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DANCE

Events and visiting troupes

September 13, 2009|David Ng

LOCAL

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company

It's been more than 10 years since Jones brought his controversial AIDS-related production "Still/Here" to Southern California. Now he's coming back with the West Coast tour of "Fondly Do We Hope . . . Fervently Do We Pray," a new work that expresses the choreographer's shifting views of Abraham Lincoln. Jones, who won a Tony for "Spring Awakening," is blogging about the rehearsal process at fondlydowehope.com.

Irvine Barclay Theatre, Oct. 9

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Cirque du Soleil's 'Kooza'

Sure to be one of the hot tickets of the fall -- and one of the most expensive too -- this new production by Cirque du Soleil will play at the Santa Monica Pier, where the company plans to erect a big-top tent on a four-acre space. Expect psychedelic and death-defying aerials.

Santa Monica Pier, Oct. 16-Nov. 29

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Pilobolus

You saw the troupe on the 2007 Academy Awards telecast enacting acrobatic friezes from each of the best picture nominees. Now the modern dance company known for its unbelievable acts of bodily contortion is returning to L.A. with a new production at the Ahmanson. The show will feature a mix of recent works and old favorites performed by the Connecticut-based troupe.

Ahmanson Theatre, Oct. 23-25

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American Ballet Theatre

The New York company will be making its first trip to Beijing this fall but just before it does, it will stop in Costa Mesa for a few days to perform "Giselle" at Segerstrom Hall with the Pacific Symphony. Featuring music by Adolphe Adam, the epic piece is choreographed by Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa.

Orange County Performing Arts Center, Nov. 3-8

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DV8 Physical Theatre, UCLA Live

In the mood for politically engaged dance? The provocative British company DV8 returns to Los Angeles for the first time in 12 years with its latest work, "To Be Straight With You" -- a multimedia exploration of sexuality, intolerance and religion that uses text drawn from interviews with 85 people around the U.K. Featuring a multiethnic cast, this production also examines the relationship between race and homosexuality in our times.

Royce Hall, Nov. 6 and 7

OUT OF TOWN

'In-I'

Despite receiving scathing reviews in Europe, Oscar-winner Juliette Binoche is bringing her first-ever dance production to the United State as part of BAM's Next Wave Festival. Binoche performs on stage with British choreographer Akram Khan in an evening-long set that explores the boundaries between acting and dancing.

Brooklyn Academy of Music, Tuesday-Sept. 26

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Mark Morris Dance Company

Always vital and unpredictable, Morris will present the West Coast premieres of two new works: "Empire," which is set to Charles Ives' Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano, and "Visitation," set to Ludwig van Beethoven's Sonata for Piano and Cello No. 4, Op. 102, No. 1. The company will also present Morris' "V," a 2001 work set to the music of Robert Schumann.

Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley, Thursday-Sept. 20

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Shen Wei Dance Arts at 10

It's hard to believe but the small, innovative dance company that Chinese expatriate choreographer Shen Wei created in New York is turning 10 this year. To celebrate, the company will host a performance and discussion at the Guggenheim Museum as part of Carnegie Hall's festival "Ancient Paths, Modern Voices: Celebrating Chinese Culture." The festival will also include performances by Taiwan's Han Tang Yuefu Music and Dance Ensemble at New York's Joyce Theater.

Guggenheim Museum, Oct. 24-25

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'Fela!'

One of the most anticipated dance events of the season is happening on Broadway. "Fela!" tells the story of real-life African composer and performer Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, whose works will be performed on stage by members of the Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra. This hybrid dance-concert production is directed and choreographed by the ubiquitous Bill T. Jones.

Eugene O'Neill Theatre, New York. Opens Nov. 23

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Merce Cunningham Dance Company

It's been less than two months since Cunningham died at the age of 90 and his company is already back to work. This fall, it will head to Europe as part of a tour that will take it to Belgium, Spain, Switzerland and France. Those of us in L.A. will have to wait until June, when the company comes to Walt Disney Concert Hall for a three-day engagement.

European tour, November/December

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david.ng@latimes.com

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