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Summer Splash

Critic's Dance Picks

May 25, 2000|LEWIS SEGAL

You'd expect Moscow's Bolshoi Ballet to turn up on the dance series at the Orange County Performing Arts Center--but not at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, where big ballet has been nonexistent in recent years. This summer, however, the Bolshoi is making a splash in both houses, dancing a new "Don Quixote" (June 21, 22 and 25 at the Pavilion and June 27, 28, 29 at OCPAC), followed by a classic 1940 'Romeo and Juliet" (June 23 and 24 in L.A., June 30, Aug. 1 and 2 in Costa Mesa).

Nina Ananiashvili graces the first performances of each ballet in every tour city, and the other principals include some of the big discoveries of the 1996 Bolshoi engagement in the Shrine Auditorium, notably Andrei Uvarov, Galina Stepanenko and Sergei Filin.

"Don Quixote" and "Romeo and Juliet" also dominate the "This Is Nureyev!" film festival on June 16 and 17 at the L.A. County Museum of Art, though some of the most memorable footage showcases the late, legendary Kirov defector in less familiar vehicles such as "Raymonda" and "Le Jeune Homme et La Mort."

Among more contemporary fare, the Skirball Cultural Center is showcasing the provocative postmodern ensemble Dance by Neil Greenberg in two samples of "dance noir"--"This Is What Happened" and "Sequel"--on June 22.

But the summer's wild card may well be Suzanne Linke's "Le Coq est Mort," performed by the Company Jant Bi of Senegal on Aug. 22 and 23 in California Plaza. Collaborative links between Western Europe and Africa represent one of the newest trends in international modernism, and it's rare to find local dance presenters this fast on the uptake.

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