By Cynthia Bond Perry
For the Journal-Constitution
Visitors to Castleberry Hill or several Atlanta BeltLine sites will find these public spaces teeming with vibrant, contemporary dance at certain times this fall. Proliferating site-specific performances are fostering robust relationships between local dance troupes and audiences. Public enthusiasm for dance is on the rise. Innovative collaborations, new companies, daring programming initiatives pack the fall season with high-quality shows. Here are a few highlights, of many:
“Maá.” The timbres of Kaija Saariaho’s score will likely envelop the Woodruff Arts Center’s Symphony Hall, as Lauri Stallings’ contemporary performance group gloATL joins with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra conductor Robert Spano, music ensemble Sonic Generator and a 51-dancer chorus to create a three-dimensional environment of sound, choreography, scenic design, multimedia imagery and light. Sept. 9 & 10.
Art on the Atlanta BeltLine. In its second year, this massive public art initiative has commissioned presentations by Beacon Dance, Dance Truck, Giwayen Mata, gloATL and Dashboard Co-op’s Helen Hale; it’s helping to fund a breakout season for Crossover Movement Arts, who’ll enliven three historic sites with their whimsical blend of contemporary dance, martial arts, and collaborative performance art.
Free. September through November. http://art.beltline.org/
FLUX 2011. Several Atlanta-based dance troupes will perform at Castleberry Hill amid visual, sonic, theatrical and multi-media art: gloATL will roam the streets performing “Livers” and D’AIR Project aerial dancers, Zoetic Dance Ensemble and friends will power ongoing, movement-based art installations through the evening. Free. Sept. 30.
Aszure Barton & Artists. A Canadian-born, New York-based protégé of Mikhail Baryshnikov with an impressive list of international commissions, Aszure Barton and her company perform “BUSK” to gypsy music, revealing the human psyche’s tragic and comic sides via the performer’s insecurities, loneliness and desire to please an audience; it’s a rare opportunity to see her dancers’ refined physicality and emotional intensity. Oct. 7.
Atlanta Ballet’s “The Four Seasons.”Atlanta Ballet’s image update is in full swing, with works by two of today’s major choreographers: James Kudelka’s classically based, modern dance-infused “The Four Seasons,” and international rising star choreographer Wayne McGregor’s futuristic, relentlessly driving “EDEN/EDEN.” Oct. 21-23.
Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company. With its Marietta debut, this Kansas City-based troupe plans to make Atlanta its second home; ecstatic, athletic dancers trained in the Alvin Ailey tradition will perform an appealing mix of classic and new modern dance works, from Shapiro and Smith’s lucid, poetic “To Have and to Hold” to Atlanta artistic director Lonnie Davis’ playfully romantic “Blind Love” to “Cypress Avenue,” set to pop, rock and R&B songs. Oct. 28-29.
Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE: A Dance Company. Human compassion, both personal and universal, is the theme for Brown’s newest work, “On Earth Together” to music by Stevie Wonder. Nov. 19.
Cynthia Bond Perry is dance critic at ArtsCriticATL.com.