This spring’s dance scene brings us a number of intriguing world premieres from Philadelphia-based companies and some exciting work from visitors.
From the home companies, there’s La Bayadère from Pennsylvania Ballet. One of the most beautiful and beloved full-length ballets, it is also one that has been called racially insensitive. Artistic director Angel Corella said he has hired a consultant to address how the story of an Indian temple dancer is told.
Philadanco will turn 50 and say goodbye to founder and executive artistic director Joan Myers Brown this spring, with a series called Fast Forward, looking into the future of the company. It will feature the work of young choreographers.
This year Philadelphia will see visits from two highly creative and physical favorite troupes, Pilobolus and MO
MIX. Philadelphia will see the U.S. premiere of Alice, MOMIX’s take on Alice in Wonderland.
Here’s what else looks interesting:
La Bayadère (March 5-12, Academy of Music). Pennsylvania Ballet is bringing this most breathtaking of ballets. The corps de ballet is generally considered the backbone of ballet but doesn’t always get the glory. La Bayadère presents it in its most precise, sumptuous light. (215-893-1999, paballet.org)
BalletX (March 18-29, Wilma Theater). BalletX’s spring season displays world premieres by its annual choreographic fellow and mentor. The year’s pair is Nicole Caruana, being mentored by John McFall. Caruana’s work explores the cyclical nature of existence, and the mysteries of the mind. McFall, a former principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet, has created work for National Ballet of Canada, American Ballet Theatre, and others. The program will also include a premiere from Gregory Dawson, a former dancer with Alonzo King LINES Ballet. (215-893-9456, www.balletx.org)
Trinity Irish Dance Company (March 27-28, Annenberg Center). This Chicago-based troupe is coming as a belated St. Patrick’s Day treat. This mostly female company is based in Irish dance but also works with contemporary choreographers. (215-898-3900, AnnenbergCenter.org)
Pennsylvania Ballet (April 2-5, Merriam Theater). This program named for one piece on the program, Suspended in Time, choreographed by artistic director Angel Corella, corps de ballet dancer Russell Ducker, and Kiril Radev, who danced with Corella’s company in Spain. That piece is set to music by the Electric Light Orchestra. The program will also include Stanton Welch’s Clear, set to music by Bach, and a world premiere by choreographer-in-residence Matthew Neenan. (215-893-1999, paballet.org)
Pilobolus (April 16-18, Annenberg Center). This highly creative company is known for twisting their bodies into shapes and making shadow puppets. This time Pilobolus is bringing a program called Come to Your Senses, a multisensory suite of old and new dances. (215-898-3900, AnnenbergCenter.org)
Philadanco (April 17-19, Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center). Joan Myers Brown’s final program as artistic director, after 50 years at the helm, looks into the future. The program, called Fast Forward, will present the work of young choreographers. (215-893-1999, www.kimmelcenter.org)
Pennsylvania Ballet (May 7-10, Academy of Music). The company will return to its roots with Breathtaking Balanchine, a program of three works. The lineup includes Ballet Imperial, with music by Tchaikovsky; Who Cares?, set to Gershwin; and Symphony in C, with music by Georges Bizet. (215-893-1999, paballet.org)
Koresh Dance Company (May 28-June 1, Suzanne Roberts Theater). Koresh is heading into its 30th anniversary, and artistic director Ronen Koresh’s has choreographed a world premiere to mark the occasion. The Muse delves into his insights, influences, inspirations over three decades, as well as his motivation to create. (215-985-0420, koreshdance.org)
Tania Pérez-Salas Compañía de Danza (May 29-30, Annenberg Center). This Mexican contemporary dance troupe is returning to Philadelphia for the first time in 14 years. The program includes the U.S. premiere of Religare, danced on a dirt-topped floor, which examines dance as a ritual between body and spirit. (215-898-3900, AnnenbergCenter.org)
MOMIX (June 11-13, Annenberg Center). Like with Pilobolus, a performance of MOMIX is a journey into another world. This time that world is down a rabbit hole, as the company presents the U.S. premiere of Alice, MOMIX’s take on Alice in Wonderland. It looks both surreal and charming. (215-898-3900, AnnenbergCenter.org)