Recommendations for this week in dance
Nrityagram Dance Ensemble
When I traveled to India last April, Mark Morris told me I would be remiss if I didn’t visit the extraordinary women of Nrityagram at their remote and incredible compound devoted to the Odissi tradition of classical Indian dance. It is almost too magical to put into words – but suffice to say watching a simple studio rehearsal as they prepared for a tour to Israel will remain one of the most mesmerizing and transforming live performance experiences, ever. Artistic Director Surupa Sen is a firecracker – a tremendous wit, and a daring choreographer seeking to expand the reach of Odissi and its contemporary relevance. She and her dancers are each captivating and virtuosic in their own indelible ways. For their week at the Joyce Theater, Nrityagram Dance Ensemble presents a collaboration with Sri Lanka’s Chitrasena Dance Company, specialists of Kandyan dance; Sen will give us a celebration of both forms, to be sure, examining the dual presence of feminine and masculine, ritual and sensuality, and the fascinating legends of the divine.
Tue-Wed 7:30pm; Thu-Sat 8pm; Sun 2pm
Baryshnikov Arts Center
4 Walls / Doubletoss Interludes
If you missed the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s final bow at the Park Avenue Armory on New Year’s Eve, or if, like me, you just miss the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, this might just be your saving grace. Pianist Alexei Lubimov will perform John Cage’s 4 Walls, incidentally a piece composed only for the white keys of the piano, and former Cunningham company members will present a new staging of Cunningham’s Doubletoss (1993), under the able direction of Robert Swinston, a member of the Cunningham Trust, and the former Director of Choreography for the ensemble. Don’t end up like Joni Mitchell, lamenting that you don’t know what you’ve got til its gone – performances of this kind will unfortunately be fewer and further between.
Thu-Fri 8pm; Sat 2pm & 8pm