Global Arts Live announced plans today to enliven the post-holiday cultural lull with the 2022 Winter Dance Fest. Spanning consecutive Saturday nights in January at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre, the festival features one-night-only performances of premieres and repertory works by three diverse, internationally acclaimed dance troupes — Cuba’s Malpaso Dance Company (Jan. 15), Dorrance Dance (Jan. 22), and Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, A Dance Company (Jan. 29).
This marks the second iteration of the festival — the 2021 festival was canceled because of COVID. “I’m ecstatic that we’re back,” says Maure Aronson, Global Arts Live founder and director of artistic programs. “This is a three-week period where we have really significant dance companies on the Cutler Majestic stage in audience attendance.” (Tickets will be $40-$65 for each performance, with a $120 festival pass for all three.)
Aronson is especially excited to welcome Malpaso Dance Company, which will open the series. The Cuban contemporary dance company had sold out three Global Arts Live performances at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in March 2020, and had just arrived in Boston when COVID precautions shut down the arts scene. “They didn’t get to perform, and all they got to see was the inside of a Boston hotel room,” says Aronson. “It’s important to get them back opening the festival with a terrific program showing works from significant choreographers.” The company, known for presenting works by emerging Cuban choreographers as well as international luminaries, will perform “Indomitable Waltz” by Aszure Barton, the North American premiere of “Lullaby for Insomnia” by Daile Carrazana, the North America premiere of “woman with water” by Mats Ek, and “Tabula Rasa” by Ohad Naharin.
Global Arts Live has presented Dorrance Dance, now celebrating its 10th anniversary, several times since its inception. “Michelle [Dorrance] may be the leading tap artist in the US, or the world,” says Aronson. “She’s incredibly exciting, her work is visceral and spellbinding, and her dancers are absolutely engaging.”
The New York City-based company will present “SOUNDspace,” which explores movement as music and combines a range of works from Dorrance’s repertoire. “Each performance is unique,” says Aronson. ‘It’s really like a hit parade for Michelle, an incredible musical tap journey.”
Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, A Dance Company, makes a welcome return to Boston for the first time since 2014, and the company brings a timely new work co-commissioned by Global Arts Live during the pandemic. “The Equality of Night and Day” features an original score by jazz pianist/composer Jason Moran and text by racial justice advocate Angela Davis.
Aronson was the first to bring the Brooklyn-based Brown to Boston in the early 2000s, and he has fostered a close supportive relationship with the artist ever since. “His movement is deeply rooted in Africa and the diaspora,” says Aronson. “It is full of lyricism, very compelling, and deeply spiritual.” The company’s program also includes the Boston premiere of “Mercy,” a collaboration with composer Meshell Ndegeocello, and “Come Ye,” inspired by the music and sociopolitical legacies of Nina Simone and Fela Kuti.
“I’m looking for companies that are really at the top echelon of dance because we’re putting them in a bigger space than we usually do,” says Aronson. “And it wouldn’t be possible without the cooperation of the Cutler Majestic, which has found time for us to spend three weeks in the theater without having to strike [lighting and drapes.] They’ve been a wonderful partner in this, and it is just fantastic that we can do this again.”
Winter Dance Fest, presented by Global Arts Live at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theater. Tickets go on sale Friday, Nov 26, at 10 a.m., and cost $40-$65 per performance, or $120 for a pass to all three. 617-876-4275, globalartslive.org.
Karen Campbell can be reached at email@example.com.