If the dancers of the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company seemed particularly convincing at portraying impending doom when the choreographer's latest piece, "Crisis Variations," premiered at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City last year, there was a good reason. While they had rehearsed to the music of Franz Liszt, a few days prior to the premiere Lubovitch replaced the score with newly commissioned music by composer Yevgeniy Sharlat.
"We wanted to create a piece that had a genuine crisis within it," Lubovitch explains. "I thought replacing the music so late would jar the dancers' sense of security. It would cause them to react to a whole new sound, creating the pending possibility of catastrophe."
Far from catastrophic, the new piece was awarded the 2012 Prix Benois de la Danse for Choreography at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow earlier this year, and will have its Philly premiere this weekend to open Dance Celebration's 30th anniversary season at the Annenberg Center. Also on the program will be the 1978 dance "North Star," the company's longtime signature piece set to music by Philip Glass; "Little Rhapsodies," with a trio of dancers responding emotionally to Schumann piano etudes; and a second Philly debut, "The Legend of Ten," an exploration of Brahms' music.
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"The program represents a very diverse range of musical choices," Lubovitch says. "And each musical choice requires a very different physical response. I think it demonstrates an extremely wide and diverse range of dance language."
If you go
Lar Lubovitch Dance Company
Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
3680 Walnut St.