Dance in fall

By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  September 10, 2008

PAULA HUNTER is back in town, from a successful run at chashama in New York City. She will perform her signature brand of storytelling, dance, and video in a program titled Home Alone 2 on October 3, 4, 10, and 11, in the back parlor of her home at 73 Summit Avenue, Providence (paulahunterperformances.com).

Tim Rubel and the THEATRE EXPANSION present the fifth annual Dancestravaganza at Perishable Theatre on September 12 and 13 (401.331.2695 or perishable.org). The concert will premiere Berenger’s Body, inspired by the writing of Ionesco and choreographed by Rubel. Other pieces will feature the choreography of Double Shift Dance Theatre (directors Peter Deffet and Nikki Carrara), Rosemary Candelario, and Alice Hunter.

Two organizations that bring dance groups from around the world to the shores of Li’l Rhody are the FIRSTWORKS FESTIVAL (401.421.4278 or firstworksprov.org) and the PERFORMING ARTS SERIES AT RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE (401.456.8144 or www.ric.edu/pfa/pas.php). First Works will present COMPAGNIE HEDDY MAALEM’s The Rite of Spring, with 14 dancers from Mali, Benin, Nigeria, and Senegal. Maalem was born in Algeria but spent time in Lagos, Nigeria, from whence he took his inspiration. This performance is on October 21 at PPAC. FirstWorks will also present the Connecticut-based group Momix doing a show that’s billed as “Best of Momix” on November 8 at PPAC. As “movement-illusionists,” Momix dancers play with light, shadow, and unusual (and memorable) juxtapositions of human limbs.

The Performing Arts Series at RIC is also hosting the SONG AND DANCE ENSEMBLE OF WEST AFRICA, on October 1 in Roberts Hall. Combining traditional instruments and rhythms with folklore and mythology, these artists play Malian music from the Peuhl, Bambar, and Mandingo regions and give it a modern twist. Direct from Seville, Spain, COMPANIA FLAMENCO JOSÉ PORCEL will wow audiences with the technique and passion of their flamenco dancing on October 29. 

Also at RIC, the RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE DANCE COMPANY will celebrate its 50th anniversary with performances of a work by local choreographer/dancer Eva Marie Pacheco (October 24) and a piece set on the company by New York-based Gus Solomons, Jr. (December 5). The ROGER WILLIAMS UNIVERSITY DANCE THEATRE will host residencies by New York and Oakland-based Kate Weare October 18-26 and New York-based Janice Lancaster November 1-9 (401.254.3626 or departments.rwu.edu/dance).

At Providence College (401.865.2284 or providence.edu/Theatre/Dance.htm), the fall concert on November 21 and 22 will feature BILLBOB BROWN, from the University of Massachusetts, MELISSA GENDREAU, from Boston, and local choreographers KATIE MCNAMARA, MICHAEL BOLGER, and LINDSAY CRAVEN. The BROWN UNIVERSITY DANCE ENSEMBLE concert (November 29-December 2; 401.863.3283) is student-driven and multicultural to the hilt, with belly dancing, a Chinese cup dance, a classical Indian dance, and much more. 

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