A Taste for the Global

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The New York Sun

Never underestimate the power of a good idea: That’s one of the lessons to be extrapolated from this fall’s dance season in New York. At City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival, all tickets are priced at $10, and dance attractions from all over the world are featured, some familiar to New York audiences, some entirely new. Fall for Dance is now an entrenched and wildly popular kickoff to the fall season. This year it runs between September 17 and 27.

City Center is a prime place for dance lovers to be this fall. After “Fall for Dance” comes Christopher Wheeldon’s Morphoses company, which plays between October 1 and 5. Morphoses, which made its New York debut at City Center a year ago, has as its dancers guests from the top ranks of the world’s major dance companies. This year, Morphoses’s repertory includes Mr. Wheeldon’s new ballet to Stravinsky’s “Pulcinella Suite” — which was co-commissioned by City Center with London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre — and a new work Mr. Wheeldon commissioned from Canadian choreographer Emily Molnar.

Back in 1933, there was no New York City Ballet, and no American Ballet Theatre, but there was the birth-throes of the San Francisco Ballet. Celebrating its 75th anniversary, the company returns to New York on October 10, after a two-year absence. During its weeklong season here, it will perform works by Balanchine, Mr. Wheeldon, and Mark Morris.

American Ballet Theatre’s annual fall season at City Center opens October 21 and runs for two weeks. At City Center, ABT honors the centennial of Antony Tudor. Tudor worked with the company beginning in 1940, the year it was founded, and he was rehearsing in the company’s studios the day before he died in 1987. Six works of Tudor’s will be performed, including “Lilac Garden,” perhaps his most popular work, which returns to ABT for the first time since 2001, and the bedroom duet from his “Romeo and Juliet,” which has not been performed in its entirety anywhere for more than three decades, but was recently revived by the New York Theatre Ballet. On October 31, the company gives a special all-Tudor evening, which includes, in addition to these two, his “Continuo,” “Pillar of Fire,” the central duet from “The Leaves Are Fading,” and “Judgment of Paris,” a bawdy satire that ABT revived at the opening night of its Metropolitan Opera season last spring.

ABT’s fall season also dispenses generous helpings of the works of George Balanchine and Twyla Tharp, in addition to the company premiere of Paul Taylor’s 1991 “Company B,” set to the 1940s juke-box classics by the Andrews Sisters, and Jirí Kylián’s “Overgrown Path,” set to music by Leos Janá?ek. Mr. Kylián created this work in 1980 as an homage to Tudor. Also, there will be a world premiere by Lauri Stallings.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s annual five-week City Center season opens December 3. The company is celebrating its 50th anniversary with new works by Mauro Bigonzetti and company member Hope Boykin. Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center orchestra will be guest musicians for a week of works choreographed by Ailey and others, set to the music of Duke Ellington.

Is there New York dance apart from City Center this fall? Yes, there is, and much more than can be encompassed within the confines of a short preview.

New York City Ballet’s fall/winter season opens at the New York State Theater November 25 with a benefit performance, then begins the next day its annual five-week run of “The Nutcracker.” Its eight-week repertory season starts January 6.

The Joyce Theater is increasingly presenting performances at off-site venues around the city: Between September 5 and 7, it will produce three outdoor performances in Battery Park. At its indoor, Chelsea headquarters, fall programming encompasses the new and the archival, the aerobic, and the cerebral.

Like the Joyce, the Brooklyn Academy of Music has a taste for the global. This fall, the fruits of its international haul include the Australian indigenous dance company Bangarra Dance Theatre, as well as a return appearance by BAM prodigal daughter Pina Bausch and her Tanztheater Wuppertal, which is based in Germany. BAM has been Ms. Bausch’s American base for over two decades. Her latest big canvas dance/theater piece is “Bamboo Blues,” which receives its American premiere at BAM on December 11. It is her tribute to the land of India, where she and her troupe went on a research expedition in 2006.

The New York Sun

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