Put This on Your Radar – May 2, 2017

A weekly, highly personal and subjective list of performances and artists we want you to know about:

Leigh is five reviews behind (coming soon, I promise!) so sitting this out.

Martha says:

Gina Gibney is always up to something, and, after 25 years of creating dance, she is increasingly recognized as much for her contributions to the broader dance ecology as for her own choreography. In the Gibney Dance Company’s GRIT series – the Gibney Repertory Initiative for Tomorrow – her dancers will perform in new and re-imagined works by other current dancemakers. In an unexpected but delicious combination, “Already Ready,” a new work by experimental Joanna Kotze is paired with a newly invented work by Reggie Wilson, “Config Khoum-Baie.” Wilson’s piece integrates and re-envisions three of his prior works, “PANG,” “The DEW WET,” and “Big Brick – A Man’s Piece.” Each of these choreographers’ work is infused with thoughtfulness – Kotze’s formal dancer-driven explorations, and Wilson’s fusion of African and Caribbean-themed influences with the post-modern idioms of Ohad Naharin (among many). Opens at Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center on Thursday May 4 at 8 pm.

Andrew Champlin in “Il Giardino d’Amore.” Photo © Andrew Jordan

Choreographer and dancer Christopher Williams has an unusual third artistic form that permeates his work: he is a remarkable puppeteer. That creative skill releases him from rules of logic or expectation, as he transforms dancers into fantastical beings with costume and prosthetics. His new work, “Il Giardino d’Amore,” is danced to Scarlatti’s seranata that tells the story of Venus and Adonis. Among the fanciful characters, there will be prehistoric beings (without, we are told, “traditional binary gender” identities) and avian characters. In the grand Danspace performing space (where anything is possible) and with the collaboration of Andrew Jordan, whose visual design has been part of Williams’ work for many years, this is bound to be lush and quirky. The cast is also stellar (two of the standouts are Paul Singh and Melissa Toogood). Opens at Danspace on Thursday May 4, at 8 pm.

Cover: Gibney Dance Company. Photo © Scott Shaw.

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