Summer blues

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Lincoln Center Festival announced its summer schedule on Wednesday morning, and guess what: Mediocre dance has been replaced by hardly any dance at all.

Ballet National de Marseille presents Metapolis II, a collaboration between artistic director Frdric Flamand and Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid. Described as a "convergence of ballet, film, video and architecture," the work is in keeping with Flamand's mission to work with world-class architects "who create a scenic design that intersects with ideas of the human body moving through space and time." I'm afraid this is a fairly clear indication that the choreography will be forgettable but the whole production will look good. Still, given LCF director Nigel Redden's track record, it's more tempting than some of his past picks (Random Dance Company, Elizabeth Streb, Bill T. Jones).

Metapolis II also has the distinction of being the only pure dance event in the entire festival. Shen Wei will return to LCF, for what feels like the hundredth time, with his opera Second Visit to the Empress. It could be subtitled How to Wrap a Producer Around Your Finger and Never Let Him Go.

Finally, David Michalek, a photographer and the husband of New York City Ballet's Wendy Whelan, has created a video installation, Slow Dancing. His slow-motion portraits of dancers and choreographers—including Karole Armitage, Janie Taylor, Alexei Ratmansky, Jeremy Wade and, naturally, Whelan—will be screened on the facade of the New York State Theater.

Thanks, Nigel, that's really great.

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