News Column

Dance St. Louis

June 27, 2013

YellowBrix

June 27--2013-14 season announced

Dance St. Louis has announced its 2013-2014 season, which includes eight captivating, entertaining and versatile productions. The upcoming 48th season includes: PNC Arts Alive New Dance Horizons II, Shanghai Ballet in The Butterfly Lovers, Wizard of Oz by Ballet Memphis, Diavolo, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the 7th Annual Spring to Dance Festival 2014 and two co-presentations with Fox Theatre--Chicago and Evita. Season ticket packages are currently on sale and single tickets sales for certain shows will go on sale on September 3, 2013.

Return to the razzle dazzle decadence of the 1920s with "Chicago," which takes place September 20 through 22 at the Fox Theatre. This award-winning musical tells the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who maliciously murders her lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago's slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today's tabloids.

"Chicago" opened to rave reviews on November 14, 1996 and has become the longest running American musical in Broadway history and fourth longest-running production in Broadway history. With a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, it is the winner of six 1997 Tony Awards including "Best Musical Revival" and the Grammy Award for "Best Musical Cast Recording."

Following its successful first year, PNC Arts Alive New Dance Horizons II will return October 4 and 5 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. Commissioned by Dance St. Louis, this production will bring four all new nationally renowned choreographers to St. Louis to collaborate with four local professional dance companies to create four world premieres. Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company performs new works by Uri Sands, former Alvin Ailey principal dancer and founder of Minneapolis-based TU Dance. The evocative, Washington D.C.-based visionary Nejla Yatkin choreographs a piece for Leverage Dance Theater. The world-renowned Connecticut-based company of dancer-athletes, Pilobolus, collaborates with MADCO. And Emery LeCrone, the young, prolific rising star of the ballet world, works on a piece with Saint Louis Ballet.

Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Tony Award-winning musical "Evita" comes to St. Louis Oct. 8 through 20 at the Fox Theatre. Directed by Michael Grandage and choreographed by Rob Ashford, this new production of "Evita" tells the story of Eva Peron, who used her beauty and charisma to rise from the slums of Argentina to the presidential mansion as first lady. Adored by her people as a champion for the poor, she became one of the most powerful women in the world -- while her greed, outsized ambition and fragile health made her one of the most tragic. "Evita" features some of theater's most beautiful songs, including "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," "Another Suitcase in Another Hall" and "High Flying, Adored."

The arrival of spring brings with it the blossoming of young love and the tragedy of loss in the Shanghai Ballet's production of "The Butterfly Lovers," Nov. 8 and 9 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.

Company Director Xin Lili choreographed "The Butterfly Lovers," which premiered in December 2001 at the Third Shanghai International Art Festival.

The production is based on the legend of a young woman, Zhu, who disguises herself as a man in order to gain entry to school. There, she falls in love with her schoolmate, Liang, but their love is not to be. Zhu is already betrothed to Ma, who kills Liang in a jealous rage. Grief-stricken, Zhu gives her own life in order to spend eternity with Liang. The two lovers are later reunited in the afterlife as a pair of butterflies.

Follow Dorothy along the yellow brick road when the "Wizard of Oz" with Ballet Memphis comes to town January 24 through 26 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. Scotland native Steven McMahon, choreographic associate with Ballet Memphis, choreographed this new adaptation of the family classic about Dorothy and her trio of friends on an adventure to the Emerald City. Ballet Memphis premiered the original production in 2007.

Celebrated West Coast dance company Diavolo brings its gravity-defying troupe of dancers, athletes, gymnasts, martial artists, actors and stunt performers to St. Louis February 28 and March 1 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. Diavolo uses dynamic and colossal set pieces such as skateboard ramps, a 15-foot staircase and an 18-foot aluminum and steel spinning wheel to push the boundaries of dance.

The prestigious and award-winning Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater comes to St. Louis' Fox Theatre April 25 and 26. Founded by Alvin Ailey in 1958, the company is an icon of the dance world composed of elegant and athletic dancers who many consider to be trailblazers of concert dance. The company is a recipient of the National Medal of Arts in 2002 and has performed for an estimated 23 million people at theaters in 48 states and 71 countries on six continents as well as millions more through television broadcasts.

The season concludes with the 7th Annual Spring to Dance Festival, which takes place May 22 through 24 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. This Memorial Day Weekend tradition features a three-night dance extravaganza with 30 professional dance companies from across the country performing a variety of works from contemporary and classical to modern, tap and more. Tickets cost just $15 a night and with a different program each night, this is a great value event with something for everyone.

If you can't bring yourself to pick just one performance, then consider a season ticket package. Dance St. Louis season ticket holders receive priority seating and a discount on package seats. All tickets are exchangeable and seats are eligible for renewal. They also have the opportunity to purchase additional single tickets at a 10-percent discount so friends and family can come any time throughout the season (some restrictions apply). For package prices and details, visit www.dancestlouis.org.

Season ticket packages are on sale now and are available at the Dance St. Louis box office at 3547 Olive St. in the Centene Center for Arts and Education in Grand Center, by calling (314) 534-6622, or by visiting dancestlouis.org.

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(c)2013 Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Ill.)

Visit Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Ill.) at www.theintelligencer.com

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