Season of classics and collaborations

September 13, 2001|By Gina Kazimir | Gina Kazimir,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Rumors of the demise of dance in Baltimore may finally be laid to rest when audiences get a glimpse of some of the fresh collaborations and choreography debuting in the 2001-2002 season. The coming year offers not only performance favorites but also some exciting and promising combinations of artists that are sure to spark the interest of longtime followers as well as bring in new audiences.

Among the more noteworthy debuts could be that of the Baltimore company Air Dance Bernasconi, at Towson University Oct. 5-6. Incorporating low-flying trapeze, aerial fabric, hoops and bungee with modern dance, the company takes the modern-dance vocabulary to new heights, literally.

The evening-long debut performances feature five works.

On the more classical front, Harford Community College will once again allow Baltimore to trump Washington and catch a preview of a world-premiere dance before its formal debut. The Washington Ballet, in residency at Harford Community College, will premiere a new production of Carmen at the Amoss Center Oct. 27. Setting the piece to Bizet's famous score, artistic director Septime Webre creates a sensuous ballet of fire and passion.

One of my local favorites, Nancy Romita and the Moving Company, premieres an unusual collaboration Oct. 19 at the Contemplative Labyrinth Garden at the Johns Hopkins Bayview campus. The Moving Company has paired with the Robert Macht Gamelan Orchestra to create a work that integrates musicians and dancers into a tapestry of sound and movement. And the company is also collaborating with Baltimore sculptor Linda Bills for a piece it'll perform Oct. 27 at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Another new work will premiere at the University of Maryland's Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. Parsons Dance Company will lead off the center's dedication events Sept. 21-22 with the world premiere of a new dance by David Parsons called Annuals. This world-class company will also perform Parsons' signature work, Caught, which marries light and movement in an exalting celebration of the art of dance.

Of course, no dance season would be complete without a notable collection of Nutcrackers to choose from, and this year does not disappoint. Dance fans' options range from the classic American Ballet Theatre version at the Kennedy Center to performances by stars-to-be at the Baltimore School for the Arts and everything in between.

Along with your other selections, why not take in two versions of The Nutcracker and compare them - just for fun?

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