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May 20, 2009 --
Multi million rand campaign will reach more than 600 million people between now and kick off

INDABA 2009 will see South African tourism dish up a feast of activities and activations designed to get South Africa and the world dancing to the 2010 beat.

The INDABA travel trade show, one of the top three in the world, opened officially in Durban today with the launch of host South African Tourism’s diski dance television and film commercial that leverages the country’s status as 2010 FIFA World CupTM host nation.

The 60 second commercial takes its inspiration from South Africa’s uniquely flamboyant football style—diski. Diski football becomes a dance that almost anyone, anywhere can learn and will, as the multi-million rand global campaign rolls out, become the definitive hallmark of the first African World Cup. It will be screened on major global television networks (BBC World, CNN International, Sky, EuroSport, Fox) and will reach more than 600 million consumers between now and kick-off. It represents a multi-million rand investment by South African Tourism.

The campaign will also be run in South Africa. Thanks to a partnership between South African Tourism and the International Marketing Council (IMC), the commercial will be screened on each of the SABC television channels.

“This will take the dance and welcoming spirit of 2010 to millions of South Africans. It will also give the campaign the domestic traction that it needs if South Africans are to truly welcome the world to this great celebration,” says Sugen Pillay, South African Tourism’s Head of Marketing for 2010.

INDABA will also see the launch of South African Tourism’s 2010 Campaign Website, as well as a specifically designed INDABA 2010 mobisite. These will be hosted and displayed at the 2010 Stand and go live on 9 May just after the Opening Ceremony. Both sites can be accessed via South African Tourism’s newly designed Website

Pillay says both the commercial and the dance give evidence of South African’s sense of fun and inclusiveness whilst demonstrating to both ourselves and the world how committed we are as a nation to global sport spectacular.

After the launch of the campaign at the INDABA Opening Ceremony, the famous INDABA Beach Party will be given over to bringing the diski dance to life in the form of dance demonstrations and lessons from a company of specially trained Diski Dancers.

The IMC and South African Tourism will host a media briefing at INDABA on 11 May to launch the campaign domestically.

“This campaign is for the people of South Africa. This is our World Cup and we invite all to learn the Diski Dance and heartily welcome the world to the great party that this Word Cup is going to be,” says Pillay.


For more information on the campaign and on INDABA, please visit
fifa, soccer world cup, south africa

The WORLD PREMIERE of Viktor Plotnikov’s Cinderella

VMA Arts & Cultural Center,  1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence Friday October 19, 2007 at 7:30 pm Saturday October 20, 2007 at 7:30 pm Sunday October 21, 2007 at 2:30 pm



2009–10 Season Includes Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan,
Koosil-ja/danceKUMIKO, Troika Ranch, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, Three Chicago Companies

CHICAGO—Leading visionaries in the field of contemporary dance and artists exploring the intersection between dance, science and technology highlight The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago’s 2009–10 season. Among companies performing are Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan (at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park), Koosil-ja/danceKUMIKO, Troika Ranch and Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, along with three Chicago companies. Subscriptions and single tickets go on sale July 20 at The Dance Center, 1306 S. Michigan Avenue, 312-369-8330 (NOTE NEW PHONE NUMBER) and online at

The Dance Center’s FamilyDance Matinee Series continues for its 11th season, featuring special one-hour family-oriented performances preceded by free parent/child movement workshops with the artists. FamilyDance Matinees will be presented by the three Chicago companies on the mainstage season—Lucky Plush Productions (Oct. 24), Jump Rhythm Jazz Project (Feb. 20) and Hedwig Dances (Apr. 3)—and participants in The Dance Center’s Repertory Performance Workshop, featuring Dance Center students performing work by professional choreographers (Dec. 19).

To facilitate meaningful dialogue with Chicago audiences and artists, most artists will participate in DanceMasters, community master classes presented by The Dance Center’s Community Outreach and Education office in collaboration with the Lou Conte Dance Studio at the Hubbard Street Dance Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Classes are for dancers at the intermediate level or higher.

In addition, discussions with the artists will follow most Thursday performances, and some programs will feature pre-performance talks with artists and Dance Center personnel or guest lecturers. Most out-of-town artists will provide learning opportunities for Dance Center students and conduct community-based residency and educational activities, which might include master classes, lecture/demonstrations, in-school and community-based workshops, professional development workshops for educators and human service providers and panel discussions.

Merce Cunningham Dance Company—Performing at The Dance Center’s Intimate Theater

Performances: Program A, October 1 & 2—8 p.m.; Program B, October 3—3 and 8 p.m., The Dance Center
Pre-performance talk with Dance Center Chair Bonnie Brooks: October 1 & 2—7 p.m., October 3—2 and 7 p.m.
DanceMasters class: September 30, 6:30 p.m., Lou Conte Dance Studio at the Hubbard Street Dance Center,
1147 W. Jackson Blvd.
Film screening: BIPED & Ghostcatching, September 14, 6:30 p.m., The Dance Center
Merce Cunningham, who celebrated his 90th birthday in 2009, remains triumphantly at the forefront of modern dance and continues to astonish audiences with his devotion to innovation, including new ways of creating dance itself. During the past six decades, Cunningham has created more than 200 dances presented in one of two formats: repertory (completed dance works) and Events, which are of an overall set length but draw excerpts from various works in the repertory assembled as a choreographic montage. The Dance Center performances will provide audiences with an exceptional opportunity to experience two distinct Events, featuring historically significant Cunningham choreography, in the intimacy of its 272-seat theater.

