The Phoenix Network:
About  |  Advertise
Books  |  Comedy  |  Dance  |  Museum And Gallery  |  Theater

Happy feet

From butoh to Swan Lake and back
By DEBRA CASH  |  September 13, 2006

RUSSIAN MADE: Danila Korsuntsev and Uliana Lopatkina dance in the Kirov Ballet’s Swan Lake.
The architectural team of Diller Scofidio + Renfro designed the Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theater at the new Institute for Contemporary Art as a 325-seat jewel box, its transparent walls allowing the Boston harbor and skyline to serve as a scenic backdrop or turn opaque as the performance requires. This glam architecture will probably be beautiful even when the room is empty, but it will fulfill its potential only if it brings contemporary dance and performance the fresh visibility they so desperately need and deserve.

We’re going to have to wait a few more weeks. Although at press time the ICA’s fall schedule was up in the air because of construction delays at the new site, the Sapporo-based butoh duo  GOOSAYTEN  — Morita Itto (who in his day job doubles as a professor of psychology) and his dance partner Takeuchi Mika — are still scheduled to perform their meditative To the White, To the Sky on November 8. The following day they’ll take it to UMass-Amherst’s Fine Arts Center (413.545.2511). Check or call 617.266.5152 for the latest ICA developments.

The Lee Theater will also be the venue for many World Music/CRASHarts events in the months ahead.  BEBE MILLER ’s company and  LES BALLETS JAZZ DE MONTRÉAL/BJM_DANSE  have been postponed till spring, but still on the ICA schedule is the stopwatch-driven  TEN’S THE LIMIT  showcase of local dancemakers (November 17-18) and  RONALD K. BROWN/EVIDENCE ’s repertoire evening (November 30–December 3). CRASHart dance-related programs at more-traditional venues include  SON DE LA FRONTERA  featuring flamenco dancer  PEPE TORRES  (Somerville Theatre, September 29),  MOMBASA PARTY/ROYAL DRUMMERS OF BURUNDI  (Sanders Theatre, September 30; also in Amherst September 29), and kathak master  BIRJU MAHARAJ  (Somerville Theatre, October 8). All World Music/CRASHarts tickets are available on-line at, or call 617.876.4275.

As part of its commitment to bring one big (and necessarily expensive) ballet company to Boston each year, the Bank of America Celebrity Series (617.482-6661) hosts the return of the  KIROV BALLET  in Swan Lake (Wang Theatre, November 9-12). It’s dancing the optimistic Russian version, where evil is vanquished and the lovers are reunited during the B-major closing chords of Tchaikovsky’s score. Later in the season,  PILOBOLUS  turns away from an ugly legal struggle with one of its co-directors to presents its illusionistic, kid-friendly repertoire (Shubert Theatre, December 8-10).  BOSTON BALLET  opens its season with the Rudolf Nureyev production of Don Quixote, with restored costumes and a set that includes a turning windmill (Wang Theatre, October 19-29; 800.447.7400).

Harvard is paying tribute to Leonard Bernstein (October 12-14; 617.495.8676). No one is guaranteeing Chita Rivera will make it (she’s going to try) but  WEST SIDE STORY  director/producer Harold Prince and choreographer Donald Saddler and Jerome Robbins biographer Deborah Jowitt will be on hand for what should be enlightening insider conversations at the Harvard Dance Center and Paine Concert Hall October 14.

His health permitting, the Museum of Fine Arts will host octogenarian dancemaker  MERCE CUNNINGHAM  in a lecture (officially sold out) describing his celebrated collaborations with visual artists including Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, and Terry Winters (October 18; 617.369.3306).

The Dance Complex in Central Square (617.547.9363) celebrates its 15th anniversary with events that include  DANIEL MCCUSKER ’s Variations in 4 Spaces for Many People using the entire historic Odd Fellows Hall as its performance space (October 14-15), a  CAPOEIRA ENCOUNTER WEEKEND  (November 3-5), and a special faculty concert (November 18-19). Other local performers planning programs this fall include  ZOE DANCE COMPANY  in Abandon, a piece about the nature of fear (September 29-30), and  SNAPPY DANCE  presenting a collaboration-in-progress with violinist Lucia Lin and media artist Jonathan Bachrach (November 17-18), both at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center (617.577.1400).

