Best of 2012: JAZZ AND DANCE; Highlights of the Year, on Stage and in Recordings

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DANCE

The world-famous Joffrey Ballet appeared at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center in March, performing pieces by William Forsythe, Edwaard Liang and Christopher Wheeldon in a Dance St. Louis concert. Rather than lean on past glories, the company brilliantly reaffirmed its commitment to artistic exploration.

The fifth edition of Dance St. Louis Spring to Dance Festival built on the previous successes . As in past years, the festival at the Touhill showcased an eclectic array of companies (mostly from the Midwest) and styles.

In September, choreographer and St. Louis native Annie Loui brought her Counter-Balance Theater to the Edison Theatre for performances of Jane Eyre, her interpretation of the classic novel. The show was an imaginative adventure in storytelling through text and movement.

New Dance Horizons, presented in October at the Touhill, featured four local companies Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company, Leverage Dance Theater, MADCO and St. Louis Ballet performing works by esteemed choreographers. The Dance St. Louis initiative held promise to become an annual complement to the Spring to Dance Festival.

JAZZ

Concerts Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo, Jan. 22 at the Sheldon: Saxophonist Marsalis and pianist Calderazzo conjured music of intricate beauty while making it all sound effortless. …