Terpsichore's delight: Boston's Spring dance preview

Springing into dance
By DEBRA CASH  |  March 14, 2011

 Boston Ballet dances George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream
FOUR AND MORE Boston Ballet dances George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Opera House.

Ballet your cup of tea? BOSTON BALLET (bostonballet.org) has a wide-ranging spring season with four programs at the Opera House: Balanchine's AMidsummer Night's Dream, with decor borrowed from Milan's Teatro alla Scala (April 7-17), and a Balanchine/Robbins evening (May 12-22), a showcase of the work of resident choreographer Jorma Elo (March 24–April 3), and a repertory program titled "Bella Figura" (April 28–May 8), with European-leaning works by Jirí Kylián, William Forsythe, and a triptych to Arvo Pärt by Forsythe alumna Helen Pickett.

Across the river, JOSÉ MATEO (ballettheatre.org) takes his dancers on journeys into swirling myth with "Tidal Forces" (April 1-17) and into Mateo's Cuban heritage in a program that includes new music by fellow San Luisero Aruán Ortiz (May 6-22), both at Harvard Square's Sanctuary Theatre.

International dance is a special focus of the season's stages. Thoughtful talk about how dance relates to our global community is hard to find, but at Harvard, gifted dancer-turned-curator EMILY COATES discusses the challenges for intercultural performance (March 24; ofa.fas.harvard.edu/dance). Thunder Rumbles Under Heaven, a/k/a BEIJINGDANCE/LDTX, China's first independent professional modern-dance company, makes its area debut at the Tsai Performance Center (April 1-2; celebrityseries.org). Founded by Jelon Vieira, the New York–based DANCE BRAZIL comes to Northeastern for one performance (April 8; centerforthearts.neu.edu).

Gifted Israeli choreographer BARAK MARSHALL draws in equal parts from the legacy of his mentor, Ohad Naharin, and his mother, the legendary Yemenite performer Margalit Oved, in Monger, billed as a surrealist upstairs/downstairs exploration of hierarchy and the ambiguities of power, at the ICA (April 22-24; worldmusic.org). In a rare visit, the Armenian National Centre for Aesthetics SMALL THEATRE presents Seventh Sense, a dance-theater hybrid (April 27–May 1; charlestownworkingtheater.org).

There's gleeful popular dance laced into DAVID DORFMAN DANCE's Prophets of Funk — Dance to the Music, reinvigorating — and challenging — boomer memories to the sounds of Sly and the Family Stone at the ICA (April 8-10; worldmusic.org). The ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATRE's annual return to Boston (Wang Theatre, April 15-18; celebrityseries.org) honors the final year of Judith Jamison's company directorship and welcomes Robert Battle into the post. Meanwhile, two former Ailey stars, Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, lead COMPLEXIONS CONTEMPORARY BALLET in works by the prolific Rhoden — who also manages to make time to choreograph routines for So You Think You Can Dance contestants (Cutler Majestic Theatre, May 20-22; worldmusic.org).

DANCE TECHNOLOGIES AND CIRCULATIONS OF THE SOCIAL brings dancers, choreographers, gamers, motion-capture technologists, and dance filmmakers to Cambridge for an MIT symposium (MIT Media Lab, April 21-23; arts.mit.edu/fast/dancetechnology). And for the seventh BOSTON CYBERARTS FESTIVAL, Alissa Cardone has devised a bi-coastal dance improvisation event that will be rehearsed over Skype. The Boston participants will dance live while their partners dancing in LA will be broadcast on Atlantic Wharf (April 22–May 8; bostoncyberarts.org/festival).

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