Central Square’s Green Street Studios (617.864.3191) has  NICOLE PIERCE ’s troupe (October 13-14) and  WEBER DANCE  (October 26-28).  BENNETT DANCE COMPANY  performs Inner House with a set by Michael Dowling as part of its benefit performance at Emmanuel Church (November 3; 617.495.9456). L’Anima, a new dance-theater work by the always innovative  MARJORIE MORGAN  at Brookline Tai Chi (December 8-9; 978.779.5341), reinterprets the legend of Romulus and Remus as part of her evocation of the Italian countryside. The hardworking b-boys and b-girls of  ORIGINATION  have a benefit performance at Roxbury Community College’s Media Arts Center (October 7; 617.541.1875), and the pre-professional students at the  BOSTON CONSERVATORY  tackle Martha Graham’s Night Journey (November 9–12; 617.912.9137). Many local events develop quickly, and there’s not always a big advertising budget, so check the Phoenix performance listings and the Web site of the Boston Dance Alliance ( for news, tickets, and information about workshops associated with visiting companies and performers, which are usually held at Cambridge studios.

Jazz musician  STAN STRICKLAND  encompasses dance styles ranging from hula to jive in his “autojazzography,” Coming Up for Air, which is written and directed by Jon Lipsky (Boston Center for the Arts, September 27–October 14; 617.933.8600). Up in Salem, classical Indian virtuoso  LAKSHMI VISHWANATHAN  will be giving a bharatanatyam performance drawn from love poetry (Peabody Essex Museum, September 30; 978.745.9500).

Dancer and genial tap-dance networker  JOSH HILBERMAN  is helping to bring tap back to local stages.  NATE COOPER  of Rhythm in Shoes, ace jitterbugger  BOB THOMAS, and the German team Kurt Albert and Klaus Bleis, who call themselves  “TAP AND TRAY”  and specialize in an almost forgotten vaudeville art, will be sharing a comic bill with  THELMA GOLDBERG’S LEGACY DANCERS  at the Regent Theatre in Arlington (October 27-28; 781.863.5360).

Last but not at all least: if your inner Scrooge tends to emerge just about the time you’re drying the Thanksgiving dishes, you may be able to inoculate yourself against Nutcrackeritis (but ask whether it’s suitable for your kids) with a hit of  DAVID PARKER & THE BANG GROUP ’s Nut/Cracked (BCA Calderwood Pavilion, November 3-11; 617.621.6090), which is part of the Theater Offensive’s OUT on the Edge Festival of Queer Theater.

  • Pillow talking
    Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève and the Mark Morris Dance Group
  • Dancing across the city
    Between the opening of the new ICA and Bank of America's de-funding of Celebrity Series, will Boston be a city on the move or on the make in 2007?
  • Dynamos
    Philadanco at the ICA
  • More more >
  Topics: Dance , Institute for Contemporary Art , Barbara Lee , Dance ,  More more >
  • Share:
  • RSS feed Rss
  • Email this article to a friend Email
  • Print this article Print

Today's Event Picks
More Information
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   SIZZLING FROST  |  December 29, 2008
    Dance heat 2009
  •   WINGED FEET  |  September 11, 2008
    Dance around town
  •   STATES OF UNREST  |  July 15, 2008
    Hofesh Schechter, Natural Dance Theatre, Ko + Edge at the Pillow
  •   RITE OF DARKNESS  |  July 03, 2008
    Heddy Maalem’s Sacre
  •   WHAT'S LEFT BEHIND  |  May 21, 2008
    Tap Olé at the Regent, Rachid Ouramdane at the ICA, Prometheus at Boston Conservatory

 See all articles by: DEBRA CASH

RSS Feed of for the most popular articles
 Most Viewed   Most Emailed 

  |  Sign In  |  Register
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
Copyright © 2009 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group