By Jordan Levin
Miami City Ballet's most ambitious new production, the return of American Ballet Theater in another fairy tale classic and a compelling array of contemporary dance from the United States, India, Spain, Africa and Brazil highlight this dance season.
MCB performs its most significant commission ever, a new work with choreography by Twyla Tharp, one of the most important modern dance choreographers of the past 40 years, with an original score by punk-icon turned songwriting-auteur Elvis Costello. The still untitled piece premieres March 28 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in MCB's Program IV. The company opened Oct. 12 with one of its brightest Balanchine gems, the evening-length abstract work Jewels.
The Concert Association of Florida brings back American Ballet Theater, the star-packed troupe that brought its lavish production of Swan Lake to Miami last spring, in a new production of another 19th-century classic, Sleeping Beauty, March 13-16 at the Carnival Center.
The new season also brings a wealth of troupes from abroad. The Centro Cultural Español adds dance to its visual art, music and film offerings with contemporary Spanish troupes Provisional Danza and Alta Realitat, in October. The lovely Nrityagram Dance Ensemble, which brings a contemporary sensibility to exquisite performances of classical Indian dance, is at the Hollywood Central Performing Arts Center from March 7-9.
Ballet Gamonet opened its season Oct. 20 with a new work from director Jimmy Gamonet De Los Heros. In March, he'll present his version of Carmen, a local hit when first presented by Miami City Ballet with its original star, Iliana Lopez.
Palm Beach's Kravis Center for the Performing Arts has two excellent companies that unfortunately won't come farther south: the vibrant Joffrey Ballet in Cool Vibrations, featuring music from the Beach Boys, Motown and Prince, on Jan. 16; and the Martha Graham Dance Company, still glowing in the groundbreaking work of modern dance's godmother, on Feb. 10.
* A Miami First: Miami will finally get a look at Susan Marshall & Company's poetic, tremendously resonant dance theater March 14-15 at the Colony, courtesy of Tigertail Productions.
* Of Men and Women: The all-female Urban Bush Women have always offered physically dynamic, emotionally powerful dance theater. They join up with male troupe Jant-Bi for The Beauty of Little Things, the result of an exchange project with Africa, on March 15 at the Caleb Auditorium, presented by Miami Dade College.
Twyla Tharp (who choreographed Movin' Out, pictured above) debuts a new piece in Miami this spring.