Lucky Plush Productions—10th Anniversary Season
Performances: October 22, 24, 29, 30 and 31, 8 p.m.; Oct. 23 7 p.m. performance and benefit, The Dance Center
FamilyDance Matinee: October 24 at 3 p.m., free pre-performance workshop at 2:15 p.m.
For Lucky Plush’s 10th Anniversary Season, Artistic Director Julia Rhoads is creating a new evening-length work, Punk Yankees (working title), which will explore the sampling and pirating of art to create work. In this case, the re-contextualization and “theft” will primarily draw upon moments, movements and images from Lucky Plush’s work during the past 10 years. Rhoads may also appropriate more known choreography and pop-culture references. By challenging ideas of ownership and intellectual property, Rhoads will delve into the persuasive and popular idea that direct appropriation is a vehicle to make something new and transformative.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan—Asia’s Acclaimed Company Returns

Performances: January 22 and 23, 8 p.m., Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph
Pre-performance talk with Artistic Director Lin Hwai-Min: January 22 and 23, 7 p.m.
DanceMasters class: January 20, 6:30 p.m., Lou Conte Dance Studio at the Hubbard Street Dance Center,
1147 W. Jackson Blvd.
Asia’s most highly acclaimed contemporary dance company returns to Chicago with Moon Water (1998), choreographer Lin Hwai-min’s signature piece set to selections from Bach’s eternal “Six Suites for Solo Cello.” Moon Water, or Suei Yuei in Chinese, is a metaphor for two things: a Buddhist proverb—”Flowers in a mirror and the moon on water are both illusory”—and a description of the ideal state of Tai Chi practitioners—”Energy flows as water while the spirit shines as the moon.” Performed on a black stage with white brush strokes reminiscent of ripples, the piece features mirrors hung overhead to reflect the dancers in white billowy costumes. Towards the end of the piece, water seeps onto stage and soaks the dancing bodies.

Jump Rhythm Jazz Project—20th Anniversary Season
Performances: February 18, 19 and 20, 8 p.m., The Dance Center
FamilyDance Matinee: February 20 at 3 p.m., free pre-performance workshop at 2:15 p.m.
Jump Rhythm Jazz Project (JRJP), directed by Billy Siegenfeld, will mark its 20th Anniversary with three pieces of remounted choreography from past years, including Siengenfeld’s god of dirt, set to a suite of folk music by Serb-Croat composer Goran Bregovic. Siegenfeld will also premiere a new piece, Mad, glad, sad, about the marginalization of emotion in post-modern dance and how one set of emotions can transform into another. To showcase the company’s outreach program, a senior company member will create a new piece using high school youth working with JRJP’s rhythmic technique.

Three of the companies on The Dance Center’s 2009–10 season incorporate elements of science and technology. “As contemporary dance advances its position and development in the 21st century, numerous choreographers are working with various new technologies and scientific ideas in the development and presentation of their work,” said Dance Center Executive Director Phil Reynolds. “Whether commenting on and experimenting with artificial intelligence and interactive technologies or making use of motion capture and related animation techniques, the possibilities for dance artists to create embodied ways of exploring ideas historically associated with scientific inquiry have never been greater. The Dance Center aims to bring forward some of the most provocative and current available work in this territory to our audiences and communities of interest.” The three companies are:

“Science, Technology and Dance”—all premieres

1. Koosil-ja/danceKUMIKO
Performances: February 4, 5 and 6, 8 p.m., The Dance Center
Post-performance discussion: February 4
DanceMasters class: February 2, 6 p.m., Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave.
Korean-Japanese choreographer Koosil-ja Hwang’s newest full-evening piece, Blocks of Continuality/Body, Image, Algorithm, is a dance and live camera work, involving several technology collaborators, that tells three stories simultaneously. Each story portrays lives that are rather mundane, yet particular in character. Digital scenery will be created in a 3D engine with an interactive system that will detect the location of the dancers in real space, thereby moving avatar images in a virtual game space based on the dancers’ movements. As the piece progresses, the dancers/characters interact with a virtual world on stage and the seemingly autonomous stories and sites begin to intersect and overlap.

2. Troika Ranch
Performances: March 4, 5 and 6, 8 p.m., The Dance Center
Post-performance discussion: March 4
DanceMasters class: March 2, 6 p.m., Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave.
Troika Ranch’s newest work under development, Loop Diver, will be an evening-length, multimedia piece for six dancers that portrays an encounter with violence and its characters’ attempts to escape the resulting prisons of repetition. The movement and the sonic and visual environment will emerge from the recording of material—choreographic and spoken word—which will then be looped through a complex, computer-mediated process involving motion capture and Co-Artistic Director Mark Coniglio’s Isadora software (a programming environment that provides interactive control and real-time manipulation of digital media).

3. Wayne McGregor | Random Dance

Performances: March 18, 19 and 20, 8 p.m., The Dance Center
Post-performance discussion: March 18
Pre-performance talk with Wayne McGregor: March 19, 7 p.m.
DanceMasters class: March 16, 6 p.m., Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave.
Wayne McGregor’s Entity, a new evening-length work for his London-based Random Dance Company, explores the links between artificial intelligence and choreography. Technically astonishing, the uncompromising, hard-hitting piece is set to a soundscape created by Coldplay, Massive Attack collaborator Jon Hopkins and award-winning composer Joby Talbot (The Divine Comedy). While researching Entity, McGregor consulted with an international think tank of individuals working in cognitive science, psychology, neurosciences, linguistics, human-computer interaction and robotics.

The 2009–10 season concludes with:

Hedwig Dances—25th Anniversary Season
Performances: April 1, 2 and 3, 8 p.m., The Dance Center
FamilyDance Matinee: April 3 at 3 p.m., free pre-performance workshop at 2:15 p.m.
Hedwig Dances’ 25th Anniversary will celebrate the company’s legacy with dance works by three women choreographers, both emerging and established. Artistic Director Jan Bartoszek’s world premiere Dance of Forgotten Steps delves into memory and identity, nature vs. nurture and the influence on the living of those who have gone before. MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellow and New York City-based choreographer Susan Marshall will set sections of her recent cabaret-influenced Sawdust Palace, drawn from the travails and serendipitous moments of everyday life, on Hedwig Dances. Andrea Miller, a former Batsheva Dance Company and Jose Limon Dance Company dancer, is creating Dust, a duet for company members Justin Deschamps and Michel Rodriguez that addresses mortality and the fragility of life.

