FAN-TASTIC. He may be ballet’s ultimate fan. Tim Evans looks positively rapturous whenever he’s around it, whether the studio or the concert hall, it’s all the same. Or Paris, San Francisco and who knows where else. Anyhow, Tim contacted me about Tennessee Williams and Streetcar Named Desire and John Neumeier. Evidently Tim is in his own stratosphere of ecstasy at the prospect of the North American premiere of this ballet this weekend. Although he’s been an admirer of Williams since high school, it all began, as many terrific stories do, in Paris. He went to see Paris Opera Ballet’s La Bayadere, but stayed to see Midsummer Night’s Dream, by a young Neumeier. I never heard of him,” Tim says. “But it knocked me out of my seat.” He’ll tell you the date, too — Tuesday, July 10, 2001. Inspired, he returned two years later for Neumeier’s Nijinsky, which he gave a standing ovation at intermission. Time has been so impressed that he is putting his money on Neumeier and Matthew Bourne as the future of ballet. And he was so impressed that he negotiated a lunch with Neumeier, gleaning details on the symbolism within Streetcar. He’ll be heading to the Benedum Center twice this weekend and says “I’m tickled to death that he’s here.”
ANDRE AT THE ALLOY. The Pittsburgh Dance Council had a terrific choreographic interaction in conjunction with Dance Works Rotterdam/Andre Gingras. Apparently the artistic director/choreographer loves to teach young artists and he had a quartet — Alan Obuzor, Staycee Pearl, Gwen Hunter Ritchie and Mita Ghosal, a newcomer to the city who combines modern and Indian dance forms. Each artist showed a short video of his/her work. What followed was nothing short of masterful manipulation by Andre — they each offered observations about each other and got feedback from Paul Organisak, presenter and Laura Colby, arts management. If you missed this one, there will be another, a free class for dance professionals, with improvisationalist extraordinaire Michael Schumacher on Sat. afternoon Apr. 7, in conjunction with the Dance Council’s Last Touch First in collaboration with choreographic icon, Jiri Kylian. Check the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust website.This is great for Pittsburgh dance, folks.
SHALOM. It’s leaking out that Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre will be going to Israel in August. Stay tuned.
MORE MARTHA. The Martha Graham company will present an Inner Landscape program at the Joyce Theater in New York City on March 14 at 7:30 p.m. Point Park University students will be the modern dance pioneer’s Heretic from 1929, something that will also be performed at the University’s Byham program Apr. 19-21. Also featured on the Joyce program will be students from Graham II, University of Arizona, Hartt School (CT), Skidmore University (NY), New World School of the Arts (FL) and Interlochen Arts Academy (MI).