Best Dance Shows to See in Dallas in February

Best Dance Shows to See in Dallas in February
Alisa Eykilis

February's dance round-up includes a performance from one of the most famous and notable American choreographers, the mounting of a classic, yet contemporary ballet, a performance art series that features dance, a Valentine's Day event for you dance movie lovers, a concert that celebrates a historic month, a concert that strives to increase awareness for an epidemic, and a Tony Award-winning musical.

February 5 & 7: Paul Taylor Dance Company double-header The Paul Taylor Dance Company takes over Dallas in the beginning of February with a weekend of events. First, the regional premiere of Creative Domain, a documentary about the choreographer's creative process at 7 p.m. Thursday, February 5. After the screening, stay for a panel discussion with director Kate Geis, dancers James Samson and Parisa Khobdeh, and rehearsal director Andy LeBeau. All ticket sales will go to AIR, the Arts Incubator of Richardson. The second: two performances at the Eisemann Center on Saturday, February 7. One of the world's most highly respected and sought-after modern dance companies, the show is bound to have an impact on you--they're known for it. Saturday, February 7, open rehearsal at 3:30 p.m., workshop performance with Taylor 2 and the UT Dallas Dance Ensemble at 6 p.m., and the one-night only performance of the Paul Taylor Dance Company at 8:00 p.m. at the Eisemann Center, 231 Performance Drive, Richardson. $42-$62.

February 6-8: The Merry Widow It's as if Texas Ballet Theater heard the cries from its audience for them to bring back a live music element to their shows, as their mounting of The Merry Widow at Bass Performance Hall will feature the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Adapted from the operetta of the same name, it only makes sense. This full-length ballet, which runs just over 2 hours, takes place during the glitz and glamour of turn-of-the-century Paris and tells the story of a beautiful widow who is pursued by a dashing count. It's a tale of comedic intrigue, elegant ladies (it is a ballet, of course), eligible bachelors, and can-can dancers. This ballet is a relatively new work in the cannon of classical ballet as it had its world premiere in 1975 with The Australian Ballet. It is quickly becoming one of the most beloved works for our generation's ballet dancers; so don't miss showing this to your kids, or yourself. 8 p.m. Friday, February 6; 2 &8 p.m. Saturday, February 7; and 2 p.m. Sunday, February 8 at Bass Performance Hall, 525 Commerce Street, Fort Worth. $15-$100.

February 7, 14, 21, and 28: In The Room We Discovered An-Other In The Corner For "In The Room We Discovered An-other In The Corner," visual/performance artist Alison Starr, draws on dance, fashion, theatre, music, and technology to capture a snapshot of the current evolving nature of performance art. Starr will be bringing together artists from Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Houston, New York City, and Oklahoma, and the exhibitions run every Saturday at Beefhays (833 Exposition Ave.) for the month of February. Starr's decision to include dance in this performance art series seems to show that she does have respect for the art form and sees its value to the performance art world. From 7:15 -8:30 p.m. Saturday, February 7, dancer Jacqueka Lee of Brown Girls Do Ballet will join costume designer Whitney Bracy in an immersive installation. Also performing that evening are musicians Lily Taylor and Sean Miler, who will explore sound and video in collaboration with textile artist Chesley Antoinette of Cantoinette Studios. Free. Other performances happen from 7-8:30 p.m. February 14 and 21 and 6-9 p.m. Saturday, February 28.

Upcoming Events

February 14: Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet and the Texas Theatre present The Turning Point Does your girlfriend love ballet? Is she also a movie buff? Well, the Texas Theatre has just the ticket for you. On Valentine's Day, that's February 14 in case you forgot, they are hosting a performance by Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet before the screening of the romantic dance film, The Turning Point. This film is on the top 10 list of almost every dancer that I know, and it's easy to see why. First of all, it stars Mikhail Baryshnikov. I'll let that sink in for a second. Barynshnikov--the sexist ballet dancer that has ever lived. Second, it's loosely based on the real-life friendship between famous ballerinas Isabel Mirrow Brown and Nora Kaye. Third, it features actual ballet dancing from real ballerinas. And fourth, for all of you film lovers out there, it was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The film is still as relevant as it was in 1977, because as any aging dancer, young dancer, or parent of a dancer can attest to, the struggle of these characters is all too real.

But to get you in the mood, Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet will be perform four new works, all centered on the theme of love and ballet, include a classical pas de deux from Romeo & Juliet, before the screening. Kicks off at 5 p.m. Saturday, February 14 at the Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., Dallas. $15.

February 20-22: Cultural Awareness by Dallas Black Dance Theatre February is African American History Month, and while there are many events, celebrations, and memorials that occur during this month, there is one event in Dallas that highlights the work of some of the most revolutionary African American choreographers in the United States. That event is Dallas Black Dance Theatre's Cultural Awareness production, and it will feature choreography from Alvin Ailey, Tally Beatty, and Troy Powell. Resident choreographer Richard A. Freeman will also be presenting a new work. Takes place at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20 and 2, and 2:30 p.m. February 21 and 22 at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, 2400 Flora St., Dallas. Prices vary.

February 21: AIDS Outreach Center Benefit Concert A tradition since 1993, Texas Christian University's Chi Tau Epsilon Dance Honor Society has produced a concert to benefit the AIDS Outreach Center (AOC) of Greater Tarrant County. The concert brings together area companies to perform alongside student-choreographed works from DanceTCU. Last year's concert featured the Bruce Wood Dance Project, Texas Ballet Theater, and Avant Chamber Ballet, to give you an idea of what to expect. All the proceeds go to AOC. See at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 21 at Erma Lowe Hall, Studio Theatre, Texas Christian University, 3000 S. University Drive, Fort Worth. $20 adults, $10 students. TCU students free.   February 24-March 8: Dallas Summer Musicals presents Kinky Boots Winner of six Tony Awards including Best Musical, Kinky Boots is coming to the Music Hall at Fair Park this spring, and you better be ready for it. This show is still as popular as it was when it first opened--it often sells out quickly, so get your tickets now--and the songs will forever be ingrained in your brain. But, really, that's ok, because it's Cyndi Lauper and she's know how much we just wanna have fun when we go to the theatre. I, for one, am really looking forward to seeing Jerry Mitchell's Tony Award-winning choreography in person. It's high-kicking, challenging, and incredibly relevant. In case you're not familiar with the story, here's a short run-down: a struggling shoe factory owner turns his business around with a little help from Lola, a drag performer, who is in need of some sturdy stilettos. The unlikely pair find out they have a lot more in common than they original thought, and through some song and dance, they discover a moral lesson that we could all benefit from. February 24-March 8 at multiple times at Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 1st Ave, Dallas. Prices vary.


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