The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, named “Chicago’s Best Dance Theatre” by Chicago magazine and “Best Dance Venue” by the Chicago Reader, is the city’s leading presenter of contemporary dance, showcasing artists of regional, national and international significance. Programs of The Dance Center are supported in part by Alphawood Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust, New England Foundation for the Arts, The Boeing Company Charitable Trust, Arts Midwest, Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, and The Irving Harris Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council. Special thanks to Friends of The Dance Center.

Subscriptions and single tickets go on sale July 20 at The Dance Center, 1306 S. Michigan Avenue. Single tickets are $24–28, with the following exceptions: Merce Cunningham Dance Company tickets are $38, Lucky Plush performance and benefit tickets on October 23 only are $75 (all other performances are $24–28) and Cloud Gate Dance Theater of Taiwan tickets are $30–65. Subscription discounts of 20 percent are available when ordering tickets for three or more performances. Single tickets for FamilyDance matinees are $6 for children 12 and younger, $10 for adults; a FamilyDance season pass is $18 for children, $30 for adults. DanceMasters classes are $15 each, $24 for two classes or $30 for three classes; space is limited. The Dance Center does not allow late seating at its performances. The theatre is accessible to people with disabilities. For more information, call 312-369-8330 (NOTE NEW PHONE NUMBER) or visit

One Response to “Dance Center announces 2009-2010 season”

  1. Merce Cunningham dies, 90 | Newcity Stage Says:

    [...] Merce Cunningham, the titan of dance and interdisciplanary art, has died. Merce’s company is scheduled to perform in Chicago this fall, at the Dance Center of Columbia College, where he’s been a regular every other year for the [...]


Some of The Cast Members of Toni Leago Valle premieres Tetris

Mechelle Fleming

Jennifer Tidwell

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Luna Negra Dance Theater On the Rise
 Photo by Audia, featuring the artistic and admistrative team.
 Photo by Audia, featuring the artistic and admistrative team.
After the flurry of activities that came with the Spring Season, summer is a good time to reflect and reminisce. And for Luna Negra Dance Theater, it's been quite a ride! The company was founded in 1999 by Eduardo Vilaro with a budget of $10,000 and an office in his spare bedroom. Now, eight years later, it has ten full time dancers, a strong Board of Directors, an administrative staff of four, and an astounding success record for a company of this size. In 2005, the company performed at the Harris Theater to a sold-out house and has conducted collaborations with such world renowned artists as Peruvian singer Susana Baca.

Artistically, Luna Negra has built a strong and unique repertory of works by contemporary Latino choreographers, including Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro, Bessie Award winner Pedro Ruiz, Washington Ballet Artistic Director Septime Webre, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago veteran Ron De Jesus and Venezuelan master choreographer Vicente Nebrada. The company has garnered incredible critical acclaim from audience members and critics alike, highlighting the deeply emotional impact of Luna Negra's work. "Your work touched a place so deep in my soul. I felt like I'd come home" said an audience member at our 2006 fall concert." Another friend shared this story with us: "During the first piece, I could hear some noise coming from [my friend's] direction, and I looked over and he was just weeping, and wiping away tears. At the end, I asked him why he was crying, and he said, 'I love my culture.' I know that feeling of being in a theater, and then seeing a performance that touches the deepest part of who you are, and you just shed tears of gratitude."

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Continued from Headling page...


Pioneer Theatre Company’s 2009-2010 season


Pioneer Theatre Company’s 2009-2010 season to feature a wide range of theatre, including show-stopping musicals A CHORUS LINE and 42ND STREET

Season also offers classic dramas, a holiday comedy, and Utah and World Premieres

Pioneer Theatre Company is pleased to announce a 2009-2010 season featuring two sensational dance musicals, the Utah premiere of a recently discovered comedy by Mark Twain, a beloved seasonal story of a boy’s quest for a Red Ryder BB gun, the world premiere of a compelling and often humorous play about two sisters, an electrifying courtroom drama, and a classic play about life in a small town in America at the turn of the twentieth century.  
The season opens with the “singular sensation” A Chorus Line, and closes with the true “Lullaby of Broadway,” 42nd Street.

A Chorus Line,running September 25 through October 10, 2009, unfolds as 16 dancers auditioning for parts on Broadway are asked to reveal a little something about their pasts, their personalities and the experiences that shaped their lives. The show ran for fifteen years on Broadway and became one of the most legendary musicals in the history of show business.

Following A Chorus Line will be the Utah premiere of a “new” comedy by America’s greatest comic writer, Mark Twain. Is He Dead?, which will run from October 30 through November 14, 2009, was discovered in Twain’s papers in 2002, adapted by playwright David Ives and opened on Broadway in 2007 to widespread acclaim and peals of laughter. The Wall Street Journal called it “Shriekingly funny – I don’t know when I’ve heard a New York audience laugh louder or longer,” and Variety described it as “an elaborate madcap comedy that registers high on the mirth meter and reaches especially giddy comic heights!”

For the holiday season, PTC will present a stage adaptation of the hilarious seasonal film A Christmas Story,running December 4 through December 19, 2009. This semi-autobiographical story, originally written by author and radio personality Jean Shepherd and adapted for the stage by Philip Grecian, is about a boy named Ralphie and his quest for the Christmas gift of his dreams: an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle.

From January 8 through January 23, 2010, PTC will produce the world premiere of Touch(ed) by Bess Wohl. A touching, often humorous, always compelling and sometimes suspenseful play about the special relationship between two sisters, Touch(ed) was discovered as part of PTC’s New Plays Initiative.

Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose (stage version by Sherman L. Sergel) is the riveting courtroom drama that has been the basis for a television drama, a classic film and a hit Broadway show. It will run from February 12 through February 27, 2010.

Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, the evocative drama about the townspeople of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire at the turn of the twentieth century, will run from March 12 through March 27, 2010. Wilder’s play about family, neighbors, community and the triumph of the human spirit has been called the great American play and remains profound and relevant seventy years after its premiere in 1938.
The season finale 42nd Street, running April 23 through May 8, 2010, is a Tony Award-winning song-and-dance extravaganza about a small-town girl who arrives in New York hoping to take Broadway by storm in the middle of the Great Depression. Featuring one show-stopping number after another, 42nd Street is a celebration of show business and the people who chase their dreams on stage, designed to make audiences tap their toes and forget their troubles.

Remarking on the season, PTC Artistic Director Charles Morey said, “In these trying times, I think all of us could use a good time, have some laughs, be told some great stories, and forget our troubles for a couple of hours when we escape to the theatre. Our 2009-2010 season is designed to do just that. It’s got two great musicals, two wonderful comedies, and two memorable dramas that tell riveting and moving stories. We have also found an exciting new play by a young playwright named Bess Wohl that we discovered through our New Plays Initiative. Touch(ed) is a compelling story of the bond between two sisters and the sacrifices they are willing to make for one another. It’s also a bit of mystery, in that the audience is never quite sure what’s going to happen next.”

Season tickets range from $70 to $256, which means that season ticket patrons pay between $10 and $37 a ticket to see shows that cost over $100 on Broadway or National Tours. Notes PTC Managing Director Chris Lino, “For the price of one or two tickets to a Broadway show theatergoers can have a full season of entertainment at PTC, and be assured of the best seats and the convenience of exchanging their tickets if they can’t make their regular performance. And, as our long-time patrons know, you’ll be seeing the same actors who appear on Broadway stages, and the same spectacular sets and costumes that you would see on Broadway.”

For season tickets contact Pioneer Theatre Company’s Box Office at 801-581-6961 or visit us online at

Pioneer Theatre Company, Utah’s premier professional theatre, performs at the Roy W. and Elizabeth E. Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, located on the University of Utah campus at 300 South and 1400 East, Salt Lake City UT 84112-0660. The theatre is equipped with an elevator, hearing assistance devices, and handicapped parking.

Free parking within a block of the theatre is available for all performances.

Kim Eun Hee Dance Company (Seoul, Korea) Archieved article September 5, 2009.



From Australia ...
Recommended ...

Are You A Young Dancer Preparing for Pointe Work Or A Teacher Of Ballet?


Asheville, NC, Australia. ( ) A fantastic new resource in the education of young dancers was launched this week - and promises to put specific exercises and testing tools essential to a dancers safe progression into pointe shoes, once exclusively available in private therapy sessions with a Specialized Dance Physical Therapist, within the reach of every young dancer.

Called “The Perfect Pointe Book”, this innovative dancing companion was designed by Lisa Howell, a Dance (Physiotherapist) Physical Therapist based in Sydney Australia. Her company, Perfect Form Physiotherapy has developed a unique system of preparing girls for the demands of pointe work, which will enable any aspiring dancer to dramatically accelerate the development of the mobility, strength and knowledge needed to progress on to pointe shoes safely.

Lisa is a respected practitioner, well known in local dancing circles for her dramatic results with young dancers and professionals alike. She is passionate about the education of dancers and their relationship with their own body, not only to prevent injury, but to extend the boundaries of what each dancer believes is possible.

The ‘Perfect Pointe Book’ is a 124 page downloadable ‘e-book’ manual. It takes the girls systematically though a series of tests and exercises, organised into four easy stages, and is rapidly finding its way into the eager hands of the worldwide online dance community.

Each stage has at least two tests for the dancer to complete, with clear photographs and a check-list to ensure all parts of the test are performed correctly. The tests are followed by detailed descriptions of what each weakness identified may mean, and a program of exercises, all beautifully illustrated, that address each of these areas. The focus is on education, including the anatomy of each area, as well as exactly why strength in that area is so vital.

“It is one thing to know that you need to ‘be strong enough’ to progress onto pointe shoes; it is completely something else to know exactly how to test for specific weaknesses and the correct strengthening exercises for each of those weaknesses. This guide is the first that allows young dancers, and their teachers, to work out exactly where their weaknesses lie, in order to make their training exercises as targeted, and therefore as effective, as possible. This book provides those much needed tools in a fun, easy to read, interactive format!” said Lisa Howell.

Lisa has also created a FREE weekly Dancers Newsletter, to answer any specific questions dancers may have in relation to pointe work, or any other dance related topics.

“’The Perfect Pointe Book’ is the first product of a series designed to educate dancers as they progress through the grades and vocational training on their way to pursue dance as a profession. My aim is develop a comprehensive system that educates dance students through fun and interactive courses and products, so that they can enjoy long careers, avoiding many of the easily preventable chronic injuries that plague many current professional dancers.” Lisa enthused.

“Often dance teachers find the specifics of training the foot strength needed for pointe difficult as it came naturally to them. However for many people, the isolated strength needed in the feet must be specifically trained, especially as many children who grow up in cities spend little time bare foot on different surfaces, which naturally trains the tiny intrinsic muscles of the feet. Gaining strength and awareness of these muscles early in their dance training is absolutely priceless in its power to reduce blisters, pain and injury en pointe,’ said Lisa.

