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Thursday, December 18, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 16.0° F  Partly Cloudy
The Daily


Performers tumble at Madison Ballet's Nutcracker

Nutcrackers are like snowflakes - no two are alike. Madison Ballet's '07 production, the professional company's debut, was smooth. But the show I saw last Friday night at Overture Hall hit both high notes and bumps. >More
 Madison Ballet's Nutcracker looks to E.T.A. Hoffmann's story

What, no Sugar Plum Fairy? That's just one of many changes Madison Ballet is making to its annual production of The Nutcracker at the Overture Center for the Arts. Also gone will be the Snow Queen and others. >More
 Pros bring panache to Dance Wisconsin's Nutcracker

It's Nutcracker season. Big-name ballet stars are flying across the country like Santa in his sleigh, dropping in here and there to dance the sugarplum pas de deux with pre-professional studio companies and small young troupes needing extra punch. Dance Wisconsin's Nutcracker Fantasy, which ran last weekend at the Wisconsin Union Theater, was no exception. >More
 Successes and some snags in Autumn Heart by Kanopy Dance Company

Kanopy Dance Company's Autumn Heart, which played last weekend at Overture's Promenade Hall, was a setback for the company after its plucky goth opera, After the Fall, just last month. Some works on the Autumn Heart bill were just about right, but others fell flat. >More
 Chicago's Luna Negra makes its Madison debut

You'd never know it around here, but there's more to dance in the Second City than Hubbard Street, which performs annually at Overture Hall. Luna Negra, a fast-rising Chicago company, focuses on works by Latina/o choreographers that push past the boundaries of 20th-century art into the brave new multicultural 21st. Despite proximity, this important young Windy City troupe, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, performs in Madison for the first time next Thursday at Overture's Capitol Theater. >More
 Savion Glover stretches the boundaries of tap

Savion Glover brings his neo-bebop happy feet to the Wisconsin Union Theater Saturday night. In his current touring repertory show, Bare Soundz, he plys his renowned rhythm taps on a rangy set of African diaspora beats. >More
 Joy, courtesy of Song & Dance Ensemble of West Africa

Next Thursday Overture's Capitol Theater hosts the Djoliba Ensemble of Bamako, Mali, billed on its first U.S. tour as the Song & Dance Ensemble of West Africa. Founded in post-independence Mali to preserve the country's musical heritage, this government-supported company of cultural ambassadors serves up a contemporary repertory rooted in the griot traditions of the medieval Malinke merchant empire that crossed the Sahel from Ivory Coast to landlocked Niger. >More
 Puppet Master and Mohawk Man

Last weekend in Overture's Promenade Hall, Kanopy Dance Company revived its Metallica piece, a highly stylized goth romance dance opera in two half-hour acts, currently titled After the Fall. Set to an eerily soft-edged rendering of Metallica tunes by Apocalyptica, a trio of classically trained Finns, this quirky work oozes nonlinear narrative à la Martha Graham, plus a Tim Burton sense of evil characterization. Frequent Kanopy collaborator David Quinn's brilliant costuming makes the fantasy seem real. >More
 Seeing the music

On my birthday in 1973, Lar Lubovitch's young company performed at the Wisconsin Union Theater. It was the first second-generation modern dance troupe I'd ever seen, and I remember being very excited. Lubovitch returned later that decade, but it's been years since he's been back to town. >More
 A mostly successful concert by Li Chiao-Ping and company

Points of Departure: A Concert of Early Works and Premieres, a Li Chiao-Ping Dance presentation at the Margaret H'Doubler Performance Space on campus last weekend, proves yet again that Li, a UW dance prof, is one of the country's most interesting second-wave postmodern choreographers. >More
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