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fall preview | dance

Rich Legacies From Across the Globe

September 17, 2000|LEWIS SEGAL | Lewis Segal is The Times' dance critic

Perhaps the most important dance event of the fall takes place in faraway Noumea, New Caledonia, where some 2,000 delegates from 27 island nations will participate in the Eighth Festival of Pacific Arts, from Oct. 23 to Nov. 3. Held in a different country every four years, the festival displays and helps preserve some of the rarest and most endangered traditional dances on the planet: rich idioms seldom seen beyond their far-flung points of origin or such visionary showcases as this.

At virtually the same time, Oct. 23-29, Cuba's 17th International Ballet Festival will take over theaters all across Havana to celebrate 20th century choreography. As always, National Ballet of Cuba hosts the event, but international stars are expected to be plentiful.

Closer to home, the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago dances a new production of Martha Graham's "Appalachian Spring," Oct. 19-22, in the Windy City's Auditorium Theatre: the first Graham staging since the closure in May of the embattled and financially troubled Graham company.

Another unusual repackaging of a familiar legacy is currently in progress through Sept. 24 at the Kennedy Center in Washington: a "Balanchine Celebration" featuring San Francisco Ballet, the Suzanne Farrell Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet, the Pennsylvania Ballet, Miami City Ballet and members of the Bolshoi Ballet--but not Balanchine's own New York City Ballet.

On the local scene, the interest and sheer density of what's on view in the last week of October sets the seal on the entire fall lineup. Start with the White Oak Dance Project's reconstruction of major postmodern milestones, Oct. 25-28 in Royce Hall, UCLA. Then add "Rome and Jewels," Rennie Harris' hip-hop spinoff of "Romeo and Juliet," Oct. 27 and 28 in the same campus' Ostin Hall (in the Schoenberg Music Building). And don't forget dance-theater experimentalist David Rouss ve's solo retrospective, "Ten Year Chat," Oct. 26-28 at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica.

Classical ballet? A double dose: The Perm State Ballet (Russia's third largest company) is dancing "Swan Lake" and "Giselle" at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts from Oct. 27 to 29--the same dates on which Julio Bocca and his Ballet Argentino perform mixed rep at the Orange County Performing Arts Center.

To cap the year/century/millennium: the dance equivalent of the Oscars, courtesy of the ambitious new Monaco Danses Dances Forum, from Dec. 12 to 17 in that principality's Grimaldi Center. Here you'll find the first-ever Monaco World Dance Awards for leading dancers, choreographers and companies everywhere.

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