Feedback from dance students and teachers alike has been astounding in the short time this book has been available to the public. " The Perfect Pointe Book fills a wide gap in the education of ballet students in many countries. Lisa Howell is well qualified to answer all the "questions you have always wanted to ask" about pointe work and gives generously of her knowledge in terms which everyone (teachers, students and parents) can understand. The best thing about this book is that shows the student how best to prepare for pointe work and how to improve and maintain their strength for further training. This book can be highly recommended as a tool for teachers as well as students of classical ballet. " volunteered Jane Allyn (ARAD, Former Soloist and Company Teacher, now Co-Director of Ecole Ballet Studios, Sydney, Australia )

To learn more about ‘The Perfect Pointe Book’ and Lisa’s FREE Dancers Newsletter, visit her website:


Ballet Stories Ithaca, New York IFrames



Toni Leago Valle premieres Tetris


Toni Leago Valle is a child of the late 80’s, and her work reflects the ideals of a woman approaching 40 with a history of Madonna, Reaganomics, the Rodney King beatings, and the rise of computer technology.  “I can remember getting cable and watching MTV for the first time – when they actually played music videos - we were amazed at how some of the bands looked; not how we envisioned them at all.” With the remaking of 90210 this year, the 80’s are officially back.  Valle’s new evening-length dance/theatre concert, Tetris, embodies a reflected look-back at that time period, as filtered through one woman, Alex.  Tetris includes a cast of 12 of the best performing modern dance artists Houston has to offer and a puzzle piece set that stands over 5 feet tall, designed by Houston Ballet Set Designer, Tom Boyd.  In addition, Houston Ballet Lighting Designer, Christina Giannelli is collaborating with noted lighting designer Jeremy Choate, to create the lighting.  Tetris premiers January 29-February 7, 2009, at Barnevelder Theatre, in the heart of Downtown Houston.


Tetris is a dance/theater fusion narrated against the backdrop of the 80-90’s: the despair and isolation of a confused generation as seen through the emergence of techno music and realizations on how the world really operates (sexism DOES exist and homogenous is not always a term about milk).  Though set in the 1980’s, Tetris is a response to our current sociological and political environment.  Tetris touches on social and political issues, reflections and comparisons of life a decade ago to current issues of today.  In familiar themes (Can’t we all just get along?) lies a subtext of fear, a lack of human tolerance and understanding, and a mass inertia that pervades throughout Tetris.       


As suggested in its title, there is a twist – the entire show takes place in Alex’s mind.  “I used to tell people I had dogs because if I didn’t, I’d be talking to myself,” remarks Valle, “I grew up talking all the time, and if no one was around, I was holding a conversation with myself.  I envisioned all these people in my head, arguing over a problem.  As I got older, I was intrigued by the idea of bringing these people in my head to the stage.  I studied Jung, but the archetype theory didn’t ring entirely true for my concept – I wanted real personalities, with their own wants and needs that conflict with one another.  The closest thing I could relate to was the movie Sybil, but that wasn’t right either, as I knew that there was something more normal in my idea- not a personality disorder.  Last year, I was introduced to Voice Dialoguing.” 


Based on the psychological theory of Voice Dialoguing - the premise that a person is not one personality, but many selves, each working separately and together to protect and sustain the individual person, Tetris dives into the recesses of one woman's mind and the many selves that live there.  The characters are divided into primary selves – recognized and cherished by Alex, and disowned selves – the parts she does not acknowledge and keeps hidden.  As seen through the eyes of Alex, the world is two realities.  The outer reality is a theater where everyone knows his role except Alex, who has never seen the script.  Her Inner Reality, more “real” than the outer, is her dreams and nightmares, the Inner Critic, and the wall being built around her with gigantic puzzle pieces.   


Valle uses video and 80-90’s music from The Cure, Yaz, The Smiths, and others to show how the outside reality invades Alex’s mind.  Presidential speeches, news clips, and segments from movies give a glimpse of what it was like growing up in 1985.  In one piece, Shuttle, Alex, surrounded by her selves, watches the Space Shuttle Challenger blow up, and the selves react in fear, dancing with chaotic abandon.   In How Can I Love?, after listening to the Surgeon General make an address to the nation on AIDS, the selves express a deep sadness and isolation in the new fear of dating. “This piece has a unique message to my generation.  We entered the dating scene after the Free Love mind-set, so bisexuality and experimentation were popular during my teens.  I grew up in theaters and nightclubs and had many gay friends and even tried a few bisexual relationships. Then- Wham – we were hit with AIDS and no one was sure how it was spread. All of a sudden, intimacy was banned and everyone withdrew from one another.  Kissing was no longer ok, even hugging sometimes scared people.  I felt abandoned and didn’t know how to reach out to people.  This piece dives into those feelings of loneliness and frustration.”


To complete the idea of the puzzle of the mind is the 5 foot set – 10 3-dimensional puzzle pieces that are moved by the dancers onstage to form a cube.  Hence, the name, Tetris.


Mechelle Flemming stars as the young woman, Alex, and Corian Ellisor as the disowned self out to destroy her. Other cast members include Alex Abarca, Erica Lewis, Jenny Magill, Lindsey McGill, Joe Modlin, Catalina Molnari, Priscilla Nathan-Murphy, Brittany Wallis and newcomer Bianca Torre-Aponte as the Inner Child.  Toni Valle play the Inner Critic. 


Tetris premiers January 29-February 7, 2009, at Barnevelder Theatre, 2201 Preston, Houston, TX, 77003, in the heart of Downtown Houston. Tickets are $40 Opening Night, with Dinner Included, and $12-15 Gerneral/$10 Student.  To purchase tickets or for more information, contact Toni Valle at 713/409-2838 or

(High resolution photos available upon request)




Antojito (Sampling): Preview of New Work
Join us at the Joffrey Ballet Studios for a sneak preview of
CUGAT! , Tango Vitrola and a chance to discuss with the artists
Thursday, October 4 at 6:45pm - FREE

Photo by Audia, featuring Vanessa Valecillos and Ricardo J. Garcia.

Joffrey Ballet Studios

17 North State St.
19th Floor

Chicago, IL 60610

Space is Limited! RSVP Required.
Entrance to the building is by invitation only.
Call Kirsten at
by Oct 3rd to RSVP.

CUGAT!, a new work by Eduardo Vilaro is an homage to Mambo king Xavier Cugat, one of the greatest Latin musician of all time. It is set to mambo tunes made famous by Cugat, which will be performed live by the Angel Meléndez & The 911 Mambo Orchestra on October 19 and 20 at the Harris Theater. You will also see excerpts of Tango Vitrola by Alejandro Cervera, set to early recordings of tango music from the 1920's.


