Winter Dance Preview

With the season’s first snowstorm behind us and the mercury dropping to bone-chilling levels, RI’s winter dance offerings are ready to heat things up. From local productions to several touring troupes, things could get hot around here long before the spring thaw.

Festival Ballet Providence (FBP), the capital city’s resident professional ballet company, will get things started with Boyko Dossev’s newest creation for kids: Little Red Riding Hood. Last season, his world premiere of Mother Goose Goes to Hollywood played to sold-out audiences in the company’s intimate Black Box Theatre; his latest debut promises to be equally as popular.

The show will run from February 2 – 10 as part of FBP’s ChatterBOXtheatre dance series. After the performances, children are invited to stay for milk and cookies and pose for pictures with the dancers.

When not performing with Boston Ballet, Dossev spends much of his time in Providence lending his extensive talents to FBP. In addition to creating children’s ballets, he also choreographs for the company’s wildly successful Up Close On Hope (UCOH), a collection of short, unrelated dance pieces – many of them world premieres – also presented in the Black Box Theatre.

Billed as “dance so close you can touch it,” UCOH features work from local artists and world renowned choreographers. It is a rare opportunity to see dance from a behind-the-scenes perspective. The latest installment will run from March 29 – April 13. During intermission, enjoy complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres from local restaurants.

In between Little Red Riding Hood and UCOH, FBP will present Agon and Orchis at The Vets (March 8 – 10). Considered by many as one of Balanchine and Stravinsky’s greatest creations, Agon represents the perfect blending of abstract and neoclassical ballet, which aligns perfectly with Viktor Plotnikov’s Orchis, a stunning collaboration with composer Sonya Belousova, glass artist Toots Zynsky, and photographer Cemal Ekin.

For tickets or more information about FBP, visit www.festivalballet.com. For tickets to Agon and Orchis, visit www.vmari.com.

Other local productions include Fusionworks Te Deum with the R.I. Civic Chorale & Orchestra (March 16). For tickets or more information, visit www.fusionworksdance.org. Also, relative newcomers to the local dance scene, Providence Ballet Theatre will present Hansel and Gretel (March 15 & 16). For tickets or more information, visit www.providenceballet.org.

Make sure to save some time for The State Ballet of Rhode Island’s (SBRI) Project Ballet Coffee Hour. SBRI Artistic Director and “First Lady of Rhode Island Ballet,” Herci Marsden, invites all to share in the experiences that bring a performance from a rehearsal studio to the stage. Featuring music, dancing, and chats, this free event includes cheese, crackers, desserts, and, of course, coffee. Seating is limited; for more information visit www.stateballet.com.

Several touring productions will also step off in Providence during the winter months. On February 5, PPAC will host Shen Yun, a celebration of Chinese culture through classical Chinese dance. This impressive production features nearly 100 artists and 400 costumes.  Lord of the Dance returns once again to PPAC (February 16). Always a crowd pleaser, Dance is an electrifying blend of traditional and modern Celtic music and dance. On March 16, Firstworks is proud to present Joffrey Ballet: Rite of Spring. Set to Nijinsky’s original choreography, this production celebrates the 100th anniversary of Stravinsky’s masterpiece: The Rite of Spring. For tickets or more information regarding these performances, visit www.ppacri.org.

Back at The Vets, The State Ballet Theatre of Russia will be in town for two performances of Cinderella (February 10). Featuring 65 distinguished dancers, this company showcases the unparalleled art of Russian ballet to countries throughout the world. For tickets or more information, visit www.vmari.com.

Finally, Rhode Island College, as part of its acclaimed Performing Arts Series, will welcome The Trisha Brown Dance Company to Roberts Hall on March 6. Inspired by her own experiences in opera, Ms. Brown directs her dancers in a fluid yet unpredictably geometric style that remains the hallmark of her choreography. For tickets or more information, visit www.ric.edu/pfa/pas.php.

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