Fall Arts Preview: Dance
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The big news is that Pittsburgh dance continues to grow, with the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater expanding its emphasis on decidedly adventurous dance and several young artists upping the ante on their equally young companies, among them Texture Contemporary Ballet and Continuum Dance Theater.
Also look for dance to take many forms, from the adults-only puppetry of The Glue Project to alternate egos such as August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble's Kendra Dennard/Vie Boheme. Modern dance superstar Mark Morris shows up more than once, both with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Pittsburgh Dance Council, but that's to our advantage.
Some will have salons (Staycee Pearl dance project and New Hazlett Theater), others will take it to the streets (Attack Theatre), and one will tackle Stravinsky (Bodiography's Maria Caruso). Definitely something for all tastes.
ATTACK THEATRE: Living up to their name, the Attackers hit the streets and transfer their patented artful interactions to outdoor public art on display in the city Sept. 18-30 with "Some Assembly Required: Public." Then they celebrate the family-friendly "Holiday Unwrapped," Nov. 29-Dec. 1, and offer "Game Night Plus" (Oct. 26). 412-281-3305; www. attacktheatre.com.
AUGUST WILSON CENTER DANCE ENSEMBLE: AWCDE has a pair of main stage performances at the August Wilson Center with Black Dance Festival (Nov. 2-4) and "Paving the Road of Survival," featuring Christopher Huggins' Holocaust-inspired "The List" and Kevin Iega Jeff's legacy-laden "Dedication" (April 12-13). To experience AWCDE in a more intimate offCENTER setting, attend the Just Us series, all performances free, with Gospel Showcase (Oct. 18) and Vie Boheme (Nov. 1). 412-258-2700; www.augustwilsoncenter.org.
BALLET IN CINEMA: Emerging Pictures has another great lineup for the first half of the season with Bolshoi Ballet's "La Sylphide," Oct. 7 and 9; Royal Ballet's "Swan Lake," Nov. 4 and 6; Nederlans Dans Theater's "An Evening With Kylian/Inger/Walerski," Nov. 25 and 27; Bolshoi Ballet's "The Pharoah's Daughter," Dec. 2 and 4. All will appear at local Carmike Cinemas (www.carmike.com) and The Oaks Theater (412-828-6322 or www.theoakstheater.com). Carmike Cinemas also will have La Scala Ballet in Martha Clarke's "L'Alra Meta del Cielo" Oct. 21-23, and The Oaks Theater will add Royal Ballet's "The Nutcracker," Dec. 23.
BODIOGRAPHY: Artistic director Maria Caruso expands her horizons, beginning with "Carmina Burana," in conjunction with the Westmoreland Choral Society at Seton Hill Performing Arts Center (Sept. 30). The company completely moves to the Byham Theater this year, starting with "Multiplicity," an evening of premieres from the ensemble dancers and guests (Nov. 17). 412-456-6666; www.trustarts.org.
CONSERVATORY DANCE COMPANY: Once again CDC has a mixture of programs to enhance the student dance experience, including Student Choreography Project (George Rowland White Performance Studio, Oct. 2-4); Contemporary Choreographers (GRWPS, Nov. 16-Dec. 2); The Jazz Nutcracker (Pittsburgh Playhouse, Dec. 7-16). www.pittsburghplayhouse.com.
CONTINUUM DANCE THEATER: Sarah Parker's relatively new venture strikes out on its own for the first time in "THE MOVEMENT," all about knowing and being true to yourself, at The Space Upstairs (Sept. 28-29 and Oct. 5-6). 412-508-1894.
DUQUESNE UNIVERSITY TAMBURITZANS: The Tammies are primarily hugging the East Coast this year from Connecticut to Florida but have a healthy series of performances in the area, including Ligonier Town Hall (Oct. 20), Hillman Center for the Performing Arts at Shady Side Academy (Nov. 10) and Mt. Lebanon High School (Dec. 1). 412-396-5185 or www.duq.edu/tamburitzans.
THE GLUE FACTORY: Beth Corning turns to "3 consummate performers, 6 puppets, original animation and other numerous moving parts" to tell the story of "The Life & Death of Little Finn" after hours at Children's Museum of Pittsburgh (Sept. 12-16). www.corningworks.org or www.showclix.com.
GUITAR SOCIETY OF FINE ARTS: Castanets and guitars abound in the Nelida Tirado, Jesus Montoya and Ricardo Marlow Flamenco Show at Duquesne University's PNC Recital Hall (Sept. 19). www.gsfapittsburgh.org.