Don't miss this fiery and passionate evening of contemporary dance fused with
Friday, October 19 at 8:00 pm
Saturday, October 20 at 8:00 pm
Tickets $25-55

Harris Theater for Music and Dance
Learn more about the performance

Luna Negra Dance Theater takes a fresh look at Latin dance with works that explore and deconstruct Latin dance movements into innovative and original contemporary works.

Lighting Sponsor

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Boston Ballet Blogs:

This blog has an interesting program feature attached.

New Visions Archived Spetember 5, 2009.


Walker Art Center Announces 2009-2010 Performing Arts Season Season

Walker Art Center Announces 2009-2010 Performing Arts Season Season Features Four World Premieres, Seven Major Commissions, Nine Artists on U.S. Debut Tours, and Companies Based in 17 Countries Spanning Five Continents The Walker Art Center announced its 2009–2010 performing arts season today, which features four world premieres, seven major commissions, nine artists on U.S. debut tours, and companies based in 17 countries spanning five continents, continuing its long tradition of supporting the freshest and most significant developments in contemporary performance from around the world. Commenting on the 2009–2010 season, McGuire Senior Curator of Performing Arts Philip Bither said: “This year’s programming offers a window on some of the most arresting and influential live performance work being made around the world. The season’s dance schedule is perhaps our most globally minded ever, offering movement artists from Japan, Senegal, Congo, Indonesia, India, Brazil, New Zealand, Germany, and the U.S. combining traditional and experimental influences to dramatically move the art form forward in myriad intriguing ways. We also embrace the continued explosion of fascinating new sounds coming out of the worlds of rock and pop music, along with an ongoing commitment to contemporary jazz, world, and alternative classical forms. In addition, a spectrum of adventurous theater and performance includes a co-presentation with the Guthrie Theater, our first major collaboration in five years, of acclaimed provocateur/playwright Enda Walsh and Druid Theater’s The Walworth Farce as well as the intensely intimate and interactive one-on-one conceptual work of Germany’s Rimini Protokoll as part of the annual Out There series.” In a season rich with commissions and world premieres, artists are crossing cultural and national boundaries to collaborate on important new work. Featured will be the world premiere of Ragamala Music and Dance and Cudamani’s Dhvee (Duality) (October 1–4), a glorious dance-theater spectacle inspired by the stories of the Hindu sacred text Ramayana that features 25 Indian and Balinese musicians and dancers, extravagant costuming and sets, and the powerful polyrhythms of the visually sumptuous gamelan orchestra; the world premiere of Reggie Wilson/Andréya Ouamba’s The Good Dance: Brooklyn/Dakar (November 12–14), a landmark three-year collaboration that links American dance/theater-maker Reggie Wilson and his Brooklyn-based Fist & Heel Performance Group with Congolese contemporary dance creator Andréya Ouamba and his award-winning Compagnie 1er Temps Danse, based in Senegal; Erik Friedlander’s Block Ice & Propane (December 5), a collection of cinematic cello compositions combining photographic images and sound by jazz/new music phenom Friedlander (John Zorn, Laurie Anderson) that draws inspiration from years of family road trips taken by his father, famed photographer Lee Friedlander; the world premiere of avant-garde New York theater troupe Radiohole’s Whatever, Heaven Allows (January 21–23 ), a star-spangled American meta-melodrama inspired by film director Douglas Sirk’s 1950s potboilers, Milton’s epic Paradise Lost, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers; the world premiere of Bill Frisell/Rahim AlHaj/Eyvind Kang’s Baghdad/Seattle Suite (February 6), an evening featuring Grammy Award–winning guitarist/composer Frisell, unquestionably one of the most revered musicians in the jazz world, joined by Iraqi refugee and oud master Rahim AlHaj and acclaimed violist and erhu player Eyvind Kang (Beck, Blonde Redhead, Laurie Anderson, Sunn O))), Secret Chiefs) for an adventurous program of East-meets-West compositions; Morgan Thorson/Low's Heaven (March 4–6), an ensemble dance and vocal piece created during a Walker residency that explores the various manifestations of ecstasy—emotional, physical, and communal—present both in religious practices and in the ritualistic nature of dance in performance. Thorson collaborates with Low’s Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker, who perform the music and vocal orchestration they wrote for the work live. The season’s concluding commissioned work is John Jasperse Company’s Truth, Revised Histories, Wishful Thinking, and Flat Out Lies (May 20–22), a piece seasoned with Jasperse’s distinctively humorous yet intellectually rigorous choreography featuring movement for six performers and music composed by Hahn Rowe for a chamber ensemble and electronics with lighting, sets, props, and even oddball magic tricks designed by the multitalented Jasperse. Season Preview with Philip Bither The public is invited to a free 2009–2010 Performing Arts Season Preview on Thursday, September 10, at 7 pm in the McGuire Theater. Philip Bither will discuss the more than 25 dance, music, and theater events that make up what promises to be an exciting season. Target Free Thursday Nights sponsored by Target. Tickets for the 2009–2010 performing arts season go on sale Friday, July 10. Unless otherwise noted, advance tickets are on sale by phone (612.375.7600) and online at WALKER ART CENTER’S 2009–2010 PERFORMING ARTS SEASON Unless otherwise noted, all events take place in the McGuire Theater. ($) = ticket prices for Walker Art Center members SEPTEMBER Raimund Hoghe Bolero Variations U.S. Debut Tour Friday–Saturday, September 18–19, 8 pm $25 ($21) “A mysterious and fascinating performance.” —Mouvement Raimund Hoghe’s uncategorizable work is driven by Pier Paolo Pasolini’s words “Throw your body into battle.” Hoghe’s physical limitations due to severe scoliosis, paired with his pristine and deceptively minimal choreography reveal, as the artist says, “the power and beauty of music and confrontation with one’s own body.” Here he employs a host of recordings of the melancholy-drenched Spanish/Cuban bolero song form as well as various versions