Every year area dance companies and presenters give an invitation to dance, and this year it’s dance with a decidedly international and contemporary style.
91 University Place, Princeton, 609-258-2787, www.mccarter.org.
The McCarter Dance series once again is bringing a mixture of cutting edge and ancient traditions to area audiences. For proof, just examine the following:
Jessica Lang Dance presents “The Wanderer.” A former dancer for Twyla Tharp, New York Dance and Performance Award recipient, and an international innovator, Lang presents “The Wanderer,” a full evening dance-theater work melding the dramatization of Schubert’s 1824 song cycle “Die Schone Mullerin” (The Fair Maid of the Mill) with music, movement, decor, and narrative. Wednesday and Thursday, October 19 and 20.
Aparna Ramaswamy performs “They Rose at Dawn.” The acclaimed classic South Indian dancer’s solo presentation in the Bharatanatyam form — with roots in Hindu temple ceremonies — explores the idea of women as the carries of rituals. The artist is accompanied by a Carnatic music ensemble, also with roots in ancient India. Sunday, October 23.
“FELA! The Concert” features performers of the Tony Award winning Broadway musical evoking the work of Fela Kuti, creator of Afrobeat. The show recreates the legendary Afrika Shrine Club 1970 performances that — in addition to dancing and showgirls — featured politically charged speeches that promoted freedom and championed traditional African culture. Friday, November 4.
“Carefree: Dancin’ with Fred & Ginger.” Tony Award winning director and choreographer Warren Carlyle’s tribute to the silver screen’s celebrated dance partnership of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers blends live Broadway dancers and original film footage. Sunday, November 6.
Pilobolus Dance Theater presents “Shadowland.” The innovative movement group returns to Princeton with a multimedia mixture of project images, shadow-theater, dance, circus performance, and music to create a story of a young girl’s coming of age. Tuesday, February 7, 2017.
State Ballet Theater of Russia presents “Cinderella.” The 55-member troupe returns to McCarter to enliven the classic fairy tale set to music by Sergi Prokofiev and choreographed by former Bolshoi Theater Ballet principal dancer Vladimir Vasiliev. Sunday, February 12.
Bale Folclorica da Bahia, Brazil’s only professional folk dance company, arrives with 30 dancers, singers, and drummers to heat up the stage with original movements, sambas, and the dances of carnivale. Saturday, February 18.
“Stayin’ Alive on Stage; Saturday Night Fever: The Musical.” The hit 1977 film musical powered by the get-on-your-feet music of the Bee Gees brings its story, sounds, and pulsing disco rhythms to the big stage. Saturday, February 25.
Twyla Tharp: The 50th Anniversary Tour. One of the most innovative and celebrated American choreographers and her new company of 12 dancers arrive in Princeton to celebrate by presenting two new works: “Prelude and Fugue,” her “world as it ought to be” vision set to music by Bach, and “Yowzie,” a comic “world as it is” look on life set to music by Jelly Roll Morton. Tuesday, February 28.
Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca present “Antigona.” Founded in Madrid in 1999 by dancer Soledad Barrio and her artistic director husband, Martin Santangelo, the celebrated company of 18 musicians and dancers mix the power of Greek tragedy with the passion of flamenco dance to create a 90-minute visual, emotional, and visceral interpretation of Sophocles’ drama of political defiance, “Antigone.” Friday, April 28.
American Repertory Ballet
At McCarter Theater, State Theater, and the Trenton Memorial, www.americanrepertoryballet.org.
The prominent area ballet company continues a state tradition, gives new life to familiar works, and presents a world premiere.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the State Theater. Choreographed by the company’s artistic director, Douglas Martin, the 2015 work enlivens William Shakespeare’s comedy of fairies, love, and stage struck mortals — with choreography to Felix Mendelssohn’s romantic score, colorful costumes, and mood inspired sets. Thursday, October 13.
“The Nutcracker” at McCarter Theater. A regional holiday tradition since 1964, American Repertory Ballet’s “Nutcracker,” set to the beloved Tchaikovsky score, is one of the oldest traditional Nutcracker productions in the nation. This year’s production features new sets and first act scenery, new choreography, and a cast of more than 100. Wednesday to Saturday, November 23 to 26.
