8 Dance Performances to See in N.Y.C. This Weekend11/08/2019
Our guide to dance performances happening this weekend and in the week ahead.
BIG DANCE THEATER at N.Y.U. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (Nov. 8-9, 7:30 p.m.). You can see the choreographer Annie-B Parson’s exuberant moves in David Byrne’s “American Utopia” on Broadway. But this weekend at Skirball, you can see another side of her humorous, insightful, literary-minded work in an eclectic program by Big Dance Theater, the company she founded in 1991. “The Road Awaits Us,” inspired by an Ionesco play, features an all-star team of New York dance veterans; “Ballet Dance” deconstructs Balanchine’s seminal “Agon”; and “Cage Shuffle: Redux” is a revised solo based on a 1963 score by John Cage and created for Paul Lazar, a founding member of the company.
CAMILLE A. BROWN & DANCERS (Nov. 9, 8 p.m.; Nov. 10, 2 and 7:30 p.m.) and KATE WALLICH + THE YC X PERFUME GENIUS (Nov. 13, 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 14-15, 8 p.m.; through Nov. 17) at the Joyce Theater. Brown, an astute choreographer, recently completed her affecting trilogy on black identity, so it’s nice to have the chance on Saturday and Sunday at the Joyce to revisit the first installment, “Mr. TOL E. RAncE,” a critical look at stereotypes that have pervaded popular black culture throughout history. Beginning on Wednesday, the Seattle-based Wallich and her company, the YC, make their Joyce debut with “The Sun Still Burns Here,” a collaboration with the musician Mike Hadreas, better known as Perfume Genius. Press materials describe it as a “spiritual unraveling of romantic decay.”
COLIN DUNNE at Baryshnikov Arts Center (Nov. 14-16, 7:30 p.m.). Traditional Irish music has often been an accompaniment to traditional Irish dance, but the innovative musician Tommie Potts, who died in 1988, approached it as an independent art form. His idiosyncratic perspective made his music difficult to dance to, but in “Concert,” a 2017 solo work, Dunne, an acclaimed contemporary Irish dancer, shows that an equally experimental performer can do it justice. Dunne performs barefoot on a small, amplified platform so his steps sound like whispers in a quiet dialogue with Potts’s wistful songs.
JERRON HERMAN & MOLLY JOYCE at Danspace Project (Nov. 12, 8 p.m.; through Nov. 16). In the short film “Body and Being,” Herman walks pensively among fallen leaves before sending his torso into lush spirals against Joyce’s celestial music. The two have reunited to create “Breaking and Entering,” a live performance that challenges narratives of disabilities. Presented by Danspace Project, the work draws from the experiences of these two artists — Herman with cerebral palsy, and Joyce with an impaired hand resulting from a car accident — which they use for creative stimulant, as embodied in Herman’s fluid physicality and Joyce’s stirring soundscapes.
[Read about the events that our other critics have chosen for the week ahead.]
MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY at Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University in Montclair, N.J. (Nov. 14-15, 7:30 p.m.; through Nov. 17). A character study of a frontier community, Graham’s enduring 1944 masterpiece “Appalachian Spring” explores themes of love, faith and freedom. It’s a quintessential American ballet, with Aaron Copland’s seminal score as a key ingredient. For this program, the Graham company celebrates the work’s 75th anniversary, showcasing Graham’s skill at physicalizing both domestic drama and social tensions with stoic grandeur. That classic is paired with, and serves as inspiration for, “The Auditions,” a commissioned work by Troy Schumacher, a member of New York City Ballet, danced to a new score by Augusta Read Thomas.
RASHAAD NEWSOME at New York Live Arts (Nov. 8-9, 7:30 p.m.). Newsome, an artist working in sculpture, collage, dance and computer programming, uses those tools to reflect on black queer culture in the internet age. In “Black Magic: Five,” he continues his exploration of vogueing, the exhibitionist dance style that blossomed in the queer black and Latino ballroom scene in the 1970s. Dancers strut, spin, dip, duckwalk and pose, accompanied by myriad musicians — from a rap M.C. to an opera singer to a gospel choir — while Newsome tracks the dancers’ moves with custom-made tech gear and projects that data onto a screen above them.
DIMITRIS PAPAIOANNOU at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House (Nov. 14-16, 7:30 p.m.; through Nov. 17). Taking his cue from Homer, this Greek choreographer thinks of time as “The Great Tamer,” which is the title of his 2017 pensive, gorgeously stark dance-theater piece. Known for choreographing the 2004 Athens Olympics and for recently creating the first new work for Pina Bausch’s company since her death, Papaioannou trained as a painter, which is evident in this piece’s Rembrandt-esque aesthetics. Like Bausch, he builds mysterious theatrical environs inhabited by beautiful bodies (here, often unclothed). Despite the rich visuals, “The Great Tamer” is also a portrait of the decline of and despair for our world.
TRADITIONAL AND CONTEMPORARY KOREAN DANCE at the 92nd Street Y (Nov. 8, noon and 8 p.m.; Nov. 9, 8 p.m.; Nov. 10, 3 p.m.). This weekend, the 92Y will focus on facets of Korean dance. On Friday at noon and 8 p.m., the Maholra Dance Company, whose name derives from Hebrew and indicates a spiritual component to their work, will perform “Gentleman,” by the company’s founding choreographer, Jae Seung Kim; it mixes Korean dance traditions with modern moves to convey a story about a mother-son relationship. On Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, the Harkness Presents project will feature “Yeoja: In Her Self,” with pieces from three female Korean contemporary choreographers: Jin Ju Song-Begin, Bo Kyung Lee and Puluem Youn.
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