Alexei Ratmansky’s “The Fairy’s Kiss” is a captivating piece of dance storytelling, fusing genres of fairy tale, mystery, and romance to powerful effect. Set to Igor Stravinsky’s enchanting score and replete with gripping choreographic imagery, it’s a masterfully-crafted and thought-provoking ballet in which Ratmansky’s talent of making dance as a vital, immediate, and engrossing theatrical experience shines through and through.
When terpsichorean stars align, magic can happen. Such is the case with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, a troupe founded 40 years ago by Lou Conte and directed by the indefatigable Glenn Edgerton since 2009. Edgerton comes to his role with a prestigious pedigree: Having danced 11 years with the Joffrey Ballet before taking the helm at Netherlands Dance Theater for a decade, his curatorial skills are in full flower as he and his 16-member troupe celebrate Hubbard’s four-decade anniversary.
“The Bowie Project,” the brainchild of Austin-based choreographer Andrea Ariel, whose other credits include the choreography for the film Waiting for Guffman and a three-part dance-theatre series on the floating garbage patch in the North Pacific Gyre, was an exercise in personae, layering, fragmenting, and improvisation. The performance, which incorporated three dancers, the David Bowie tribute band the Super Creeps, and three members of New York’s Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble, utilized Soundpainting, a “composing sign language” invented by musician Walter Thompson.