At the Trenton War Memorial: Friday and Saturday, December 2 and 3.
With live orchestra accompaniment at the State Theater in New Brunswick: Friday to Sunday, December 16 to 18.
The world premiere of Douglas Martin’s “Pride and Prejudice” at McCarter Theater. Jane Austen’s 1813 novel of respectable manners, love, and marriage gets the romantic treatment with music by 19th-century composer Ignaz Pleyel and costumes based on the fashion of Austen’s day. This performance features live orchestral accompaniment by Princeton Symphony Orchestra under the musical direction of John Devlin. Friday and Saturday, April 21 and 22.
15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, 732-246-7469, www.statetheatrenj.org.
One of New Jersey’s major arts presenters, the State Theater includes on its schedule performances inspired by classic motion pictures and two Russian companies known for classical ballet.
“Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage.” The hit film’s dance partners Baby and John come alive on stage in such song favorites as songs, “Hungry Eyes,” “Hey Baby,” “Do You Love Me?,” and the heart-stopping “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.”
“Dancing & Romancing with the NJSO.” Vocalist and dancers Joan Hess and Kirby Ward join the NJSO in a romantic tribute to Hollywood dancers Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Gene Kelly, and Eleanor Powell. Sunday, February 12.
The Russian National Ballet Theater’s “The Sleeping Beauty,” a classic production featuring the music by Tchaikovsky and the dancing of artistic director and former Bolshoi principal, Elena Radchenko. Thursday, March 2.
Grounds For Sculpture
126 Sculptors Way, Hamilton, 609-586-0616, www.groundsforsculpture.org
BalletX presents “RattleX.” A collaboration between the Philadelphia-based contemporary ballet company and artist Paul Henry Ramirez, the event uses Ramirez’s installation as the catalyst for movement and design. Saturday, October 8.
Outlet Dance Project’s Dance on Film Festival. A presentation of international films produced and created by women filmmakers and choreographers and weaving together memory, place, history, and movement. Friday, October 28.
Outlet Dance Project’s Day of Dance, a family friendly event that features women choreographers of all dance genres presenting stage performance and site-specific dance, both indoor and outdoor. Sunday, October 30.
Mill Hill Theater, 205 East Front Street, Trenton. www.dancespora.org.
DanceSpora, a professional contemporary dance company based in Trenton, will hold its annual “Winter Dance Concert” of new works, some created by former Pennsylvania Ballet dancer and artistic director Heidi Cruz-Austin. Saturday and Sunday, February 18 and 19.
Canal Studio Theater, 243 North Union Street, Lambertville. www.roxeyballet.org.
The Roxey Ballet, under the direction of Joffrey, American Repertory, and Dayton Ballet dancers Mark and Melissa Roxey, is presenting a season of new works, a collaboration, and two classics. With a fresh score and futuristic scenario, “Frankenstein” premieres at the Canal House in Lambertville. Saturday, October 22, through Sunday, October 30.
The company’s annual adaptation of “The Nutcracker” arrives at the College of New Jersey. Saturdays and Sundays, November 26 through December 4.
The company then appears in the Princeton Pro Musica’s presentation of “Carmina Burana” at Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium on Sunday, May 21, and returns to the College of New Jersey for the Friday and Saturday, May 5 and 6, presentation of “Cinderella,” with music by Prokofiev. The season concludes with a new work, “The C-Word: Stories of Breast Cancer Survivors,” premiering at the Canal House studios and performed throughout the region from May 13 to June 4.
Here and There
Keep your eyes on companies and presenters showing up at the following venues:
The Annual Princeton Dance Festival at McCarter Theater in Princeton. princeton.edu/academics/dance.
Princeton University dance students perform works by professional choreographers Kimberly Bartosik, Zvi Goetheiner, Francesca Harper, John Jasperse, Malcolm Low, Mark Morris, and Olivier Targaga. Friday to Sunday, December 2 to 4.
Alborada Spanish Dance Theater at Crossroads Theater in New Brunswick. 732-598-3979 or www.alboradadance.org.
“The Argentinian Connection,” with company members and guests artists from Argentina joining to create an evening of Argentine tango and gypsy flamenco. Saturday, October 1.