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Friday, January 30, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 24.0° F  Partly Cloudy
The Daily


A giant leap

For Overture Center's grand opening in September 2004, the three resident companies of its sparkling state-of-the-art concert hall -- Madison Symphony Orchestra, Madison Opera and Madison Ballet -- presented a night of "Overture Classics" that augured the arts' future in this former cow and college town. In that show, Madison Ballet appeared to be on a par with its sister organizations, but its program was stacked with guest artists from American Ballet Theater, Texas Ballet Theater and Oakland Ballet. The guest artists flew in, danced and left, leaving Madison Ballet with big pointe shoes to fill. >More
 Losing a step

Jin-Wen Yu Dance marked its 10th anniversary last weekend at Lathrop Hall's Margaret H'Doubler Performance Space. I've seen great Yu conerts, but this wasn't one of them. >More
 Flights of fancy

For Momix's silver anniversary, artistic director Moses Pendleton put together a repertory retrospective, "The Best of Momix." This company's somewhat collectively choreographed works are fun and fabulously inventive. The downside is that they veer dangerously close to glitzy dance-tainment -- personally, I prefer the shock and awe of pure dance, a la Balanchine's ballets or Alvin Ailey's gloriously funky, message-laden choreography. But I have high hopes for the set of Momix's greatest hits coming to the Overture Center on Oct. 13. >More
 Facing Mecca

The thing I love most about Kanopy Dance is the company's devotion to relevance. The choreography in this year's annual "Fall for Dance" concert leaps across W's oil-drenched chasm between "us" and "Islam." Martha Graham's local heirs meet Sadira, Mad City empress of Middle Eastern dance, who's studied with masters and performed in Cairo. >More
 Cycropia returns to the Orton Park Festival

Cycropia's performances at Orton are held beneath a colossus of an oak tree situated at the southern corner of the park, the audience forming a broad half-moon loop around the living stage. As the crowds hush and the lights of the festival dim, a wondrous display follows as the troupe hangs, swings, spins, and leaps under the broad canopy and gathering dusk... unless it's raining. >More
 '60s spirit

I have this quintessential Madison memory of New York-based modern dancer/teacher/choreographer Judith Moss. It's a hot, early summer day in 1968, when we were undergrads in the UW Dance Program. Sebastian Moon, a local hippie R&B band, is playing a love-in on Picnic Point. Otis Redding died some six months back - Dec. 10, 1967 - in that famous plane crash on Lake Monona. On this grassy, sunny spit surrounded by Lake Mendota, Sebastian Moon plays Redding's hit, "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay." There's not a dry eye in the crowd, but we're all dancing and singing along - Moss and me and a hundred or two more souls from the old days. >More
 Cinderella story

Will the Madison Ballet Studio Company rip on Overture's stage? The 32-member troupe of teens is a mixed batch, though if they're as generous in performance as they are in class they'll all look pretty good. >More
 Gateless Gate tells a powerful story of women's survival at the Wisconsin Union Theater

This powerful performance combines dance, martial arts, traditional Japanese and Korean music, spoken word and jazz by Fred Ho. >More
 Jazzworks sparkles and shines at Overture Center

Crabby at the prospect of venturing out into the snowy mess on March 2, I was rewarded by Jazzworks Dance Company's pleasurable evening of dance at the Overture Center's Capitol Theater. The dancing was consistently topnotch from this Madison-based company of well-trained and engaging performers. >More
 Art for our times

In its annual three-show cycle, Dark Nights is the truest expression of Kanopy's considerable artistic vision. >More
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