittent appearances by current Graham company dancers. Move’s meticulous performance of the choreographer—soft-voiced, gracious, ladylike, occasionally mired in her own eloquence—brings out her genius as well as her efforts to keep aging at bay and remain in the limelight she craved. New York Live Arts, 219 West 19th Street, newyorklivearts.org


Martha Clarke: Angel Reapers

November 29–December 11

Worship and dance rarely meet on American soil. Their union in Shaker communities of the 18th and 19th centuries makes this celibate religious sect an alluring subject for choreographers. That and the presumed sexual frustrations. Doris Humphrey’s ecstatic The Shakers premiered in 1931, Tero Saarinen’s great Borrowed Light (2004) appeared at BAM in 2007. Now the imaginative theater artist Martha Clarke has weighed in, collaborating with playwright Alfred Uhry on Angel Reapers and drawing on those jaunty Shaker hymns. Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, joyce.org

 
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