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Modern Dance High Point Of Fall Season

Dance Preview

Modern dance troupe Lucy Guerin Inc. will perform “Structure & Sadness” Sept. 30-Oct. 1 at Washington University’s Edison Theatre. photo by Jeff Busby (click for larger version)
September 22, 2011
Modern dance events will add fancy footwork to this fall's American Arts Experience-St. Louis, 17 days of arts events throughout the area starting Sept. 30. Following this event, the celebration of motion will continue through May with guest companies ranging from the return of modern and classic favorites to fresh groundbreakers.

"These dance companies are gifts to St. Louis audiences," said Michael Uthoff, artistic and executive director of Dance St. Louis. "So plan now to be there when the curtains open and the unwrapping begins."

Lucy Guerin Inc.

Washington University's Edison Theatre opens its season Sept. 30-Oct. 1 with the highly acclaimed Australian modern dance troupe Lucy Guerin Inc. The full-evening, award-winning "Structure & Sadness" explores themes of human resilience when confronting the tentative balance one struggles to achieve in an often impermanent world.

The ideas were inspired by the uplifting communal reaction to the 1970 collapse of the West Gate Bridge in Melbourne.

"The theme of community interdependency is conveyed in the domino-like structures and the way the dancers' weight-bearing moves seamlessly shift to movement exchanges," said Edison artistic director Charles Robin. "Deep emotion, mournfulness connects naturally to surprising moments."


Modern American Dance Co. (MADCO), which originated in the Central West End, offers an evening titled "Pulse!" in concerts Oct. 7-8 at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. For this 35th anniversary special piece, look for percussion to up the energy in a company already known for that quality.

Dance St. Louis/Martha Graham Dance Company

Dance St. Louis honors the return visit Oct. 14-15 of the renowned Martha Graham Dance Company, after a long 20 years. The Touhill concerts will feature one of the company's most celebrated works, "Appalachian Spring," to Aaron Copland's famed score.

"The Graham company went through a period of restructuring after the founder's death in 1991," said Dance St. Louis' Michael Uthoff. "But new leadership is preserving the Graham works that changed the world of dance, changed how people looked at dance. And new works are also on the program."

One new dance is "Lamentation Variations" by today's choreographers, inspired by Graham's deeply emotional solo swathed in stretchy tube-like fabric.


After the fall arts festival, Edison Theatre's season dances into 2012:

Brian Brooks Moving Company

Catch the first St. Louis appearance of the up and coming NYC-based Brian Brooks Moving Company Jan. 20-21. Edison artistic director Charles Robin reported that he has had his eye on the creative Brooks for a number of years. In the work "Motor" – with its miles of extended cord that stretches from center stage out and over the audience – he knew the company was ready to make its mark in St. Louis.

Ballet Hispanico

Ballet Hispanico, in its 40th season, brings to the Edison stage March 2-3 a style that fuses classical and modern dance with Latin moves and rhythms.


Dance St. Louis' season continues with jointly presented major events at the Fox Theatre, 539 N. Grand Blvd.

(click for larger version)
"Billy Elliot: The Musical"

"Billy Elliot: The Musical" taps into the audience's heart Nov. 1-13 with its version of the international film hit about young Billy's entertaining journey from boxing to ballet. With likely two young dance stars on tour, one may just have to go twice to catch them both.

"West Side Story"

"West Side Story" changed Broadway forever with its iconic music by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, striking dance by Jerome Robbins, and such songs as "Tonight," "(I want to Be in) America," "I Feel Pretty" and "Maria." It debuted just over 50 years ago but remains just as energetic and haunting. It will be presented Feb. 14-26.

The Joffrey Ballet

The Joffrey Ballet, always a St. Louis favorite, presents works by contemporary ballet choreographers James Kudelka and William Forsythe March 9-10. Expect striking lighting and moves that experiment with the ballet vocabulary, creating an unpredictable edgy quality. And a critically acclaimed new work, Age of Innocence by Edwaard Liang, explores the emotional world of Jane Austen's novels.


The Irish music, dance and song spectacular "Riverdance" returns May 18-20 for its final U.S. tour after 17 years as an international sensation.


Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

At Grand Center's Powell Symphony Hall, 718 N. Grand Blvd., Hubbard Street Dance Chicago returns Feb. 17-19 for an innovative partnership with the Saint Louis Symphony.

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, dually rooted in the two cities, returns to the Touhill April 12-14 with new works by contemporary American and European choreographers.

Spring to Dance Festival

Dance St. Louis presents its 5th annual Spring to Dance festival, May 24-26, this year featuring 30 regional dance companies at the Touhill. Enjoy three nights of only $10 ticket prices.

For season or single tickets call the box offices of Edison Theater at 935-6543 or Dance St. Louis at 534-6622. Online visit dancestlouis.org or edison.wustl.edu.

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