The new dance season explodes next week, with at least six top-flight artists showing new work simultaneously. What’s an aficionado to do? You could drop in on the Canadian superstar Louise Lecavalier‘s So Blue at New York Live Arts (September 9-12); on the chameleonic Jeanine Durning at the Chocolate Factory (her new To Being hangs around for another week, followed by a reprise of her astonishing 2010 Inging); on Johanna S. Meyer‘s piece.piece down at Gibney’s Agnes Varis Theater (September 9–12); on koosil-ja‘s I am capitalism (in collaboration with Geoff Matters) at the Kitchen (September 10–12); or on the world-class Sonia Olla Flamenco Dance Company at the Theater at the 14th Street Y (September 9 and 11–13).
But this writer will find herself ensconced, at least for the early part of the evening, in the glittery confines of Joe’s Pub, where DANCENOWNYC (September 9–12) — celebrating its 20th anniversary — mounts short works by 50 choreographers who have shown their creations on the Pub’s insanely tiny stage since the festival launched in 1996. Now that the Public Theater’s kitchens have reopened, you can dine and drink in style while watching ten artists strut their stuff nightly.
A famous choreographer opined, back in the early Nineties, that Americans tend to like their dances short and fast. DANCENOW has made that philosophy its mantra. The festival rallies its loyal alums to present more than 30 new works (plus 20 “greatest hits”) over four nights, each hosted by a pair of artists: one a veteran, one a relative fledgling. Two weeks later, on September 24, an “encore performance” — featuring special guests Nicholas Leichter and Brian Brooks — showcases the audience favorites selected at each of the evenings.
DANCENOW producers Robin Staff, Tamara Greenfield, and Sydney Skybetter deploy their deep bench of mostly local artists at a repurposed steel plant in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, as well as in downtown Manhattan. Included in next week’s rollicking East Village blowout are David Parker and the Bang Group, who have been there from the beginning; Jane Comfort & Company; Doug Elkins Choreography; and the redoubtable Claire Porter / PORTABLES. The hysterical Deborah Lohse, Chelsea and Magda, Cori Marquis + The Nines, and Jordan Isadore make up the field’s younger dance-makers.
September 16–20 and 22–26
The brilliant, obstreperous Gutierrez may be aging but he refuses to go quietly. In this trilogy, The Age and Beauty Series (co-presented with FIAF’s Crossing the Line Festival), he investigates, with a range of collaborators, a host of issues confronting the mid-career artist in both his personal and professional lives. In Part 1, he and Mickey Mahar explore hyper-emotional affect; in Part 2, he works with long-term artistic partners Michelle Boulé, Ben Pryor, and Lenore Doxsee; and in Part 3, as he waits for the end of the world, he envisions a future “dripping with lamentation, aspiration, melancholy, fantasy and doubt.” New York Live Arts, 219 West 19th Street, newyorklivearts.org
Kotze, who won an “Emerging Choreographer” Bessie two years ago for her first full-length work, has since been collaborating with a group of visual artists (Jonathan Allen, Zachary Fabri, Asuka Goto) and dancers (Stuart Singer, Netta Yerushalmy). The goal: to create a movement-based, multidisciplinary dialogue—in which Kotze will perform—that investigates the shared concerns of visual art and live performance. Howard Gilman Performance Space, Baryshnikov Arts Center, 450 West 37th Street, bacnyc.org
Camille A. Brown & Dancers
How do you carve out your own identity as a black woman in urban America? The award-winning Brown and her all-female troupe explore the complexity of that issue in her new Black Girl: Linguistic Play. The music, from collaborators Tracy Wormworth and Scott Patterson, channels the rhythms of steppin’, Double Dutch, and Juba. Completing the program is New Second Line, which celebrates the spirit of New Orleans; meanwhile, a nightly dialogue lets audiences engage with the artists onstage. Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, joyce.org
Fall for Dance
September 30–October 11
The season launches in earnest with this bargain series, featuring a world premiere by tap genius Michelle Dorrance and a local premiere by ballet innovator Pam Tanowitz, plus 18 other pieces from Doug Elkins, Steven McRae, Paul Taylor, Stephen Petronio, and Bill Irwin and Tiler Peck. Visiting troupes from Spain, Israel, India, Brazil, Argentina, and France appear alongside members of the Houston, San Francisco, Boston, and Miami City ballets. (Representing our own city is Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.) Choose among five programs, each playing twice. New York City Center, 130 West 56th Street, nycitycenter.org
Making his Joyce debut, the athletic John Heginbotham — longtime Mark Morris dancer and master of absurdity, wit, and comic timing — shows his new Easy Win, set to a commissioned score played live by the pianist Ethan Iverson. Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, joyce.org
José Limón International Dance Festival
The pioneering modern troupe, celebrating its 70th anniversary, invites guest artists from the Royal Danish Ballet, the Bavarian State Ballet, Caracas’ Coreoarte, and Princeton’s American Repertory Ballet. In addition, students from the ranks of the Juilliard School, the North Carolina School of the Arts, and the National Institute of the Arts in Taipei help contribute to mountings of such signature Limón works as Missa Brevis, Orfeo, and The Moor’s Pavane — deployed, along with ten other pieces by the Mexican master, on four different programs. Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, joyce.org
White Light Festival
October 14–November 22
Dance laces through several presentations of this multidisciplinary festival structured to explore our interior lives. Check out classical Indian dance master Aakash Odedra in new pieces by choreographers Damien Jalet and Lewis Major (October 22–24); Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Boris Charmatz collaborating, to Bach, on Partita 2 (October 29–30); and a special program of four dances set to the music of Thomas Adés and choreographed by Wayne McGregor, Karole Armitage, Alexander Whitley, and Crystal Pite (November 20–22). Various venues, whitelightfestival.org
American Ballet Theatre
October 21–November 1
New works by Mark Morris (to music by Johann Nepomuk Hummel) and Marcelo Gomes (to Tchaikovsky) highlight this season of short ballets; also on stage are the company premieres of Frederick Ashton’s Monotones I and II (to hypnotic scores by Erik Satie) and George Balanchine’s Valse-Fantaisie (to Glinka). Rounding out the rep are dances by Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, Alexei Ratmansky, Kurt Jooss, and Michel Fokine. David H. Koch Theater, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza, davidhkochtheater.com
The indefatigable Madame Tharp, our favorite fusion artist, celebrates her 50th anniversary as a choreographer with a 10-week national tour that culminates at Lincoln Center, bringing a company of 13 dancers in two premieres: one set to excerpts from Bach’s “The Well-Tempered Clavier,” and the other to music from “Viper’s Drag,” a jazz compilation arranged by Henry Butler and Steven Bernstein. John Zorn composes introductory fanfares, Santo Loquasto designs the costumes, and the dancers are a mix of Tharp veterans and new recruits. David H. Koch Theater, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza, davidhkochtheater.com
December 2–5 and 8–12
His passion for big words and complex ideas can’t quash the incomparable physical and emotional power O’Connor generates in a cast of twelve performers. Interpreting “transition and event [as] indistinguishable” and creating “aqueous fields of constant movement,” O’Connor can be counted on, in The Goodbye Studies, to stretch the possibilities inherent in all forms of contemporary dance, working with composer James Baker to roil our hearts. The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, thekitchen.org
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