KELLY STRAYHORN THEATER: KST rightfully trumpets its juiciest season ever with nine premieres. Right off the bat Camille A. Brown & Dancers present the world premiere of "Mr. TOL E. RAncE," inspired by Mel Watkins' "On the Real Side: A History of African American Comedy from Slavery to Chris Rock" (Sept. 14-15). Then Luke Murphy explores his own brand of romanticism in the U.S. premiere of "Drenched" (Nov. 16-17). The Pittsburgh premieres include the movement theater of Japan's chelfitsch Theater Company in "Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner and the Farewell Speech" by renowned director Toshiki Okada (Sept. 28-29); idiosynCrazy Productions' jet-set inspired "Private Places" (Dec. 14-15). 1-800-838-3006 or www.kelly-strayhorn.org.
MID-ATLANTIC CONTEMPORARY BALLET: Now boasting nine dancers, MAC Ballet collaborates with the Father Ryan Arts Center student program in "Art on the Roxs" (Oct. 13) and "Urban Christmas Carol" (Dec. 8) at FRAC in McKees Rocks. 412-771-3052; www.fatherryanartscenter.org.
PITTSBURGH BALLET THEATRE: Let's talk atmosphere as PBT flits into the Benedum Center with the supernatural ethos of "Giselle" (Oct. 26-28), followed by the holiday ethos of the annual "Nutcracker" (Dec. 7-30). Looking ahead, PBT unfolds Paris on the stage in the local premiere of "Moulin Rouge" (Feb. 14-17) and finishes with the fairy dust of "Cinderella" (April 19-21). Choreographic phrases will be "Unspoken" on the August Wilson Center triple bill (March 8-17), led by the long overdue local premiere of Mark Morris' "Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes," along with Antony Tudor's "Lilac Garden" and George Balanchine's "Valse Fantasie." 412-456-6666 or www.pbt.org.
PITTSBURGH DANCE COUNCIL: PDC is weighted with some of the best America has to offer: the power-packed STREB (Byham, Sept. 28-29); the up-and-coming Pittsburgh native Kyle Abraham and his latest premiere (Byham, Feb. 16); the sweet satire of Les Ballets Trockadero (Byham, April 5) and modern master Mark Morris Dance Group (Byham, May 4). Then it adds some exotic spice with the British/Bangladeshi flavor of Akram Khan (Byham, Oct. 20) and the Black Grace of New Zealand (Byham, March 2). 412-456-6666 or www.trustarts.org.
PNC BROADWAY ACROSS AMERICA: STOMP first appeared with Pittsburgh Dance Council, but it gradually moved over to Broadway, ripe with rhythm (Heinz Hall, Oct. 30-Nov. 4). And "Flashdance," the 1983 movie so indelibly associated with Pittsburgh, has become "Flashdance -- The Musical," which will appear at Heinz Hall as well (Jan. 1-6). 412-456-6666; www.trustarts.org.
THE PILLOW PROJECT: Improvisation provocateur Pearlann Porter will reimagine and reinvent one of her strongest works, "Twenty Eighty-Four," a play on the Orwellian novel "1984" and the musings of Carl Sagan, at The Space Upstairs (Oct. 18-28). Then Second Saturdays, an ever-changing multimedia landscape, re-emerges on a monthly basis, beginning with Parisian/Pittsburgh jazz poet Moe Seager (Nov. 10). www.pillowproject.org.
SLIPPERY ROCK UNIVERSITY: SRU dance department spreads its wings with the renovation of Miller Auditorium. The main stage performance Faculty and Guest Artist Dance Concert (Oct. 21) will take place at Butler County Community College. The other events remain on campus, with "60X60" (West Gym Dance Studio, Sept. 27); Dance Technology Concert with The Pillow Project (Field House Dance Studio, Dec. 1-2); Department of Dance Fall Concert (Swope Recital Hall, Dec. 8-9). www.sru/edu.
SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE: The Top Ten are playing performing arts venues this year and will appear Nov. 25 at Benedum Center. www.fox.com.
STAYCEE PEARL DANCE PROJECT: Staycee Pearl has planned a Salon Series 101 on the path leading to her world premiere, "... on being ...," at the Kelly-Strayhorn (Feb. 22-23). Held at Pearl Arts Studios, 201 N. Braddock Ave., the trio of plain-talk discussions on identity, post-race and post-blackness may well impact the work's final form: "Inspiration l Thought l Movement" (Oct. 14); "Phrase for Phrase" (Dec. 2) and "Feedback" (Jan. 13). www.staycee.com.
TEXTURE CONTEMPORARY BALLET: Alan Obuzor's budding ballet group pops up at "Infinity" and "The Alkonost," a multi-disciplinary collaboration of new ballets formed by OvreArts and including The Pillow Project (CAPA, Sept. 8). It is also part of the big six at the New Hazlett Theater's Salon 6, A Celebration! (Sept. 20). One of the most popular groups in the 2-year-old "Speaking of ...," which celebrates young artists, Texture will participate in the apparent finale at the New Hazlett (Sept. 21). www.textureballet.org.
First Published September 6, 2012 12:00 am