Last time, the dance roster included what might be termed the major players, given budget and presence. But it is the small arts initiatives, driven by individual passion and imagination, that give Pittsburgh its richness, its true essence. Try to take in a performance during the coming year:
Bodiography. After a summer that took her to Israel’s Karmiel Festival, Maria Caruso is on a hyper-energetic track this fall. She and her company head for Butler Community College’s Succop Theater Sept. 29. Only a month or so later, they head for the Frick Museum and An Evening with Ballets Russes and Bodiography (Nov. 10), inspired by Isabelle de Borchgrave’s costumes, then head to the Byham Nov. 16-17 for La Roche College Presents Multiplicity, a collection of new works by company members and guest company, BCB Charlotte. After the holidays, the company introduces The Spring Gala (Byham, Mar. 1), a prelude before a European tour to the United Kingdom, Germany and France (Mar. 6-20). They return for an evening dedicated to Martha Graham, Horizons, with the Graham 2 company (Byham, Apr. 26-27). Click on Bodiography.
Corningworks. Beth Corning began her 10th anniversary season of The Glue Factory Project, for dancers over 40, with in the waiting room, a surreal and mystical dance theater piece about death. Come Mar.27-31 at the New Hazlett Theater, though, she turns to IN THE MIDST, “an immersive, sensory exploration, extravaganza.” Click on Glue.
fireWALL dance theater. With yet another premiere, Elisa-Marie Alaio will explore Past Lives, where “we experience many aspects of ourselves playing different roles throughout, reincarnating in different bodies or beings,” before taking her artistic wares to The Royal Family Theater in New York. Carnegie Stage, Nov. 7-9, 11. Wall.
Maree ReMalia. This gentle, yet meticulous choreographer will reveal the culmination of her latest collaboration, A Letter Compiled From All Letters, with multi-media artist Gigi Gatewood and performer Lillian Cho, along with a coterie of local dancers. (New Hazlett, June 14-15).
Slippery Rock University. Another of our wonderful dance universities, SRU, begins with 60×60, 60 second dances to 60 musical compositions (Sept. 27, McKay Dance Studio, SRU). Next the students will tackle Bill T. Jones’ D-Man in the Waters (Part 1) and Jacques Heim’s Bench at the SRU Faculty and Guest Artist Concert (Oct. 21, The Succop Theater at Butler County Community College). The SRU Department of Dance Fall Concert will be a showcase of diverse works by faculty and emerging student choreographers (SRU, Swope Recital Hall), followed by the Winter Concert, with choreography by SRU dance majors, faculty and guest artists (Feb. 2 Succop Theater). Contact Melanie Martin, 724-738-2036.
slowdanger. Our first real glimpse of Anna Thompson and Taylor Knight following their recent residency at the prestigious Springboard Danse Montreal this summer. See them at Oct. 6 at 937 Gallery Downtown (2nd floor above Bricolage). Click on slowdanger.
STAYCEE PEARL dance project. The name is enough to pique the interest: There’s a Pink Poodle in My Arcadia. It’s the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts Artist of the Year event. SPdp and Soy Sos collaborate with artist Atticus Adams (Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Sept. 28). Next is the National Perfomance Network at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater (Dec. 14-15), with …on being…, which will help to broaden “the conversation about race and blackness.” It’s a return to Octavia Butler, based on her final novel, Fledgling, during the Kelly Strayhorn’s 10th anniversary celebration (Apr. 12-13). And the company will venture into an impressive effort for Pearl PRESENTS — three days featuring both local and national artists like Sidra Bell Dance New York, slowdanger, Island Moving Company and Keerati Jinakunwhiphat (New Hazlett Theater, June 6-9). Click on Pearl.
Texture Contemporary Ballet. Texture is ready to hit the ground running, with The Speed of Sound (New Hazlett, Sept. 28-30). Known for its prolific turnout, it’s the 11th installment of the WIP Choreography Project (Carnegie Stage, Nov. 10). Then head to more Uncharted waters to end the season (New Hazlett, Mar. 22-24). Click on Texture.
The Blanket. This group debuted last year with a bang, featuring works by Lucinda Childs. Now there is a mouthwatering follow-up with two companion pieces by New York choreographer, dancer, puppeteer and Bessie Award winner Christopher Williams, inspired by medieval tales, Ursula and the 11,000 Virgins and The Golden Legend. (New Hazlett, Oct. 26-28). Click on Blanket.
The Pillow Projects/Ellipses Condition. Whether one title or the other, there’s always plenty food for thought from Pearlann Porter and John Lambert. Catch The Sessions Upstairs, where musicians and dancers workshop ideas and reveal the creative process (Oct. 13), The Invisible Jazz Labs, where artists and scientist improvise together (Nov. 9) and the return of (A) Second Saturday (note the shift in title) where drummer Dave Throckmorton joins the Pillow gang for a night of revelry (Dec. 8). Click on Pillow.