Dancing across the city

By DEBRA CASH  |  December 27, 2006

It wouldn’t feel like spring without Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater week at the Wang Theatre (April 26-29). The Celebrity Series dance season concludes with Ballet Hispánico and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra presenting their full-length Palladium Nights at the Shubert Theatre (May 18-19). In conjunction with the Boston Cyberarts Festival’s Ideas in Motion series, the Celebrity Series is also presenting Boston’s own Kinodance in Denizen, an intermedia work inspired by Armenian filmmaker Artavazd Peleshian’s 1979 Seasons, his exhilarating look at the hard physical work of living close to the land (May 2-3). Celebrity Series tickets are available from www.celebrityseries.org or by calling 617.482.6661.

Bread and Puppet Theatre, with its radical critique of everything, comes to the Boston Center for the Arts Cyclorama (February 12-18), and won’t Peter Schumann look amazing dancing with his Uncle Sam top hat and 18-foot stilts in that vast armory space! Call 617.933.8600. The circus arts take a romantic turn when Cirque Éloize’s Rain is presented by World Music/CRASHarts and the Celebrity Series at the Majestic Theatre (March 13-18).

I’m psyched about seeing the great Chita Rivera in her autobiographical show Chita Rivera, The Dancer’s Life, which is at the Colonial Theatre May 1-13 (617.426.9366), since it brings together versions of many of the musical production numbers that made her a Broadway darling, from West Side Story and Chicago to Kiss of the Spider Woman, all staged by the knowledgeable Graciela Daniele.

Dance and performance-related artists sharing their innovative work as part of Boston Cyberarts Festival 2007 are expected to include digital dancemaker Xavier Le Roy and historian and experimentalist Johannes Berringer, plus the duo of Stephanie Nelson and Nell Breyer and their colleagues from MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies and elsewhere. We’ll have to see whether adventurous British choreographer Wayne McGregor, who was just named resident choreographer of the Royal Ballet, will be able to attend. The biennial festival runs April 20–May 6; details will be posted at www.bostoncyberarts.org.

Similarly at home with playful technology, Boston-based Snappy Dance Theater celebrates its 10th anniversary with a World Music/CRASHarts presentation of String Beings, a collaboration with MIT new-media artist Jonathan Bachrach and BSO violinist Lucia Lin at the BCA’s Virginia Wimberly Theatre (May 30–June 10). Call 617.876.4275 or visit the World Music Web site.

GISELLE: Maina Gielgud is back to stage it for Boston Ballet.

Boston Ballet gets off its Nutcracker with a midwinter (February 8-18) production of George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, his affectionate envisioning of the famous Mendelssohn score. There’ll be more Mr. B when the company presents Ballo della Regina, La Valse, and The Four Temperaments (May 3-6); I’m hoping to see Tai Jiménez, the liveliest Balanchine dancer the company has had in years, featured on that program. The contemporary repertory program March 1-4 has Christopher Wheeldon’s popular Polyphonia and works by two of Mikko Nissinen’s faves, a premiere by Jorma Elo and the reprise of Val Caniparoli’s Sonata for TwoPianos and Percussion. And the good news, if you liked the version of Giselle that Maina Gielgud staged for Boston Ballet in 2002, is that she’s returning to do it again (May 10-20). Boston Ballet tickets and information about pre-concert talks and special events are available from www.bostonballet.org or by calling 617.695.6955.

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