Movement expands to different stages

Friday September 21, 2012

Although the stages of Jacob's Pillow are rather silent and dark as the autumn leaves begin their seasonal spectacle, dance nonetheless is emerging from other platforms and screens large and small to help sate the appetites of Terpsichore's legion of followers.

Close to home, Berkshire Theatre Group's "Made in the Berkshires" festival, Oct. 5-7, promises some intriguing dance titles, along with its generous agenda of theater, film, music and art. The opening-night gala at the Colonial Theater includes "Kings Reign, Queens Rule," Dawn Lane's witty trio for her, Lorimer Burns and Jane Goodrich, performed to The Roche's singular a cappella take on the "Hallelujah"Chorus from Handel's "Messiah."

Moving Company will offer four more Lane works, "Fall," "Bask," "Swat" and "Layer," a series of dance shorts that focus on the more problematic aspects of the four seasons, as inspired by the bizarre weather of the past year, and set, of course, to Vivaldi's eponymous music. The program, Oct. 6 at the Colonial, also lists Susan Dibble, of Dibbledance, who will tender her "Here, There, Everywhere," a tale about love and courage reflecting years of life and work at The Mount.

Emily Johnson will move "Niicugni," her work-in-development, to Mass MoCA for a residency during which she and her fellow performer, Aretha Aoki, will work on the piece, which is envisioned as a dance for four performers, housed within a light and sound installation made from fish-skin sculptures that will hang from the ceiling and cover the entire stage, eventually rising out of site.

"Niicugni" ("Listen") will be performed Nov. 16 in the Hunter Center with multi-instrumentalist James Everest and violinist/electronic musician Bethany Lacktorin, with lighting design by Heidi Eckwall.

Despite the price of gasoline, several events outside the Berkshires are worthy of consideration this autumn.

The peripatetic Ellen Sinopoli will spirit her dance company around the Capital District, alighting initially this evening at 7:45 in the Opalka Gallery at the Sage Colleges in Albany, for three site-specific performances. John Van Alsteine's steel and stone sculpture exhibition, "Arrested Motion/Perilous Balance," is creating the scene.

The troupe next pops up at Hubbard Hall in Cambridge, N.Y., Oct. 13 in a collaboration with guest artist Don Knaack, aka "The Junkman" with his gamelan orchestra of oil drums, fly swatters, pot lids, and plastic drainage tubing. There also, a 15-by-20 foot painting by Calvin Grimm provides the setting for Sinopoli's eerie "Sea Ghosts."

Members of Sinopoli's company move in as guest artists for Russell Sage/Dance, the annual faculty and student performance, Nov. 16 and 17, in the Meader Little Theater at the college, in Troy, N.Y.

"Sea Ghosts" makes a reappearance Dec. 1 in the Kaats baan International Dance Center in Tivoli, N.Y., along with the more joyous "To Sing, Laugh, Play" and Sinopoli's newest work set to more of Knaack's insistent rhythms.

Marking Hispanic Heritage Month, the five-member Flamenco Vivo II ensemble under Carlota Santana will present an evening of flamenco music, song and dance as part of a residency, Oct. 4 in the UAlbany Performing Arts Center. Speed, sensual partnering and stiletto movement are part of the drill.

Three choreographers' signature dances will be performed by the American Ballet Theatre when the company visits the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College in Annandale on Hudson.

Anthony Tudor's "The Leaves Are Fading," set to string music of Dvorak; Jose Limón's masterwork, "The Moor's Pavane," danced to Purcell's score, and Twyla Tharp's propulsive "In the Upper Room," set to the persistent rhythms of Philip Glass' score, will be presented Oct. 5 through 7 in the Sosnoff Theater.

Ballet Next, a collaboration of Michele Wiles of Ameri can Ballet Theater and Charles Askegard, New York City Ballet, will perform Oct. 13 and 14 at the Kaatsbaan in Tivoli, N.Y.

The program of original choreography: Broadway legend Margo Sappington's "Entwined," ABT's Brian Reeder's "Picnic," inspired by the 1975 film "Picnic at Hanging Rock" and set to Shostakovich's D-minor Sonata for cello and piano; Mauro Bigonzetti's "La Follia," danced to music of Vivaldi, and Askegard's "Stravinsky Divertimento."

David Dorfman Dance will unveil its newest project, "Prophets of Funk," an engagement of movement driven by the popular -- and populist -- funk sounds of Sly and the Family Stone, followed by a dance class/party for the audience, Oct. 19 at The Egg in Albany, N.Y.

Speaking of populist dancing, the top 10 finalists of the "So You Think You Can Dance" TV series will share some routines, Nov. 20, at the Palace Theatre, also in Albany.

And later autumn signals the annual return of little Clara, her Nutcracker Prince, the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Rat King, and all those prancing mice. "The Nutcracker," based on a tale by E.T.A. Hoffman with all of Tchaikovsky's beguiling music, is the holiday gift that keeps many ballet companies above water the rest of the year, and it can be fun as well.

Northeast Ballet's annual "Nutcracker," the first on stage this year, at Proctor's Theatre, Dec. 8 and Dec. 9, under Darlene Myers' direction, hails as its soloists Wendy Whelan and Charles Askegard, principal dancers of the New York City Ballet.

Albany Berkshire Ballet's "Nutcracker" by Madeline Cantarella Culpo opens Nov. 18, with performances at at Bard College at Simon's Rock in Great Barrington.

Subsequent nearby performances: Dec. 8 and 9, Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield; Dec. 15, Symphony Hall, Springfield; and Dec. 16, The Egg, Albany, N.Y.

Moscow Ballet's "Great Russian Nutcracker" includes, in addition to Tchaikovsky's complete score, a new "Dove of Peace," a Christmas tree that zooms seven stories, 40 Russian dancers, falling snow, silk puppets, 200 costumes and nine hand-painted backdrops. All will be unveiled Dec. 4, at the Palace Theatre in Albany.

The big silver screens at several locations will offer ballet from foreign theaters, including such staples as "La Sylphide," "Swan Lake," "Giselle" and "The Nutcracker," as well as more exotic fare, such as "The Pharaoh's Daughter," "Move to Move," four contemporary ballets from the Nederlands Dans Theater, and Mauro Bigonzetti's "Caravaggio," a ballet exploring the great painter.

For complete details, check with the Berkshire Museum, the Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, and Proctor's GE Theatre in Schenectady, N.Y.


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