Dance in Richmond is exploding. In a good way. Counting performances by both local and touring companies, the work of more than 30 dance artists -- established and up-and-coming, classical and contemporary will appear on Richmond stages this fall.
From the national dance scene, local presenters have plucked some fabulous innovators and some satisfying standards. The Modlin Center offers Diavolo (Sept. 14-15), Jacques Heim's 15-year-old company of dancers, gymnasts and acrobats. The show investigates the human condition through large-scale, interdisciplinary performances, meaning big crazy sets and dramatic movement. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's gorgeous, virtuosic dancers also tread Alice Jepson Theater's boards Oct. 22-23.
Not to be left out, the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen gets in on the national dance action by presenting Taylor 2 (Oct. 11), the six-member touring arm of the beloved Paul Taylor Dance Company. You could follow it up with Tania Isaac Dance at the Grace Street Theater (Oct. 12-13). VCU Dance selected Isaac from Dance Magazine's 2006 "25 to Watch." The West Indies native has danced with both Urban Bush Women and Rennie Harris, and now makes her own innovative work.
Our local companies have been hard at work cooking up excellent programs for the fall. Richmond Ballet's "Studio 1" (Sept. 11-16) is the first Studio Series performance of the season, with work by contemporary choreographers Jessica Lang, Colin Conner, and Artistic Director Stoner Winslett at RB's Studio Theatre on Canal Street.
Save time that weekend for "Yes, Virginia Dance" (Sept. 15) at the Grace Street Theater. Expect a diverse showcase including work by Richmond's own Amaranth Contemporary Dance, K Dance and others. At the end of September (27-29), Ground Zero Dance Company steps onto the same stage with "Symbiosis," a concert of new work by five company choreographers and New York-based guest artist Maria Bauman.
Starr Foster Dance Project takes over Grace Street with "Talking With Ghosts" (Oct. 4-6), two mysterious world premieres and one encore performance; then presents the Choreographers' Showcase at the Firehouse Theatre (Nov. 30 and Dec. 1) always a treat to see new work by artists you know and by surprising newcomers on the scene.
In Glen Allen, there's Latin Ballet's latest work, "El Dorado" (Oct. 19-21). Then head back to downtown for Dim Sum Dance's "PLEASE" at art6 (Nov. 9-10) seven choreographers contributed to this one. Who needs New York? S