Paul Taylor Dance Company, 3 Epitaphs
The Royal Ballet of Cambodia, The Legend of Apsara Mera
Dance Theater of Harlem
There’s something for everyone during the coming season. Spring dance highlights include the Paul Taylor Dance Company revisiting seven decades of work and premiering Taylor’s 138th piece in March, a festival focusing on the Cambodian arts boasts two performances of the country’s sumptuous classical dance style, and for fans of the experimental, Yasuko Yokoshi premieres a new work. Of course, we also have details on American Ballet Theatre’s spring season beginning in May.
RECOMMENDED: Spring in New York guide
For his company’s second season at the grand Koch Theater after years spent at New York City Center, Taylor revives seven decades of masterworks, such as 3 Epitaphs from 1956, in which faceless performers wear spooky costumes designed by Robert Rauschenberg and dance to early New Orleans jazzl and Esplanade, a 1975 classic set to Bach and inspired by the sight of a girl running to catch a bus—the movement entirely comprised of standing, walking, running, sliding and falling. There are 21 new works as well, including the world premiere of Perpetual Dawn, the choreographer’s 138th dance, and the New York premiere of To Make Crops Grow, set to music by Ferde Grofé. If you like variety, Taylor’s your man. Each of his dances parts the curtain to reveal a bold, new world.
This Japanese experimental choreographer has collaborated with Masumi Seyama, an 82-year-old master teacher of the Kabuki Su-odori style of dance. As New York Live Arts’ resident commissioned artist, Yokoshi premieres BELL, a contemporary reimagining of the classical Japanese dance Kyoganoko Musume-Dojoji (“A Woman and a Bell at the Dojoji Temple”), which also draws inspiration from the ballet Giselle. Romance and tragedy never get old.
Season of Cambodia
Classical Cambodian dance abounds at this festival. The Royal Ballet of Cambodia will perform The Legend of Apsara Mera (BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Ave between Ashland Pl and St. Felix St, Fort Greene, Brooklyn; 718-636-4100,
bam.org; May 2–4; $20–$55), choreographed by Her Royal Highness (and former dancer) Princess Norodom Buppha Devi. But first, Khmer Arts Ensemble will unveil Sophiline Cheam Shapiro’s A Bend in the River at the Joyce (175 Eighth Ave at 19th St; 212-242-0800, joyce.org; Apr 9–14; $10–$49). It has everything: love, vengeance, magic and heartbreak.
This spring, under the artistic direction of former ballerina Virginia Johnson, Dance Theatre of Harlem is reborn after an eight year hiatus. While the company has shrunk in size, the quality of the programming hasn’t been compromised: Along with Donald Byrd’s Contested Space and John Alleyne’s Far but Close, season highlights include Robert Garland’s Gloria, Alvin Ailey’s The Lark Ascending and George Balanchine’s 1957 Agon—which famously featured Arthur Mitchell and Diana Adams in a breathtaking pas de deux. Mitchell, with Karel Shook, formed DTH in 1969 after the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. It’s a fitting tribute.
ABT returns to the Metropolitan Opera House with the premiere of Alexei Ratmansky's Shostakovich trilogy, as well as the company premiere of Frederick Ashton's A Month in the Country and a new production of Le Corsaire. Dancers include Roberto Bolle, Irina Dvorovenko—in her final season with the company—Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg, Paloma Herrera, Julie Kent, Cory Stearns, Ivan Vasiliev, Natalia Osipova and the newest principal, Hee Seo.