Theatrical dance in the Western world began as the pastime of royalty, which makes the current Fall for Dance series — sponsored by the Public Theater — a subversive pleasure. For two weeks, beginning tomorrow night, terrific dance troupes from around the world display their talents at rock-bottom prices, serving up previews of this year’s coming attractions. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, this bargain display of terpsichorean talent is City Center’s gift to local audiences.
Nothing’s cheaper than free, which was the cost of tickets last Monday and Tuesday at Central Park’s Delacorte Theater. Against the stunning backdrop of Belvedere Lake, red-clad members of Elizabeth Streb’s Extreme Action Company performed “Human Fountain,” taking off from a three-story scaffold, sailing through the air and plopping down on layers of padding. Their death-defying feats were followed by Ron Brown’s Evidence dancers, in “Upside Down” — which was ostensibly about mourning but was in fact a celebration, accompanied by live music by Fela Kuti. A work by Ulysses Dove and Paul Taylor’s sublime “Esplanade” completed the program.
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Upcoming at City Center are performances by companies from England, Brazil, Canada, Argentina, India, Ireland and Holland, as well as all New York’s blue-chip troupes and a handful of mad experimenters, like Doug Elkins showing his fusion of hip-hop with modern and Shakespeare, “Mo(or)town/Redux,” on the fourth of five programs (each shown twice and each costing $15). Scrabble now to snap up the remaining tickets, and revel in the delights of Michelle Dorrance’s revolutionary tap choreography (on the same bill); world-renowned tango dancers Gabriel Misse and Analia Centurion (on the first program) and several local debuts.
Fall for Dance
Through Oct. 5
New York City Center,
131 W. 55th St.