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New movement


Rochester's upcoming dance season is a busy one. The 2017-18 calendar will feature numerous genres and plenty of multidisciplinary events incorporating other art forms. That being said, upcoming dance performances will especially attract fans of contemporary dance.

Local companies, including Garth Fagan Dance, PUSH Physical Theatre, and Rochester City Ballet, will perform favorites from their respective repertoires, while out-of-town groups, such as Caedra Scott-Flaherty and 10 Hairy Legs, will bring modern dance pieces that are likely new to area audiences. And with choreography set to music from Brubeck and Bowie to Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky, the soundtrack is sure to be striking.

CITY found 10 upcoming events that will excite those who have been attending dance performances for years as well as the uninitiated. Be sure to check with each company for show details as dates get closer, and keep up with new announcements with CITY Newspaper, on stands each Wednesday and online.

  • Photo by rachel neville
  • 10 Hairy Legs.

At this year's KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival, Garth Fagan Dance's seven-day run, from September 15 through September 21, is a retrospective of sorts. Forty-seven years into the dance company's tenure as a pillar of the Rochester arts community, these performances at Garth Fagan Dance Studio include both classics from the company's history and more recent repertorial entries, as well as in-progress choreographic works from Fagan and Norwood Pennewell.

The company will perform Friday, September 15, and Saturday, September 16, and Wednesday, September 20, through Friday, September 22, at 7 p.m each night. And at 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 17, and Saturday, September 23. Garth Fagan Dance Studio, 50 Chestnut Street. $20. 454-3260; rochesterfringe.com; garthfagandance.org.

The Fringe will also feature an exceedingly clever dance concept from Brooklyn choreographer Caedra Scott-Flaherty, in a program called "Where? I. Come! From..." at MuCCC on September 16. The Rochester native will utilize streaming video in real time to collaborate with dancers from Rochester's Sister Cities all over the world. Think of it as FaceTime-meets-dance. The contributing artists will be able to interact with their colleagues live, as one set of movements inspires the next. Saturday, September 16, at MuCCC, 142 Atlantic Avenue. 1:30 p.m. $10. rochesterfringe.com.

Rochester City Ballet and its artistic director, David Palmer, clearly have a vision for popular programming that reaches out to audiences that may not have a classical music background. For its season opener, September 29 through October 1, the company will present "All That Jazz" at Nazareth College Arts Center's Callahan Theater.

The program features an intriguing lineup that includes "Bound for Brubeck" — set to the music of beloved jazz pianist and composer Dave Brubeck — as well as choreographer Nikolai Kabaniaev's "Bach de Trois," a jazzy reimagining of the great Baroque composer J.S. Bach. Palmer will premiere an original ballet as well. Friday, September 29, and Saturday, September 30, at 8 p.m.; Sunday, October 1, at 2 p.m. Nazareth College Arts Center's Callahan Theater, 4245 East Avenue. $37-$100. 389-2170; rochestercityballet.com.

The dance troupe 10 Hairy Legs will perform at the University of Rochester on October 14 as part of an UR Dance Department residency. Based in the New York City and New Jersey area, 10HL seeks to reveal the versatility of the male dancer and looks beyond mere heteronormative pas de deux. Led by its founding artistic director, Randy James, the all-male company focuses on new collaborations with contemporary choreographers that celebrate both fluidity and form. University of Rochester, Spurrier Dance Studio, 252 Elmwood Avenue. Saturday, October 14, at 2 p.m. $5. 10hl.org; rochester.edu.

Since 1985, DANSCORE has showcased the vibrancy and creativity of the contemporary dance community at SUNY Brockport. A collaborative effort between the college's faculty choreographers and some of its promising student dancers, this is now an ongoing annual concert featuring diverse styles and emergent ideas from SUNY Brockport's dance educators.

This year's program, which runs from November 16 through November 18, will undoubtedly be replete with engaging movement and earnest personal expression. Thursday, November 16, and Friday, November 17, at 7:30 p.m., in Hartwell Dance Theater at The College at Brockport. And Saturday, November 18, at 7:30 p.m., Hochstein Performance Hall, 50 North Plymouth Street. $9-$17. 395-5048; brockport.edu.

Rochester City Ballet will perform the Bowie-inspired "Under the Moonlight" May 18 through May 20. - PHOTO BY ERICH CAMPING
  • Photo by erich camping
  • Rochester City Ballet will perform the Bowie-inspired "Under the Moonlight" May 18 through May 20.

November 17 through November 19 marks MAD (Movement and Dance) Weekend, a marathon of dance instruction that encompasses more than 30 different events in only three days at Nazareth College's Arts Center. Any interested performers 15 years of age and older may register for the weekend, which will feature the expertise of 21 guest artists in a wide-range of styles. The weekend will culminate in the MAD Artists Showcase in Callahan Theater on the evening of Sunday, November 19, at 6:30 p.m. 4245 East Avenue. $8-$10. 389-2163; naz.edu.

"The Nutcracker" is certainly an established holiday favorite. On December 7, at the Auditorium Theatre, the Moscow Ballet will perform the classic story set to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's enchanting score in what is billed as the "Great Russian Nutcracker." This performance offers a rare opportunity to see the adored masterpiece danced in the authentic tradition of Russian classical dance. Thursday, December 7, at 7 p.m. Rochester Auditorium Theatre, 885 East Main Street. $31-$151 and up. 800-745-3000. nutcracker.com.

Next February, the ever-innovative PUSH Physical Theatre will help celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Landmark Society of Western New York in a concert at Hochstein Performance Hall. An athletic, visceral dance company that often employs acrobatic spectacle, PUSH performs with a fantastical and corporeal sensibility that is one-of-a-kind. The resulting immediacy will be especially poignant here, in combination with musical contribution from the Ying Quartet. Friday, February 23, 2018 at 7 p.m., at Hochstein Performance Hall, 50 North Plymouth Street. Check back at the following websites as more information becomes available: hochstein.org; landmarksociety.org; pushtheatre.org.

And in what might well be the highlight of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra's Pops season, conductor Jeff Tyzik will partner with PUSH in a program entitled "Breaking Boundaries" in April. Once again, PUSH's performance will be integrated with multiple art forms — in this case, orchestral music and local photography. The setlist includes Tyzik's composition "Traffic Jammin'," which was inspired by the pulse of New York City life. Friday, April 13, and Saturday, April 14, at 8 p.m. in Eastman Theatre's Kodak Hall, 60 Gibbs Street. $24-$110. 454-2100; rpo.org.

On May 18 through May 20, at Nazareth College Arts Center, Rochester City Ballet will close its 2017-18 season with two indisputable titans of 20th century music: Igor Stravinsky and David Bowie. There are few, if any ballets more steeped in lore than Stravinsky's 1913 "The Rite of Spring." Sensual and sinuous, pagan and peculiar, the legend of its riot-inducing premiere in Paris precedes it, bringing a mystique to the dance that is still unrivaled more than a century after its creation. For the choreography, David Palmer teams up with Yanis Pikieris, with whom he co-founded Maximum Dance Company.

Alongside this revered dance masterpiece, the company will reprise its popular 2016 ballet "Under the Moonlight," Palmer's David Bowie-inspired work. The "Stravinsky/Bowie" pairing is sure to interest ballet aficionados and diehard Bowie fans alike in what is shaping up to be an ideal season finale. Friday, May 18, and Saturday, May 19, at 8 p.m.; Sunday, May 20, at 2 p.m. Nazareth College Arts Center, 4245 East Avenue. $37-$100. 389-2170; rochestercityballet.com; naz.edu.

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