Fall preview: Dance increasing strong presence in arts scene

Aug. 29, 2014 @ 08:17 AM

Offerings from a brand-new, Durham-based dance organization; two women – one from the Triangle, the other from India -- who are trailblazers in their dance forms; performers from Rio de Janiero; work by a Haitian-born, Durham resident; and a new, autobiographical dance by a Duke professor/dance scholar/performer liven up the dance scene this fall.

The three fall programs presented by the new Durham Independent Dance Artists organization, formed earlier this year, kick off the group’s first season, with a total of 10 dance programs that continue into next spring.
Nicola Bullock, Lightsey Darst, Leah Wilks and Justin Tornow founded the organization earlier this year as a way to introduce some of the work that is being produced in an ever-growing, local dance scene. “Rather than dance being something that folks do on the side, more and more, people are moving here explicitly to dance and to create work,” Wilks has said.
“We’re excited about the diversity and the high caliber of work,” Justin Tornow said in a recent phone interview. “It’s exciting. People are doing things that are very edgy. Everybody’s pretty much doing what they’re interested in. It feels inspired.”
Those two women trailblazers – tap artist Michelle Dorrance (father, Anson Dorrance coaches the women’s soccer team at UNC) and Vidya Kolyur from India – will show what they’re doing to expand their art forms. Kolyur is the only woman to pursue, as a profession, the 700-year-old Yakshagana dance drama tradition from south India.
Another American dance pioneer, Martha Graham, co-founded another company, Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company, which will be performing at UNC this fall. Graham and Baroness Batsheva De Rothschild founded the company in 1964.
In his company’s fifth annual program next month, Haitian-born Gaspard Louis presents the third part of the Haitian trilogy he’s created in the wake of the earthquake that devastated his home country.
Duke Performances brings Companhia Urbana De Danca from Rio de Janeiro, to the Reynolds Industries Theater stage in November.
And Duke University professor Thomas F. DeFrantz employs new technology to help tell his story of moving to Durham from the northeast.
Here’s the lineup:

DURHAM INDEPENDENT DANCE ARTISTS
-- Nov. 8, Nov. 9 –  Mororco Music Hall. real.live.people.durham present “it’s not me, it’s you” by Anna Barker and collaborator Leah Wilks.
-- Dec. 13, Dec. 14 – The Carrack Modern Art. Justin Tornow’s COMPANY presents three performances of Tornow’s “The Weights”.
-- Dec. 19, Dec. 20 – The Carrack Modern Art. Tommy Noonan and Clint Lutes perform Noonan’s “Brother, Brother.”

Times for shows to be announced. For tickets, link to the artists’ websites through Durham Independent Dance Artists (www.didaseason.com).

DUKE CONNECTION
-- Today – 7 p.m. PSI Theater, Durham Arts Council; tickets $10 cash at the door. Duke University professor Thomas F. DeFrantz performs in “where did I think I was going? [moving into signal], which he created with Kenneth David Stewart.
-- Nov. 8, Nov. 9 – 8 p.m. Reynolds Industries Theater; tickets 919-684-4444 or www.ticketsduke.edu. Duke Performances presents Companhia Urbana De Danca.

GASPARD & DANCERS
-- Sept. 25, Sept. 26 – 8 p.m. Reynolds Industries Theater. Tickets: 919-684-4444 or www.tickets.edu. Program includes Gaspard Louis’ third part of his Hatian trilogy.

CAROLINA PERFORMING ARTS
-- Sept. 5 – 8 p.m. UNC’s Memorial Hall, Chapel Hill. Vidya Kolyurk carries on the 700-year-old Yakshagana dance drama tradition in “Tales from the Cosmic Ocean: An Evening of Yakshagana.”
-- Sept. 25, Sept. 26 -  7:30 p.m. (Sept. 25), 8 p.m. (Sept. 26). UNC’s Memorial Hall, Chapel Hill. Michelle Dorrance & Dorrance Dance in “The Blues Project,” featuring original music from Toshi Reagon and her band, BIGLovely.
-- Nov. 21 – 8 p.m. Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company.
Tickets: 919-843-3333 or www.carolinaperformingarts.org