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Fall Arts Roundup | Dancing across cultures


There’s something to pique the interests of every dance lover in the Rochester scene over the coming months. From movement on screen to the holiday classic “The Nutcracker,” local companies and out-of-town artists are bringing unique works to life in myriad ways.

For family-friendly dance, join the celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day with the Allegheny River Dancers or spend an afternoon in a magical world of toys and snowflakes with Rochester City Ballet’s Nutcracker. If choreographic experimentation sounds inspiring, check out Sarah Friedland’s installation at Visual Studies Workshop or watch the latest works by University of Rochester students. For a unique combo of classical music with modern dance, mark your calendar for a collaboration between Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Garth Fagan Dance just after the New Year.

Borinquen Dance Theatre. - FILE PHOTO
  • Borinquen Dance Theatre.
Kicking off the fall season, Borinquen Dance Theatre will perform at Hispanic Heritage Celebration Day at the Memorial Art Gallery. Borinquen Dance, which has been a staple in the Rochester community for over 40 years, highlights Latin/x culture in their empowering choreography. In addition to their dance performance, the day features free museum admission, community tables, and presentations. This year’s celebration will focus on Chile, showcasing its unique culture and style. The theme of the event and performance is Latinos Driving Prosperity, Power, and Progress in America | Latinos impulsando la prosperidad, el poder y el progreso en Estados Unidos. 12-5 p.m. Sunday, October 1 at Memorial Art Gallery.

Daystar: Contemporary Dance Drama of Indian America will participate in Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebrations. - PHOTO PROVIDED
  • Daystar: Contemporary Dance Drama of Indian America will participate in Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebrations.

The Allegheny River Dancers will celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day with a performance at Genesee Valley Park. The Allegheny River Dancers are a Native American dance troupe that performs traditional dances of the Iroquois, and they will dance to live music and don traditional regalia. Attendees will have the chance to see dance and musical performances, a sunset ceremony, and Wampum belt display. Also honoring Indigenous Peoples’ Day, E -YAH-PAY-HAH: A Native American Concert of Music and Dance, featuring the ECMS Wood Quintet, will be presented at 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 8 at the Ganondagan Historical Site Auditorium. 11 a.m. Monday, October 9 at Genesee Valley Park.

The University of Rochester will present their annual dance concert, “Confluence,” at Sloan Performing Arts Center at the end of October. The performance features choreographic works by current students and dance faculty – a great opportunity for up-and-coming dancers to showcase their learned artistry and technique while bringing arts to the campus community. The dance department at Rochester continues to grow each year, and this concert is sure to include some fresh ideas and perspectives from these emerging artists. October 26 through 28 at Sloan Performing Arts Center. $10.

New York City-based filmmaker and choreographer Sarah Friedland will collaborate with Visual Studies Workshop for their fall salon, “Social Guidance.” The multimedia installation will include Friedman’s work, which explores the relationships of human bodies and moving images. Her films will also be presented alongside a selection of related videos by Visual Studies Workshop. Friedland is no stranger to Rochester, as her impactful digital installation of CROWDS was displayed at the University of Rochester’s Harnett Gallery in March 2021. A salon at Visual Studies Workshop on November 16 will focus on the ways in which movement and media can reflect and engage with societal expectations. November 15 through December 5 at Visual Studies Workshop.

The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without “The Nutcracker,” and Rochester City Ballet promises an enchanting evening at Kodak Hall with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. The classical ballet tells the story of Clara and her adventures through The Land of Sweets. Set to a score by Tchaikovsky and brought to life with the incredible technique and artistry of expert dancers, “The Nutcracker” is a magical experience for audience members of all ages. November 22, 24, 25 and 26 at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. $21-114.

Garth Fagan Dance will ring in the new year with a contemporary rendition of “The Rite of Spring” with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Garth Fagan Dance is internationally known for original modern and Afro-Caribbean style, which is demonstrated by its incredibly athletic and technically trained dancers. The company will be accompanied by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Andreas Delfs, performing Stravinsky’s score. January 11 and 13 at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. $18-115.

Sydney Burrows is a freelance contributor to CITY. Feedback about this article can be directed to [email protected].