‘Romeo & Juliet,’ BalletX, Jessica Lang, and 12 more top picks for the Philadelphia fall dance season
Philadelphia's fall dance season brings a new Romeo & Juliet danced by Pennsylvania Ballet, world premieres from BalletX, a Kimmel Center program by Philadanco, and dancing all over the Barnes Foundation. Anna Deavere Smith visits for a dance-theater piece at Annenberg.
Fall brings a new (to Philadelphia) Romeo & Juliet danced by the Pennsylvania Ballet, three world premieres from BalletX, a Kimmel Center program by Philadanco, and the coming back together of NextMove Dance and the Annenberg, presenting companies from around the world.
One red-letter event on the Annenberg schedule is a program by Doylestown's Jessica Lang.
Another intriguing offering this season: the six-hour Philadelphia Museum of Dance at the Barnes Foundation.
Leah Stein (Sept. 13-16 at Woodmere Art Museum, Sept. 22 at Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, N.J.). Ground Works is a site-specific work inspired by and incorporating large sculpture. It begins as a Fringe Festival show at Chestnut Hill's Woodmere, then moves to the Grounds for Sculpture for one performance. (215-247-0476, fringearts.com; 609-586-0616, groundsforsculpture.org)
Circa (Sept. 28-29, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts). This Australian contemporary circus troupe returns to Philadelphia with the U.S. premiere of Humans, exploring the human body at its extremes. (215-898-3900, AnnenbergCenter.org)
Philadelphia Museum of Dance (Oct. 6, Barnes Foundation). A free (with museum entrance) six-hour performance of dance by French choreographer Boris Charmatz puts bits of movement throughout the Barnes galleries. You don't need to stay for all six hours, although the most intriguing-sounding work is at the end, a response to the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks. Another Charmatz work, manger, about eating, is presented on a regular stage at FringeArts Sept. 22 and 23 as part of the Fringe Festival (215-278-7000, charmatz.westphal.drexel.edu)
LandLab: Dance Exchange at the Schuylkill Center (Oct. 13-14, Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education). Hiking meets dance in this site-specific work. It's a guided walk, and good walking shoes are recommended. (215-482-7300, schuylkillcenter.org)
Pennsylvania Ballet Romeo & Juliet (Oct. 11-21, Academy of Music). Kenneth MacMillan created his Romeo & Juliet in 1964 after seeing John Cranko's version. Similarly, the Pennsylvania Ballet will be replacing the Cranko version they've danced many times with the MacMillan version, which artistic director Angel Corella performed with the American Ballet Theatre. (215-893-1999, paballet.org)
Spectrum Dance Theater (Oct. 12-13, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts). Choreographer Donald Byrd and actress Anna Deavere Smith present A Rap on Race, a dance-theater work based on a 50-year-old recording between author James Baldwin and anthropologist Margaret Mead. (215-898-3900, AnnenbergCenter.org)
Flying Bach (Oct. 28, Merriam Theater). Flying Steps, a German dance crew, combines hip-hop with modern ballet to the music of Bach. (215-893-1999, kimmelcenter.org)
Pennsylvania Ballet Petit Mort and World Premieres (Nov. 8-11, Merriam Theater). The Pennsylvania Ballet is bringing back Jiri Kylian's dramatic Petit Mort, as well as introducing two new works. Corps de ballet member Russell Ducker will be choreographing for the company and so will Andrea Miller, artistic director of Gallim Dance. Miller was artist in residence last year at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. (215-893-1999, paballet.org)
Philadanco (Nov. 16-18, Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center). This season's theme is Choreographers on the Move. The program will feature two pieces each from longtime Philadanco collaborators Milton Myers and Christopher Huggins. (215-893-1999, kimmelcenter.org)
Cinderella (Nov. 17-18, Abington Friends School). This pre-professional company is presenting this family-friendly ballet favorite. (215-663-1665, metropolitanballetacademy.com)
Jessica Lang Dance (Nov. 30-Dec. 1, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts). Doylestown native Jessica Lang is one of the most sought-after choreographers today. She is bringing a selection of her work to the Annenberg, including her 2018 This Thing Called Love, celebrating the music of Tony Bennett, and us/we, a world premiere. (215-898-3900, AnnenbergCenter.org)
George Balanchine's The Nutcracker (Dec. 7-31, Academy of Music). The Pennsylvania Ballet tradition continues. Audiences in their winter coats and holiday finery may appreciate the Academy of Music's new wider, lump-free seats. (215-893-1999, paballet.org)
Caleb Teicher & Company (Dec. 14-15, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts). A founding member of Dorrance Dance, Caleb Teicher comes to the Annenberg with the Philadelphia premiere of his own tap company. The performance will include Meet Ella, a swing duet set to the music of Ella Fitzgerald, and Variations, set to Bach's Goldberg Variations. (215-898-3900, AnnenbergCenter.org)