Dance Beat: Spoleto and American dance festivals

SPOLETO DANCE FESTIVAL. Want to get a summer dance fix? Spoleto Festival USA runs from May 28-June 13 in the charming confines of Charleston, South Carolina. While its appeal is its range, from theater to jazz, with a special emphasis on classical music, there is a strong dance component. This year’s schedule includes Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (May 28-30), Gallim Dance in “I Can See Myself in Your Pupil” (May 28, 29, 31), Lucinda Child’s Dance (June 4-5), Inbal Pinto, which appeared with Pittsburgh Dance Council in 2008 and was one of my ten best performances, and Avshalom Pollak Dance Company in “Oyster” (June 10-13) and prima ballerina assoluta Nina Ananiashvili and The National Ballet of Georgia in “Giselle” (June 11-13). Ms. Ananiashvili retired from American Ballet Theatre last summer, where I saw her magnificent finale in “Swan Lake.” She moved back to her native Georgia to direct the company there. Click on Spoleto Festival USA for more details.

AMERICAN DANCE FESTIVAL. These two southern festivals overlap a bit and “Oyster” appears on both of them, a rarity. The  June 10 – July 24 schedule on the campus of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina: African American Dance Ensemble (June 10-12), Monica Bill Barnes & Company and Kate Weare Company (June 15-16 ), Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak Dance Company (June 17-19), Dendy Dancetheater (June 21-23),  RUBBERBANDance Group (June 24-26), Eiko & Koma (June 28-30), Pilobolus (July 1-3), Martha Clarke (July 5-7), Brenda Angiel Aerial Dance Company (July 8-10), Rosie Herrera (July 12-14),  Paul Taylor Company (Program A, July 15-16, Program B, July 17), Past/Forward, works by Jerome Robbins, Merce Cunningham and Tatiana Baganova and performed by ADE students (July 19-21), Shen Wei Dance Arts (Program A, July 22-23, Program B, July 24). Click on American Dance Festival for more details. Although it’s impossible to predict what will be a smash among so many strong companies, I’m particularly attracted to the debuts of Montreal’s RUBBERBANDance Group (check out the website, a combination of hip hop, postmodern, ballet and more) and Barnes and Weare and Martha Clarke’s premiere based on the Shakers. But then, it would be great to reconnect with Eiko & Koma, Inbal Pinto and Paul Taylor. Another thing — you also have to notice the heavy percentage of companies from North America — international touring is at a virtual standstill.

AFTERTHOUGHT: I thought I would go to YouTube. Here’s a promo for RUBBERBANDance Group.

And for fun, here’s a variation, rubberband — dance.

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