Dance companies and artists near and far are stepping forward to enliven the region’s cultural calendar.
91 University Place, Princeton. 609-258-2787. www.mccarter.org.
Malpaso Dance Company, called the “crown jewel” in the emerging Cuban contemporary dance scene, opens the new season with new works of “balletic precision and muscular, grounded footwork.” Wednesday and Thursday, October 18 and 19.
Savion Glover — the New Jersey-born American tap legend — returns to Princeton with “PLaYZ’ Trane,” a program promising to combine “the complexities of jazz phrasing with wild improvisations, structures, and deconstruction.” Friday, November 17.
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago arrives in the region to celebrate its 40th anniversary season with its combination of theatrical jazz and classical ballet. Tuesday, January 16.
State Ballet Theatre of Russia — comprising a 40-member troupe — returns with one of ballet’s classics, Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty” with Marius Petipa’s traditional choreography. Sunday, February 11.
The “Trocks” — a.k.a. the all-male Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo — returns to McCarter to demonstrate its blend of fine art and finer camp as its members get serious in drag parodies of classic ballets and modern masterpieces. Sunday, April 22.
American Repertory Ballet
Rider University, McCarter Theater, State Theater, and the Trenton War Memorial. www.americanrepertoryballet.org.
One of the state’s prominent ballet companies continues a state tradition, gives new life to familiar works, and presents a world premiere.
Look first for American Repertory Ballet presence at Rider University and “Woman of Dance.” The woman is ARB resident choreographer and Mary Barton, who is also a choreographer in residence at Rider. The event is a tribute to Barton and includes three of her most noted dance pieces: “Scarlet Sonata,” “Five Men and a Concerto,” and “Straight Up with a Twist” (one of ARB signature works). Performances are at the Bart Luedeke Center Theater of Rider University in Lawrence. Friday and Saturday, September 22 and 23.
ARB’s “Carmen” is a company premiere featuring choreography by Kirk Peterson and live accompaniment by the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra. It appears on a bill with Peterson’s “The Eyes That Gently Touch” (to a score by Philip glass) and Mary Barton’s “Straight Up With A Twist.” State Theater in New Brunswick. Thursday, October 12.
“The Nutcracker” — a regional holiday tradition since 1964 — returns with performances set for McCarter Theater in Princeton, Friday through Sunday, November 24 through 26; Patriots theater at the War Memorial in Trenton, Saturday, December 2; and with a live orchestra at the State Theater in New Brunswick, Friday through Sunday, December 15 through 17.
Rider & Westminster
Trenton War Memorial and Rider University, www.rider.edu/arts
Westminster Choir College is set to present its newest Transforming Space Project, following this past spring’s “Anthracite Fields” in the Roebling Wire Work Building in Trenton. Using Brahams’ “Liebeslieder Waltze” as the score, this new project blends the talents of the Westminster Chapel Choir, Schola Cantorum, and Trenton contemporary dance company DanceSpora. Look for it at the George Washington Ballroom, Trenton War Memorial, 1 Memorial Drive, Trenton. Friday and Sunday, November 3 and 5.
“Rider Dances 2018: Light and Motion” is an evening of new works inspired by the idea of light and visual arts. Look for it at the Bart Luedeke Center Theater, Rider University, Lawrence. Sunday, on March 4.
Grounds For Sculpture
126 Sculptors Way, Hamilton. 609-586-0616. www.groundsforsculpture.org
The Outlet Dance Project returns to Grounds For Sculpture on Thursday and Saturday, October 5 and 7, for its 13th annual festival of works by artists who identify or have identified as women. Coordinators say the event “celebrates the intersections of visual and moving arts, exploring relationships between sculpture and dance, between place and movement.”
The October 5 show is dedicated to the “Dance on Film Festival” including works from New Jersey, Iran, Ireland, and Singapore, with several filmmakers on hand for Q&A sessions. The October 7 “Day of Dance” features indoor and outdoor performances and site-specific choreography involving GFS artworks.
15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick. 732-246-7469. www.statetheatrenj.org.
The Festival of South African Dance combines two companies — the Gumboots Dance Company and the Pantsula Dance Company — to create a visual tale of rural African men arriving Johannesburg to find hope and a better life. Saturday, October 7.
Tango Buenos Aires arrives from Argentina with a company that its producers call the “most authentic and uncompromising representatives of the tango, the dance of lovers.” Friday and Saturday, October 20 and 21.
Dublin Irish Dance — comprising accomplished Irish step-dancers and musicians — arrives to recreate the sounds and steps of Irish heritage, evoking the life of rural traditions and the pain and hope of mass migration. The company appears on St. Patrick’s Day. Saturday, March 17.
Moscow Festival Ballet performs the noted romantic ballet “Giselle” with choreography by the famed French/Russian ballet master Marius Petipa. Saturday, April 14.
Canal Studio Theater, 243 North Union Street, Lambertville. www.roxeyballet.org.
“Dracula” is company founder Mark Roxey’s interpretation of Bram Stoker’s horror classic, brought to the stage with contemporary choreography, video, minimalist sets, and lavish costumes. Fridays through Sundays, October 20 through 29.
Then company’s annual adaptation of “The Nutcracker” — featuring more than 200 costumes, international professional performers, giant mice, and a visit by Santa Claus — arrives at the College of New Jersey. Saturdays and Sundays, November 25 through December 3.
Hearst Dance Theater, Lewis Arts Center
Alexander Street, Princeton. arts.princeton.edu.
“A Love Supreme” is Belgian choreographers Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Salva Sanchis’ full evening dance translation of John Coltrane’s jazz masterwork and incorporates an exploration of rhythmic complexities and tensions between improvisation and composed expressions. Part of the arts festival celebrating the new Lewis Arts Center complex. Friday and Sunday, October 6 and 8.