Our guide to dance performances happening this weekend and in the week ahead.
BALLETNEXT at New York Live Arts (Feb. 19-22, 7:30 p.m.; through Feb. 23). In Salt Lake City, the University of Utah is home to a well-regarded ballet program where Michele Wiles, the artistic director of BalletNext, is a visiting professor. For her company’s New York engagement, she has recruited some of the school’s talented students to join her and guest artists such as Maria Kowroski and Amar Ramasar, in performing two works by the prolific Italian choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti. Wiles, a former principal dancer with American Ballet Theater, also contributes several new works of her own featuring live music, which includes a commissioned score from the jazz trumpeter Tom Harrell.
COMPLEXIONS CONTEMPORARY BALLET at the Joyce Theater (Feb. 19-20, 7:30 p.m.; through March 3). To mark its 25th anniversary, Complexions presents three programs over two weeks that highlight its brand of sharp, sultry ballet. The programs comprise new, revived and repurposed works by Dwight Rhoden, who founded and directs the troupe with the dancer Desmond Richardson. Program A features the New York premiere of “Bach 25,” set to music by both J. S. Bach and his son C. P. E. Bach, as well as the return of “Star Dust,” a tribute to David Bowie. Program B pairs the premiere of “Woke,” a response to current politics, with “From Then to Now,” a greatest-hits compilation from the company’s repertory. A separate matinee program combines the compilation with the Bach piece.
MERCE CUNNINGHAM CENTENNIAL at Anthology Film Archives (Feb. 18, 7:30 p.m.). For the past six weeks, as part of this year’s extensive celebrations of the centennial of Cunningham’s birth (he died in 2009), the Anthology Film Archives has presented weekly screenings of his works. The final screening on Monday focuses on a 2005 film of “Biped,” a 1999 piece that made imaginative use of computer-generated imagery and that Cunningham likened to “the feeling of switching channels on the TV.” Alastair Macaulay, the former chief dance critic at The New York Times, called it “a triumphant outpouring of pure dance invention and a masterpiece of theatrical poetry,” and will be on hand to introduce the film and participate in a post-screening Q. and A.
[Read about the events that our other critics have chosen for the week ahead.]
MIRO MAGLOIRE’S NEW CHAMBER BALLET at New York City Center Studio 5 (Feb. 18-19, 7:30 p.m.). In an upstairs studio that is part of the City Center complex, Magloire has long presented thoughtful, intimate ballets that he creates for live contemporary music. For this presentation, he introduces “Sanctum,” a new work for six dancers that is meant to be viewed in the round and is set to music by Kaija Saariaho and Karin Rehnqvist. Two vocal sections, sung live by three members of the Ekmeles vocal ensemble, bookend instrumental selections from both composers. Preceding this work is a solo called “Morning Song” set to John Cage’s “Cheap Imitation.”
NEW YORK CITY BALLET at the David H. Koch Theater (through March 3). In the coming week, City Ballet’s winter season belongs to Princess Aurora. Through Feb. 24, the company presents “The Sleeping Beauty” in a 1991 version by the former director Peter Martins, who followed a blueprint from the 19th-century master Marius Petipa (a section by George Balanchine made the cut, too). Over the next 10 days, several of City Ballet’s top ballerinas embody the titular character in this streamlined, two-act production. Lilac Fairy aside, the true fairy godfather here is Tchaikovsky, whose enduring score many consider ballet’s best.
ROCHA DANCE THEATER at John Jay College (Feb. 15, 8 p.m.). Jenny Rocha works simultaneously in contemporary dance and cabaret, directing both this company and a burlesque troupe called the Painted Ladies. In her new work “Half-Heard,” supported by the CUNY Dance Initiative and John Jay College, she takes on gender stereotypes and satirizes social expectations of femininity. The costumes, which she designed, are fashionable and fantastical, with lots of lace and a hint of naughtiness.
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