of Ravel’s iconic slow-build classical masterwork that accompanied Torvill and Dean’s gold medal ice-dancing performance (including the broadcast soundtrack at the 1984 Olympics). In Bolero Variations, Hoghe, who served as the late Pina Bausch’s dramaturge from 1980 to 1990, creates his own form of ritualized tanz theater, by turns meditative, funny, electrifying. Bolero Variations' U.S. tour is presented with support from the Federal Foreign Office and the Goethe-Institut New York. Sponsored by Gray Plant Mooty. Micachu and the Shapes + Dessa of Doomtree Wednesday, September 23, 8 pm $15 ($12); $18 ($15) day of show Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis “Micachu and the Shapes, an English trio of music-school renegades . . . writes songs that are terse, choppy, swinging and startling. Calliope tones, synthesizer buzzes and blunt lyrics . . . jagged and abrasive but proudly feisty.” —New York Times The leader of Micachu and the Shapes is Mica Levi, a 22-year-old, brilliant, style-smashing Brit. She writes sweetly disjointed pop, has composed for the London Philharmonic, and to her ears everything is fair game—streaming distorted loops, skiffle riffs, and grime beats through hooky hyperkinetic arrangements. Pitchfork calls the group “the freshest thing to come along so far in 2009.” Dessa of Doomtree introduces a new band featuring electric guitar, acoustic bass, and violin. The spare, melodic arrangements offer a rare and intimate take on Dessa’s melancholy lyrics and the expert musicianship of some of Minneapolis’ finest players. Copresented with the Cedar Cultural Center. Support provided by The McKnight Foundation. Sponsored by Best Buy. Media partners 89.3 The Current and BLK JKS + Global Roots Opening Party Thursday, September 24, 8 pm $15 ($12); $18 ($15) day of show Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis “A myriad of sounds and influences fly out in fast and furious fashion . . . one of the most thrilling and explosive shows L.A. has seen in a very long time” —LA Times With a wrecking-crew rhythm section, debonair vocals, and a guitar concoction that’s one part shred and two parts soul, it’s easy to understand why South Africa’s BLK JKS took music mega-gathering SXSW by storm last year. Now on its debut U.S. tour, the band shoots an African musical sensibility through the tenets of rock, electronic, and soul, reclaiming styles that have been stolen, watered down, and regurgitated for generations. BLK JKS’s fresh, forward rhythms, layered harmonies, elliptical guitar vernacular, and infectious urban Zulu mbaqanga blues combine in a swirl of experimentation and tribal energy. Catch the newest voice in African music’s 21st-century sound on this blistering opening night of the Cedar Cultural Center’s three-day Global Roots Festival. Copresented with the Cedar Cultural Center. Support provided by The McKnight Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Sponsored by Best Buy. Media partners 89.3 The Current and OCTOBER Ragamala Music and Dance/Cudamani Dhvee (Duality) Walker Commission/World Premiere October 1–4, Thursday–Saturday, 8 pm; Sunday, 2 pm $18 ($15) Thursday; $25 ($21) Friday–Sunday “An entertaining, sublime dance exhibition . . . [Ragamala’s] sharp, subtle gestures become graspingly beautiful.” —Time Out New York Inspired by the overwhelming success of the 2004 Walker-commissioned performance of Sethu (Bridge), Ragamala Dance partners again with the masterful Balinese gamelan music and dance group Cudamani, this time bringing its 10-member ensemble to the Twin Cities. Profound and joyous, Dhvee (Duality) brings together Balinese dance, the other-worldly sounds of the gamelan gendar, and the precise and rhythmic South Indian classical dance form of Bharatanatyam to explore the nature of myth and its influence on humanity. This glorious dance-theater spectacle, drawn from the stories of the Hindu sacred text Ramayana, underscores the internal conflict of man, between his animal and divine selves, and features 25 musicians and dancers, extravagant costuming, the powerful polyrhythms of the visually sumptuous gamelan orchestra from the village of Pengosekan, Bali, and the soulful melodies of the carnatic orchestra from India. Commissioned by the Walker Art Center with support provided by the William and Nadine McGuire Commissioning Fund and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additional support provided by The McKnight Foundation. Sponsored by Gray Plant Mooty. Druid Theatre The Walworth Farce October 21–25, Wednesday–Saturday, 8 pm; Saturday–Sunday, 2 pm $34 ($28) Wednesday–Thursday, Saturday–Sunday matinee; $42 ($35) Friday–Saturday evening “A theatrical experience that claws at the imagination for days afterwards.” —Variety It’s eleven o’clock in the morning in a council flat on the Walworth Road in London. In two hours time, as is normal, three Irish men will have consumed six cans of Harp, fifteen crackers with spreadable cheese, ten pink biscuit wafers, and one oven-cooked chicken with a strange blue sauce. In two hours time, as is normal, five people will have been killed. The groundbreaking production of this remarkable play by Ireland’s Druid Theatre was a hit in Galway, Edinburgh, and New York. Edgy Irish playwright Enda Walsh brings a punk-rock abandon and ingenious playwriting devices to a work that combines hilarious moments with shocking realism. Ultimately, he delivers achingly tender insight into what happens when we become stuck in the stories we tell ourselves about our lives. Copresented with the Guthrie Theater. Related Event Mack Lecture In Conversation: Joe Dowling and Enda Walsh Sunday, October 25, 12 noon $10 ($8) Walker Cinema Join Guthrie Theater Artistic Director Joe Dowling and acclaimed Irish playwright Enda Walsh for a conversation about The Walworth Farce and the state of theater and performance in Ireland and beyond. Copresented with the Guthrie Theater. This program is made possible by generous support from Aaron and Carol Mack. Múm + Sin Fang Bous Thursday, October 29, 8 pm $18 ($15) “Múm quietly, irresistibly, inhabit a no-band's land between the ancient and imminent, the organic and electronic, the head and feet.” —Rolling Stone Through murmured vocals, eccentric beats, and dreamy effects the Icelandic folktronica collective Múm (pronounced “moom”) come to the Walker in their first Minnesota appearance in seven years to create a sonic netherworld where the ethereal joins the electronic—a glistening chamber pop that is