The Joyce Returns, With a Typically Eclectic Dance Menu07/27/2021
This fall, the Joyce Theater will present its first live season of dance since being forced to turn off the lights in March of 2020. The season, announced on Tuesday, runs from September to February and includes 18 companies, some, like the British hip-hop ensemble Far From the Norm, performing at the theater for the first time.
“We had some priorities, to rebook the companies that were supposed to perform here last year, and had shows canceled,” said Linda Shelton, the Joyce’s executive director, “and also to reaffirm our mission to promote diversity.”
Another consideration, given numerous travel bans and the difficulty of obtaining visas for performers amid shifting Covid waves, was “who can actually get to us, with all these borders opening and closing,” Ms. Shelton added. As a result, there are only four companies traveling from abroad, Far From the Norm; Malpaso, from Cuba, whose show was canceled last year; L-E-V from Israel; and the Colombian ensemble Sankofa Danzafro, whose piece “Accommodating Lie” addresses stereotypes surrounding Afro-Latino culture.
The season opens on Sept. 22, with a visit by the well-regarded Minneapolis-based Ragamala Dance Company, performing an evening-length work, “Fires of Varanasi: Dance of the Eternal Pilgrim.” The piece employs the Indian classical dance style Bharatanatyam to explore themes of life and death through the lens of Hindu ritual.
The choreographer Caleb Teicher, who was scheduled to perform last year, presents the delayed debut of their program devoted to the Lindy Hop and Swing, made in collaboration with a team of dancers and choreographers that includes LaTasha Barnes, of “Jazz Continuum,” and the ballroom and Lindy Hop specialist Evita Arce. This show, entitled “Swing Out” (Oct. 5-17) will be accompanied onstage by a live swing ensemble, the Eyal Vilner Big Band.
Other highlights include Lucinda Childs’s minimalist juggernaut from 1979, “Dance,” set to Philip Glass (Oct. 19-24); and Ayodele Casel’s joyous evening of tap and live jazz, “Chasing Magic,” which had its virtual premiere in April of this year, is to have its live premiere Jan. 4-9.
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, the cross-dressing ballet troupe, will hold its usual holiday run (Dec. 14-Jan. 2). Among various sharp-eyed spoofs of famous ballets — and of ballet itself — will be a new work, “Nightcrawlers,” based on Jerome Robbins’s portrait of three couples dancing to Chopin Nocturnes, “In the Night.”
The theater will decide at a later date whether it will require performers, staff and audience members to be vaccinated.
Tickets for the fall-winter season will go on sale Aug. 9.
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