Moveable Feasts Coming to Your Town Soon: We Looked from Coast to Coast and Found a Cornucopia of Dance for the Fall Season

By Ulrich, Allan | Dance Magazine, September 2007 | Go to article overview

Moveable Feasts Coming to Your Town Soon: We Looked from Coast to Coast and Found a Cornucopia of Dance for the Fall Season


Ulrich, Allan, Dance Magazine


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What's new this fall? Take a deep breath. The country will see Mark Morris' recent, full-evening triumph. The Martha Graham Dance Company, one of America's certifiable cultural treasures, will travel widely during its 80th-anniversary year. Twyla Tharp's choreography will be all over the map. And one of the most innovative formulas for dance presentation in many years has inspired a self-confessed copy cat.

That would be the Orange County Performing Arts Center's Fall for Dance festival, a clone of New York City Center's acclaimed autumn project. The ticket price, $10, remains the same in Southern California; and, so does the intoxicating mix of dance styles on view Oct. 11-14 in Segerstrom Hall. The first program features Nina Rajarani Dance Creations, Susan Marshall & Company, Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Via Katlehong Dance from South Africa. Stick around for the second bill with the Graham Company, Charles Moulton, LINES Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, and Rennie Harris Puremovement. Amelia Rudolph's wall-scaling Project Bandaloop will perform outdoors free after the show.

Autumn means that the Mark Morris Dance Group is hitting the road again. The company will bring its warmly received Mozart Dances (with pianists and full orchestra) to the West Coast for the first time, with engagements set for Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall Sept. 20-23 and Los Angeles' Music Center Oct. 20-21. The latter venue will celebrate the opening of its dance season with David Michalek's Slow Dancing, the astounding outdoor installation of slow-motion video portraits that lit up Lincoln Center Plaza in July (see "Dance Matters," July), starting Sept. 17.

In some ways and in some places, the fall season will be a celebration of Twyla Tharp. Now that this most unclassifiable of great choreographers has licensed her dances to several of our leading ballet companies, it was only a matter of time before someone came up with the idea of a Tharp Festival. That someone, Cal Performances director Robert Cole, has booked three troupes who will fill Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall with the choreographer's vintage dances. Chicago's Joffrey Ballet, absent from the Bay Area for several years, will reprise Deuce Coupe, its Beach Boys megahit of yesteryear, and complement it with Laura Dean's Sometimes It Snows in April and Robert Joffrey's Pas des Deesses (Oct. 4-6). Edward Villella's Miami City Ballet visits Oct. 26-28 with Tharp's Nine Sinatra Songs and with Balanchine's Agon, leavened by Tharp's In the Upper Room. American Ballet Theatre'$ week (Nov. 7-11) adds Sinatra Suite and Baker's Dozen, surrounding them with West Coast premieres by Jorma Elo and Benjamin Millepied, Robbins' Fancy Free, and the company's first staging of Balanchine's Verdi diversion, Ballo della Regina. Panels and symposia will accompany all the Tharpiana.

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The touring plans for the Martha Graham Dance Company will take this American institution cross-country to 12 cities, starting with Seattle and ending in Lewisburg, WV. The organization promises Graham perennials like Lamentation, Appalachian Spring, and Errand Into the Maze.

Another American classic, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, will also be traveling--to 11 cities, starting Oct. 3 in Portland, OR, and Oct. 5-6 in Long Beach, CA, and including a run at Boston's Shubert Theatre Nov. 30-Dec. 2. Yet another of our venerable modern dance groups, the Limon Dance Company, will be featured when it plays Philadelphia's Zellerbach Theatre Dec. 6-8.

The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company will not rest this fall. The troupe opens the UCLA Live season with Blind Date Oct. 12-13 at Royce Hall and launches the season's programming at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Oct. 19-21 with the acclaimed Chapel/Chapter. From there, it's a cross-country jump to New Jersey's Montclair State University, where the crew will deliver three different programs, including a premiere Nov. …

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