Let’s dance. Or not, perhaps. For some of us, the kinder thing is to leave the dancing to others. It’s an especially fine month for making that sacrifice as three unique dance performances take to Valley stages.
I’ve had the first of these, a performance by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, on my calendar since Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts first announced their 2010-2011 season.
Merce Cunningham was a force in American modern dance for more than fifty years — collaborating with other artists including Andy Warhol, Radiohead and many more.
His company will disband after finishing their current legacy tour “according to the wishes of the late Merce Cunningham.” Their final Scottsdale performance takes place this Thurs, March 10, at 7:30pm.
Dance lovers need to see it. Art afficionados need to see it. And anyone keen on “buying American” needs to see it — because modern dance is one of only four performing art forms to orginate in this country.
Ticket holders can enjoy a free curator-led tour of the “Dance with Camera” exhibition from 6-7pm — just across the way at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.
When you visit the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts website, check their “Arts Connect” offerings — which this month includes “Open Dance” with Arizona flamenco teachers Lena and Chris Jacome” (Fri, March 11) and “Dance Class, Observation & Preview with Philadanco” (Sat, March 19).
It’s best, I suppose, that I didn’t learn of this next one until just recently — since I’d only feel more frustrated by my inability to be two places at once.
Brigham Young University Theatre Ballet presents “Fairy Tales and Fantasy” at the Mesa Arts Center Thurs, March 10, at 7pm.
They’ll perform highlights and favorite scenes from “Cinderella,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Paquita” and “La Bayadere” — featuring both classic and original choreography.
Those who go can extend the fairy tale theme by also planning an outing to the Arizona Museum for Youth in Mesa — which presents an exhibit titled “Fairy Tales, Frogs & Fables” through May 29.
Finally, dance lovers can enjoy “Modern Masters” performed by Ballet Arizona March 24-27 at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Phoenix.
Tickets to opening night (with some restrictions) are available through Fri, March 11, when ordered using the password “MASTERS.”
“Modern Masters” includes a world premiere (“Symphonie Classique,” choreographed by Ib Andersen) and a Ballet Arizona premiere (“Off Screen,” choreographed by Alejandro Cerrudo) — and also features choreography by Christopher Wheeldon.
As thrilled as I am with these dance offerings, it’s likely that I’ll do some dancing of my own as well. But never fear — I think I can manage to keep it off YouTube, for now.
Note: Watch for April dance offerings that include “The Comfort of Strangers” (the first full-length work from CONDER/dance) and “American Voices” (an annual celebration of National Poetry Month by Centre Dance Ensemble).
Coming up: Music meets food drive, science meets culture, theater meets zoo