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Published: Sunday, 9/13/2009

Dance traditions are strong

BY SALLY VALLONGO
SPECIAL TO THE BLADE

A worldly mix of styles and traditions is in store for the 2009-2010 dance season.

From time-honored traditions like The Nutcracker - a holiday staple everywhere - and Swan Lake to ethnically charged dances from equatorial climes to contemporary and brand new choreography for a Baroque classic, the range of choices is ample.

The Resurrection Dance Theatre of Haiti will launch the season with performances at the Franciscan Center, a benefit for the St. Joseph's Home of Boys in Port-au-Prince, where desperate young lads get a second chance at life through the arts.

Just over the Michigan line in Ann Arbor's Power Center will be the Suzanne Farrell Ballet, a Kennedy Center company celebrating its ninth season with a national tour. Detroit's historic Opera House will welcome the ever-fascinating Pilobolus Dance Company.

What else for the holidays but a profusion of Nutcrackers, the timeless tale set to lush music by Tchaikovsky and featuring lots of starry-eyed dancers and character actors. Venues include the Stranahan Theater, Maumee Performing Arts Center, and the River Raisin Centre for the Arts.

Yet another Russian touring company will land in Toledo early in 2010 to present another Russian classic: Swan Lake in the Valentine Theatre. The groundbreaking Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane company will bring their new production, Fondly Do We Hope - Fervently Do We Pray, an exploration of the legacy of Abraham Lincoln, to the Power Center in January.

Original choreography to that Baroque standard, Vivaldi's Four Seasons, will highlight a concert by the Sono Novo chamber orchestra and Ballet Theatre of Toledo in March at Trinity Episcopal Church.

April means the Cassandra School of Ballet's annual performance at the Franciscan Center as well as a return by the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago to Ann Arbor's Power Center.

Here's a look at other dance performances this season:

Oct. 8-9: Resurrection Dance of Haiti. Benefit at Franciscan Center. 10:30 a.m. Oct. 8, 7 p.m. Oct. 9.

Oct. 9-10: Suzanne Farrell Ballet. University Musical Society, Ann Arbor. 8 p.m. Oct. 9; 1 (family) and 8 p.m. Oct. 10. Power Center.

Oct. 31-Nov. 1: Pilobolus Dance Co. Detroit Opera House, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31, 2:30 p.m. Nov. 1.

Nov. 27-29: The Nutcracker. Ballet Theatre of Toledo in Maumee Performing Arts Center with Ballet Theatre Orchestra. Student performance, 2 p.m. Nov. 27; 7 p.m. Nov. 28, 2 p.m. Nov. 29.

Dec. 4-6: The Nutcracker by River Raisin Dance Academy at River Raisin Centre for the Arts, 7 p.m. Dec. 4, 1 and 4 p.m. Dec. 5, 2 p.m. Dec. 6.

Dec. 11-13: The Nutcracker. Toledo Ballet in Stranahan Theater with Toledo Symphony. Student performance Dec. 11, 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 12, and 2 p.m. Dec. 13.

Jan. 6: Swan Lake by Moscow Festival Ballet at Valentine Theatre. 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 22: Fondly Do We Hope - Fervently Do We Pray by Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in Power Center, Ann Arbor. 8 p.m.

Feb. 13-14: Ballet Hispanico. Detroit Opera House. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13, 2:30 p.m. Feb. 14.

March 12-13: A Narnian Fantasy and Four Seasons. Sono Novo Orchestra with Ballet Theatre of Toledo. Trinity Episcopal Church, Adams and St. Clair streets. 7 p.m. March 12, 2 p.m. March 13.

April 17-18: Spring concert by Cassandra School of Ballet. Franciscan Center. 7:30 p.m. April 17, 3 p.m. April 18.

April 22-24. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Power Center. 8 p.m.



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