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By Wendy Perron, Kristin Schwab
Pulling Back the Curtain
WASHINGTON, DC: It’s not often that your average American can peek behind the scenes of the Mariinsky Ballet. But the historic company is opening up a dress rehearsal of Swan Lake to the public on Jan. 28. As part of the Kennedy Center’s Explore the Arts Audio Scholars programming, dance historians will feed the audience notes on the choreography and company via wireless headsets. Lead casting during the tour includes seemingly supernatural pairings Viktoria Tereshkina and Vladimir Shklyarov, and Alina Somova and Timur Askerov. Are they human or are they dancer? If you prefer to keep it a mystery, the legwarmers come off that night, with performances through Feb. 2. kennedy-center.org.
Mariinsky Ballet in Swan Lake. By Valentin Baranovsky, Courtesy Kennedy Center
Moving With Modern Mavens
MONTCLAIR, NJ: Most college dancers would jump at the opportunity to perform one of Douglas Dunn’s quirky and structurally elegant works. But to dance with his acclaimed company—even if only for a short time—goes beyond a resumé boost. Six students from Montclair State’s dance program will join Douglas Dunn and Dancers this month in the premiere of Aubade, commissioned by the university’s Peak Performances series. Frequent collaborator Charles Atlas adds texture to Dunn’s zany world through lights and video. Jan. 24–Feb. 1. peakperfs.montclair.edu.
Left to right: Paul Singh, Jin Ju Song-Begin, Jules Bakshi in Comme Si. By Laurie Lambrecht, Courtesy Ellen Jacobs
A Welcome Reprise
NEW YORK CITY: If you combine the mysterious impulsiveness of Tere O’Connor with the space-devouring expansiveness of Merce Cunningham, you might get Joanna Kotze. The young dancer, who worked with Wally Cardona for 10 years, won a Bessie for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer in 2013. Her bristling trio, it happened it had happened it is happening it will happen, returns to Danspace Project as part of a mini-festival of a particular category: artists who’ve won Bessies for Danspace commissions. Others who fit the bill include Michelle Dorrance, Tere O’Connor and Okwui Okpokwasili. Jan. 10–19. Kotze’s nights are Jan. 10 and 11. danspaceproject.org.
From left: Netta Yerushalmy, Stuart Singer and Joanna Kotze. By Ian Douglas, Courtesy Danspace
NEW YORK CITY: How did hip hop propel itself from the streets onto the concert stage? The answer is Rennie Harris. Now he brings a retrospective spanning two decades of undiluted popping, locking and breaking to the Joyce. His Philly-based group Puremovement will perform signature works like P-Funk, Students of the Asphalt Jungle and March of the Antmen. There will also be an excerpt from his Juliet-less Rome and Jewels, which shifts the age-old love story to more of an internal battle, replete with some amazingly danced soliloquies. Jan. 28–Feb. 2. joyce.org.
Puremovement’s Ryan Cliett. By Brian Mengini, Courtesy RHPM
They’re (Not) Clowning Around
SALT LAKE CITY: To celebrate its 50th season, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company is taking all the charms of a three-ring circus and putting them on the proscenium. Flabbergast choreographer Tandy Beal spent nearly a decade directing circus troupes here and abroad, including San Francisco’s Pickle Family Circus. Her first work for RWDC premieres at the Capitol Theatre, Jan. 31–Feb. 1. Expect all the mystery of a big top performance, complete with acrobatics and theatrical magic. ririewoodbury.com.
Ririe-Woodbury in Flabbergast. Photo by Derek Israelsen, Courtesy Ririe-Woodbury