Fall dance preview: 'Rite of Spring' ignites fall stages


Get ready for another installment in the big "Rite of Spring" centennial celebration, our all-year commemoration of the landmark collaboration between Igor Stravinsky, the fearless composer, and Vaslav Nijinsky, the equally undaunted choreographer, who together set Paris on its ear in 1913.

This latest effort is that of Shen Wei, the Chinese-born American choreographer, whose eponymously named, New York-based dance company travels to Mass MoCA Oct. 26 and 27 for performances co-sponsored by Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, which offered Martha Graham's version of the dance in August.

This performance coincides with the museum's final weekend of "Phoenix," Xu Bing's remarkable sculpture exhibition, which has as its centerpiece two monumental suspended birds fabricated from materials gathered by the sculptor from construction sites in China's urban centers.

"Collective Measures," described by Shen Wei as her exploration of personal separation within physical proximity of others, completes the program.

Earlier in October, Bettina Montano's "Rainy night, street light " will be presented by Berkshire Pulse at the Berkshire Theatre Group's Third Annual Made in the Berkshires Festival, as part of its gala, Oct. 11, at the

Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield. The work, performed by seven of the company's upper-level students, is set to music from "Bach in Havana," by the Latin band Tempo Libre, and J.S. Bach's French Suite No. 5 in G.

The festival, which includes, theater, art and music created in the Berkshires, will continue its dance activities Oct. 13 with contributions from Dawn Lane and the Moving Company, Berkshire Dance Theatre and more from Berkshire Pulse.

"common ground," Lane's work for 12 dancers, is set to music of Meredith Monk.

Berkshire Dance Theatre will offer "Peaceable Kingdom," a piece by Chuck Paquette for seven dancers, performed to a score by Dave Miller; "Down the Rabbit Hole" by Becky Clemens with 13 dancers, set to scores of Alain White and others, Nathaniel Motte and others and the Eurythmics; and "Paquita Suite," Natalya Getman's dance for 14, with music by Leon Minkus.

Berkshire Pulse will conclude the proceedings with "Undertow," Andrea Blacklow's work performed by nine members of the group's upper-level students and adult community dancers, and "Visitations," a duo danced to Fauré's "Après un rêve."

Pilobolus, the Washington Depot, Conn.-based troupe that over the years has discovered ever more amazing ways to employ the human body, will return to one of its favorite spots, the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, Oct. 12, to deliver five pieces: the Massachusetts premiere of "Licks" along with "Skyscrapers," "Automaton," "Shizen" and "Day Two."

David Dorfman will be in residency at Mass MoCA with a new multimedia work driven by what he calls "the charged ferocity and poetry of indie, punk and folk-rock music." The performance, Oct, 10, in the Hunter Center, will engage five dancers, a band of musicians, a junk sculpture -- with contributions solicited from the audience -- and projections creating a kinetic anthem about humanity, Dorfman promises.

"Romance, Soul, Rock ‘n' Roll," a revue of tunes, and reportedly heavy on dance, from two decades, offers a busy cast of four performing choreography by Ted Concepcion, Oct. 25 and 26, at the Colonial Theatre.

In more distant spots, the Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in Tivoli, N.Y., opens its doors to five visiting troupes: Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company, Oct. 5, followed by a week's residency; Ballet Next, Oct. 26; ZviDance, Nov. 2; a benefit by, and for, Four Nation's Ensemble, Nov. 9, and Project 44, Nov. 16.

Matthew Bourne and his company, New Adventures, will transport their widely discussed new production of "Sleeping Beauty" to Proctors Theatre in Schenectady, N.Y., for performances Oct. 15-20, on the theater's main stage. Bourne, known for his off-the-wall interpretations of Tchaikovsky ballets, is responsible for the 1992 and 1995 "Nutcrackers" set in a grim Dickensian orphanage, and his "Swan Lake" with its corps of male swans exuding virility. For openers, Aurora, the 19th-century "Beauty" will reawaken in the 21st century.

The Egg in Albany will be an active hall of dance, beginning Oct. 25, with Camille Brown & Dancers in their trademark style, using comedy, live original music, animation, theater, and retrospective dance vocabulary.

Tango Fire follows, Nov. 1, with 12 dancers delivering its smoldering art form with a quartet of musicians tracing the genre's history, from the streets of Buenos Aires through its evolution into contemporary ballrooms.

The Hungarian State Folk Ensemble will bring its traditional dance and costumes, Nov. 2, performing to the Folk Orchestra with its authentic instruments.

The Mark Morris Dance Group will offer "Ten Suggestions," "A Wooden Tree Composer," "Joan and Spencer" and "Crosswalk" in a performance Nov. 14, with, of course, live music. And closing the Egg fall dance season, Dec. 28, Savion Glover welcomes jazz drummer Jack DeJohnette, along with Don Byron, clarinet and saxophone; George Colligan, piano, and Jerome Harris, bass, and Glover will be joined in tap shoes by Marshall Davis.

Mystic India, a troupe of 65 costumed dancers, will offer a program fusing Indian classical forms of dance and folk dances from various Indian villages, along with American dance influences such as jazz, hip-hop and ballet, Nov. 1, at Proctors Theatre.

Without frightening anyone, it is important to point out that the holidays are just around the corner, and with them, plenty of holiday dance:

Ulster Ballet Company will offer its 19th annual production of "A Christmas Carol," Dec. 6 and 7, at the Ulster Performing Arts Center in Kingston, N.Y., with Bob Cratchit, Scrooge, et. al., floating through another Dickensian adventure of Christmas -- past, present and future.

And those "Nutcrackers":

Albany Berkshire Ballet will make the rounds with Madeline Cantarella Culpo's popular production, sporting some new costumes for the Angels, Waltzers of the Flowers, and Soldiers, with Richard Hiam of Pittsfield as Drosselmeyer.

The troupe's tour this fall includes Bard College at Simon's Rock, Great Barrington, Nov. 24; Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield, Dec, 7 and 8; Symphony Hall, Springfield, Dec. 14, and The Egg, Albany,, N.Y., Dec 21.

Moscow Ballet's sumptuous "Great Russian Nutcracker" will roll out once again Dec. 5 at the Palace Theatre in Albany. Dramatizing the tale of Masha (Clara) meeting her Prince, the show adds "The Dove of Peace," in which two dancers become one bird with a 20-ft. wingspan, along with 200 new hand-embellished costumes designed by Arthur Oliver, admired here for his work with Shakespeare & Company and other theaters.

Northeast Ballet''s "Nutcracker" by Darlene Myers, offers New York City Ballet principal dancers Lauren Lovette as Clara and Chase Finlay, the Prince, Dec. 7 and 8, at Proctors Theatre.

And dance in HD on theater screens returns this fall, with "Le Corsaire" from the Bolshoi Theatre, Oct. 27 at 2 p.m. at the Berkshire Museum, and "Spartacus," also from the Bolshoi, Oct 23 at Proctors G.E. Theatre in Schenectady, and Nov. 24 and 26, at the Berkshire Museum.


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