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Preview: A busy weekend ahead for Atlanta dance

There’s a dizzying array of dance concerts in Atlanta this weekend, from ballet to hip-hop to jazz to dance theater to post-post-everything. Scheduling them all is a jigsaw puzzle, and some are nearly sold out. But dedicated dance fans can, and should, try to see them all. Here goes.

Beacon Dance. Reflecting on 20 years as artistic director of Beacon Dance, Patton White will present “At Once Now and Then,” an evening-length movement theater work that he says “examines our journey into memory, both intentionally and unintentionally.” For years, White has produced free, public site-specific works; last summer he featured “A Bountiful Feast” on the BeltLine. His layered, multi-faceted works are marked by human compassion and a non-elitist philosophy that includes performers of many ages, backgrounds and skill levels, their personal stories woven into his work. The performance will take place Friday through Sunday in Beacon’s new space, B-Complex, an artists’ cooperative in Oakland City in southwest Atlanta. For information, email patton@beacondance.org or call 404-377-2929. (Beacon Dance photos, above, by Lori Teague.)

Brooks & Company Dance Presents Shorts 6: Brief Dances, Short Films. Originally produced to give Brooks & Company Dance members an opportunity to develop their own choreographic voices, “Shorts” has become an annual dance community event. Now in its sixth year, the showcase moves from its makeshift former venue at the West Midtown Defoors Center to the warmly sophisticated Southwest Arts Center Theater. Following Joanna Brooks’ success with “Blackbird” last fall, her new work, “But a Whimper,” plays off T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Hollow Men.” (Brooks & Company Dance photo, above, by Will Day.)

Assistant Artistic Director Kristyn McGeehan will present two new pieces: “Kitsune,” based on a Japanese legend, and a preview of “Into the Dark Wood,” based on Russian fairy tales, which is set for a premiere next fall. The production also features dances by Alix Miller, Rose Shields, Deborah Chambers, Paulo Manso de Sousa and Bubba Carr, with short films by Carr, Christopher Chambers, Juel Lane and Everynone Inc. filmmakers Will Hoffman and Daniel Mercadante.

Dance Canvas pARTy for ART. Talk about bringing dance to the people. Angela Harris, the energetic impresario-about-town, has gathered a potent blend of technically slick, stylistically diverse talent for a free outdoor Dance Canvas concert Saturday in Atlantic Station’s Central Park. Harris has recruited some of those gorgeous dancers who are currently off-season from the Georgia Ballet. It’s worth the trip just to see powerhouse Ashleyanne Hensley, who’ll partner with Shawn Steigerwald in a pas de deux by Kristy Nilsson. Bubba Carr and Ursula Kendall-Johnson will perform solos. Harris will show her tango-inspired ballet, “Enterlaced.” And Zoetic Dance Ensemble will show a preview of their upcoming site-specific work, “Catch and Release.”

Also, some news: Dance Canvas choreographer Lonnie Davis, who’ll present a new quartet, has been appointed co-artistic director of Wylliams-Henry Contemporary Dance Company. Based in Kansas City for the past 30 years, the troupe offers both historical modern dance and contemporary repertory, making it a valuable addition to the city’s dance scene. Wylliams-Henry will make its Atlanta debut next fall. Audience-engaging activities on Saturday will begin at 1 p.m., with outdoor performances at 4 and 6:30. (Bring blankets or chairs.)

LIFT. Artistic Director Daryl Foster continues his mission to offer male dancers performance and mentoring opportunities that will strengthen the city’s dance community and offer men an outlet to express uniquely male themes through dance. LIFT will return for a second season on the Alliance Theatre’s Hertz Stage. (LIFT photo, above, by T. Lynne Pixley.)

Juel Lane, who’ll perform a new solo, is an example. The dancer-choreographer maintains successful careers both in New York, where he danced with Ron Brown’s company for several years and currently works with up-and-coming Camille Brown, and his native Atlanta, where he and Ursula Kendall-Johnson have formed the production group Two Kids and a Dream.

Guest artist Andre Zachery, who directs a dance company in New York, will perform a solo that deals with “the many names, slanders and shames men wear on the outside,” to music by Chopin that will be performed live on violin. Another guest, former Dayton Contemporary Dance Company member Rodney Brown, has restaged his signature work, “Loving Lloyd.” Daryl Foster will show a new piece about the effects of the American foster care system on men, set to a poem by Timothy Jones. The concert will also feature works by Myles Johnson, John James, Brandon Keith, Timothy Myers and Lamonte Ponder, in styles ranging from contemporary dance to hip-hop to jazz.

Magnetic Drift. There’s a buzz around this little show, hopefully the first of many dance productions at the Magnetic Theater, a former church in Reynoldstown. WonderRoot is helping produce the concert, which will feature works by six emerging contemporary choreographers. Blake Beckham will show part of “PLOT,” a larger work that she’ll present at the Goat Farm in July. Helen Hale will show a new piece to a blend of shape-note songs from the Sacred Harp songbook that four vocalists will perform live. The production will also feature new work by Emily Christianson, Sharon Sibley, Laura Wallace and peripatetic dancer-choreographer Corian Ellisor.

 

 

 

 

 

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