equally eclectic, charming, and mesmerizing. The seven-member Múm achieves their idiosyncratic sound by employing “a melodica, a harmonium, and two PowerBooks, piling sweet textures onto modernist crackles, like Belle and Sebastian at play in a Mac store.” (New York Times). Opening the evening is Sin Fang Bous which features members of Múm and Sindri Már Sigfússon of the Icelandic band Seabear. Copresented with Cedar Cultural Center. Sponsored by Best Buy. Media partners 89.3 The Current and NOVEMBER Final Fantasy + The Mountain Goats Saturday, November 7, 8 pm $18 ($15); $20 ($16) day of show Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis “[Final Fantasy’s live shows] . . . compress all the wonder and virtuosity of an illusionist’s routine into three-and-a-half minute pop song” —New York Times Join us at the Cedar for an intriguing double bill celebrating two of today’s most distinctive voices. Canadian singer/composer/arranger Owen Pallett (Final Fantasy) creates infectious violin-based experimental pop that explores the lush, lovely, and highly processed sonic spaces between contemporary composition and unconventional rock. His intricately looping polyphonic songs, startling knack for string arrangements (Arcade Fire), and unabashedly pretty melodies have earned him international acclaim. The Mountain Goats, the long-running lo-fi/highbrow project of indie-rock icon John Darnielle, inhabits a candid and clever world where dark subjects and desperate characters are elucidated by prickly lyrics and strangely sunny melodies. Copresented with the Cedar Cultural Center. Support provided by The McKnight Foundation. Sponsored by Best Buy. Media partners 89.3 The Current and Reggie Wilson/Andréya Ouamba The Good Dance: Brooklyn/Dakar Walker Commission/World Premiere Thursday–Saturday, November 12–14, 8 pm $18 ($15) Thursday; $25 ($21) Friday–Saturday “Technically stunning and emotionally raw.” (Reggie Wilson) —New York Times Magazine “Choreographers like Ouamba . . . refute any assigned third world identity, claiming their rightful place on stage as contemporary artists.” —The Dance Insider Digging deep into the vocal sounds, movement, and visual and emotional landscapes of African American and African culture, The Good Dance unearths strong connections between America’s Mississippi River delta and Central Africa’s Congo River basin. A landmark three-year collaboration, this Walker-commissioned world premiere links American dance/theater-maker Reggie Wilson and his Brooklyn-based Fist & Heel Performance Group with Congolese contemporary dance creator Andréya Ouamba and his award-winning Compagnie 1er Temps Danse, based in Senegal. Receiving nearly universal critical acclaim in recent years, Wilson makes work that is “infectiously joyous . . . [where] the sacred and the secular inform each other, and dance and music become a single art based on pulse and breath” (Village Voice). Commissioned by the Walker Art Center with support provided by the William and Nadine McGuire Commissioning Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support provided by the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts and the Performing Arts Fund, a program of Arts Midwest. The Good Dance: Brooklyn/Dakar is a project of the Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium. Sponsored by Gray Plant Mooty. Dafnis Prieto Sextet Saturday, November 21, 8 pm $29 ($25) “[Prieto] has transformed Afro-Cuban rhythms . . . These pieces are emotionally charged and stylistically diverse, carried along not just by rhythm but also through lovely harmonized passages, horn fanfares, and powerfully conjured moods.” —Wall Street Journal Born and trained in Cuba, Dafnis Prieto is a drum virtuoso, a masterful composer, and a rising star on the international jazz scene. His driving, mesmerizing music, which twists folk motifs into next-generation Latin jazz, is widely respected for its sophistication, its structural and harmonic complexity, and its polyrhythmic punch. His accomplished sextet includes Peter Apfelbaum (sax), Ralph Alessi (trumpet), Felipe Lamoglia (sax), Manuel Valera (piano), and Charles Flores (bass). Copresented with Northrop Music at the University of Minnesota. Sponsored by Best Buy. Media partners 89.3 The Current and Choreographers’ Evening Curated by BodyCartography Project Saturday, November 28, 7 and 9:30 pm $20 ($16) “A cornucopia of Twin Cities dance . . . [a] smorgasbord of emerging and mature talent from across the dance spectrum.” —MinnPost For almost 40 years, Choreographers’ Evening has served as the major gathering for the Twin Cities’ thriving dance community. Witness and celebrate the remarkably diverse range of Minnesota dance—from established choreographers playing with new ideas to some of the freshest talent on the scene. This evening of short works ranges from traditional to conceptual and premieres to old favorites in nearly every style imaginable. Curated this year by globetrotting duo Olive Bieringa and Otto Ramstad of the award-winning BodyCartography Project. Support provided by The McKnight Foundation. Sponsored by Gray Plant Mooty. DECEMBER Erik Friedlander Block Ice & Propane Walker Commission Saturday, December 5, 8 pm $22 ($18) “One of today’s most ingenious and forward-thinking musical practitioners.” —Billboard This collection of cinematic cello compositions by jazz/new music phenom Erik Friedlander (John Zorn, Laurie Anderson) was inspired by years of family road trips with all the trimmings: campers, tourist traps, picnic tables, truck stops, lonely highways, stark panoramas. In Block Ice & Propane, these new compositions are paired with family and “road cycle” images created by his father, celebrated photographer Lee Friedlander, and engaging short tales about the kind of travels familiar to so many of us. Taking inspiration from American roots music, Friedlander executes extraordinary finger-picking technique and reverberant tunings, creating a fresh form of American cello music that is lyrical, plainspoken, and emotional. Development support for Block Ice & Propane provided by the Walker Art Center; the Hopkins Center, Dartmouth College; Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA); and Wexner Center for the Arts at the Ohio State University. Additional support provided by the William and Nadine McGuire Commissioning Fund and the National Endowment for the Arts. Sponsored by Best Buy. Media partners 89.3 The Current and



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