Fall dance festivals galore

Bessie-winning choreographer Jane Comfort’s work is honored at the American Dance Guild Festival, Oct. 25 and 26. | Photo by Maria Baranova

BY ELIZABETH ZIMMER | American Dance Guild Performance Festival | Oct 25-28| This venerable organization supports the dance community with an annual festival that honors the lifetime achievement of distinguished choreographers, living and dead. This year’s lineup includes celebrations of Jane Comfort and the late Eleo Pomare, and includes archival footage from Celia Ipiotis’s Eye on Dance program, as well as performances of works by Donald McKayle, Ara Fitzgerald, Tina Croll, Douglas Dunn, Cherylyn Lavagnino, and dozens more. At Ailey Citigroup Theater (405 W. 55th St., corner of Ninth Ave.). Info at americandanceguild.org.

Cesc Gelabert dances to Morton Feldman’s “Triadic Memories,” performed on piano by Pedja Muzijevic; Nov. 1 & 2, as part of the White Light Festival. | Photo by Ramón Eguiguren

White Light Festival | Through Nov. 18 |This festival of arts events with a spiritual component continues with remarkable performer/choreographer Akram Khan offering his final solo performance piece, “XENOS,” combining classical Indian kathak with his unique contemporary dance style (Oct. 31-Nov. 1). Next, in the world premiere of “Framing Time,” Cesc Gelabert dances to Morton Feldman’s “Triadic Memories,” performed on piano by Pedja Muzijevic (Nov. 1 & 2). The final dance offering is “Blak Whyte Gray,” an award-winning East London performance work from Boy Blue, whose members include Michael “Mikey J” Asante and Kenrick “H2O” Sandy (Nov. 16-17). Various venues and times; info at whitelightfestival.org, 212-721-6500.

Darrah Carr Dance | Oct. 26-27 |The wonderful Irish dancer and her 20-year-old troupe collaborate with musical duo Dana Lyn and Kyle Sanna on “Dancing the Great Arc,” a celebration of the fiddler and guitarist’s second album that’s inspired by the need to protect our ecosystem and endangered species. Carr’s style fuses Irish step with contemporary modern dance styles; her dancers make percussive music themselves. At the Irish Arts Center (553 W. 51st St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). Info at irishartscenter.org and 866-811-4111.

Garth Fagan’s dancers performing “Mudan,” to music by Chinese composers: part of Program B, at the Joyce, Oct. 30-Nov. 4. | Photo by Erich Camping

Garth Fagan Dance | Oct. 30-Nov. 4 |This Rochester-based ensemble, directed by the award-winning choreographer of “The Lion King,” returns to the Joyce with two world premieres, one by Fagan himself celebrating the life of abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass, and the other, by longtime company veteran Norwood Pennewell, called Distant Kin. Three different programs display 35 years of the troupe’s work. At The Joyce Theater (175 Eighth Ave., at W. 19th St.). Info at joyce.org and 212-242-0800.

Balanchine: The City Center Years | Oct. 31-Nov. 4 |This fall marks the 70th anniversary of the official founding of the New York City Ballet, and the start of its 16-year residency as the company in residence at this beautiful Midtown hall. Eight companies from around the world perform George Balanchine’s choreography from the early years, accompanied by the New York City Ballet Orchestra: Look for ABT (American Ballet Theatre), the Joffrey Ballet, the Mariinsky Ballet, Miami City Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, the Royal Ballet, and the San Francisco Ballet. At New York City Center (131 W. 55th St., btw Sixth & Seventh Aves.). Info at nycitycenter.org and 212-581-1212.

Dance Gallery Festival | Nov. 2-4  | This 12-year-old fest mentors emerging choreographers from New York, Texas, and further afield with two Hell’s Kitchen shows. On Saturday night, Cameron McKinney and Manuel Vignoulle are joined by Texans Victoria DeRenzo and Jared Doster and Joshua L. Peugh’s Dark Circles Contemporary Dance. Sunday afternoon’s lineup includes New Yorkers DRE.SPEAKS, Eoghan Dillon, Vernard J. Gilmore, GREYZONE/Lindy Fines, and Vignoulle; Texans Ad Deum Dance Company, Amy Diane Morrow with the Theorists, Ashley Clos, and Joshua Manculich; North Carolina’s Vanessa Owen of Stewart/Owen Dance; and, from Taiwan, Chien-Ying Wang/OcampoWang Dance/JueDai Contemporary Dance Theatre. At Ailey Citigroup Theater (405 W. 55th St., corner of Ninth Ave.). Info at dancegalleryfestival.com.  

Texan Joshua L. Peughbrings his Dark Circles Contemporary Dance to the Dance Gallery Festival on Nov. 3. | Photo by Brian Guilliaux, courtesy of Dark Circles Contemporary 2018

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