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Dance Moves Closer To Theater This Season


Members of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, above, will perform Nov. 16-17 at Edison Theatre at Washington University. photo courtesy of Edison Theatre (click for larger version)
September 12, 2012
Dance fans have some surprises on the way this year, thanks to the innovative programming of Edison Theatre's Ovations Series and Dance St. Louis.

The New York City Ballet hits the road to St. Louis, nationally known choreographers will stage works at local dance companies, and dance moves closer to theater in a leap into new dimensions. Mark your calendar so you catch your favorites.

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company

Charlie Robin, executive director of Edison Theatre at Washington University, has three goals he wants to accomplish in his season of dance.

For a returning favorite, he's booked the famed modern troupe Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company for Friday and Saturday, Nov. 16-17 at 8 p.m.

Though Zane died in 1988, Jones will revisit some of their early duets and solos. He'll be restaging works that set the pair apart from other modern companies of their time. And the results are sure to be filled with colorful movement, sometimes intimate, other times propulsive, but always timeless as anyone who saw their work can testify.

Circle of Eleven

Berlin-based Circle of Eleven, Robin's "something new" find at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2011, presents "Leo." The titular character explores gravity in live physical theater set against a parallel, video-projected physical world. Catch this award-winning piece (Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award) on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 5-6 at 8 p.m.

Alonzo King LINES Ballet

For a company that's establishing a "new voice," Robin tapped Alonzo King LINES Ballet. The company returns after four years to demonstrate its stunning dancers in rich new works that give global cultural expression to contemporary ballet. Shows are Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22-23 at 8 p.m.

Jane Comfort and Company

Pushing the physical theater to even more imaginative heights, Jane Comfort and Company presents "Beauty," a clever interplay inspired by the Barbie doll and what she has wrought. Shows are Friday and Saturday, March 1-2 at 8 p.m.

New York City Ballet

Ballet MOVES, “In the Night.” photo by Paul Kolnik (click for larger version)
Michael Uthoff, artistic and executive director of Dance St. Louis, has managed a coup in landing the phenomenal New York City Ballet March 9-10 for the first time since 1994. The Saturday evening 8 p.m. and Sunday 2 p.m. matinee concerts at the Fox Theatre will feature a rotating troupe of 20 recognized principals, soloists and corps members from the almost-100 strong main company.

Audiences will see internationally heralded works by founder George Balanchine and his cohort Jerome Robbins, both 20th century masters. All will be performed to live music by members of the New York City Ballet Orchestra.

"New Dance Horizons"

Breaking new ground in this tough economy, Uthoff has creatively paired four nationally-recognized choreographers with four local dance companies for a program titled "New Dance Horizons." Gina Patterson, Pamela Tanowitz, Jessica Lang and Victoria Marks have created new works on the dancers of MADCO (Modern American Dance Co.), St. Louis Ballet, Common Thread Contemporary Dance Co. and aTrek Dance Collective, paired in that order.

Touhill Performing Arts Center

The St. Louis world premiere concerts will be at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the UMSL campus, Oct. 5-6 at 8 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on the Oct. 6. Then the companies will travel to five other performance venues in Missouri and Illinois, all helping gifted artists and dance companies to weather our times.

Also at the Touhill are four exciting dance events. Nov. 9-10, a St. Louis favorite, "Pilobolus," returns for a regular visit and continues to surprise with colorful, wildly varied and clever experiments on body shapes in motion.

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet's sensational "Moulin Rouge — the Ballet," comes Jan. 25-26. The work is choreographed by the company's own Jorden Morris, and will be performed to classical music by Debussy, Offenbach and more.

And in four days of concerts Feb. 21-24, Nashville Ballet's "Carmina Burana" will incorporate the Bach Society of Saint Louis, the St. Louis Children's Choirs and the University of Missouri-St. Louis' University Orchestra and Singers.

The fourth event at the Touhill is "Spring to Dance," featuring three nights of 30 dance companies. The unbelievably low prices garner new dance fans who celebrate alongside booking agents as local, regional and national companies strut their stuff. It's become the place to be Memorial Day weekend.

Also at the Fox Theatre, besides New York City Ballet, will be a return engagement of the kinetic explosion "Stomp," Jan. 11-13, and the Broadway revival of Cole Porter's shipboard musical "Anything Goes," docking May 28 to June 9.

For season or individual tickets, go to Edison's box office at 6445 Forsyth Blvd., call 935-6543, or visit edison.wustl.edu. For Dance St. Louis tickets call 534-6622 or visit www.dancestlouis.org.

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