TITAS announces 2017–18 season

Herve Koubi’s muscular dancers return in 2018

At the opening night performance of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, TITAS executive director Charles Santos announced the 2017–18 lineup — which, once again, is all dance. All performances will take place at either the Winspear Opera House or the City Performance Hall. Tickets will be available at ATTPAC.org.

MOMIX. The company known for its elaborate costumes and and colorfully modern dance returns for its umpteenth encore, featuring Moses Pendleton’s evening-length work Open Cactus. Winspear Opera House, Aug. 31, 8 p.m.

Ballet Hispanico. This company fuses contemporary and classic techniques of Latin dancing with passion and theatricality. City Performance Hall, Sept. 15–16. 8 p.m.

Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company. This troupe from Israel is one of the top touring dance companies in the world. City Performance Hall, Oct. 27–28. 8 p.m.

Malpaso Dance Company. With the borders now more open, this Cuban-based company makes its Dallas debut with a bold repertoire cultivated in its brief (five years) existence. City Performance Hall, Nov. 10–11. 8 p.m.

La Compagnie Herve Koubi. This French troupe, which made its Dallas debut a year ago as part of the 2015–16 season, and will kick off performances in 2018, this time at the Winspear. Jan. 20. 8 p.m.

Lucky Plush will make its Texas debut with this quirky, superhero-inspired production. City Performance Hall, March 9–10. 8 p.m.

L.A. Dance Project. Another Texas debut from this new Los Angeles-based company. March 30–31. 8 p.m.

Alonzo King LINES Ballet. The return of this powerful modern ballet company, which pulls from many traditions. Winspear Opera House, June 9. 8 p.m.

Parsons Dance Company. The New York company is known for its athletic and colorful ensemble. Winspear Opera House, June 30. 8 p.m.

In addition, the annual Command Performance Gala will take place at the Winspear Opera House, May 5. 7 p.m.

 

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Breaking: TITAS announces new season lineup of 11 shows

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If the 2015-16 season of TITAS was one of premieres, the 2016–17 season — just announced by executive director Charles Santos — is one of mostly familiar, but innovative, dance companies.

Four Texas debuts — Argentina’s Estampas Portenas Tango and Che Malambo, Canada’s Ballet BC (pictured above) and Guggenheim Fellowship recipients Bridgman|Packer Dance — join returning favorites including Pilobolus, Diavolo, Alvin Ailey and more for the 11-show lineup.

The season, titled Virtuosic Innovation, kicks off at the City Performance Hall with two performances from the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (Sept. 16–17). That will be followed by Estampas Portenas, which brings the flamboyant tango to the stage of the hall (Oct. 28–29). Jessica Lang Dance, which impressed audiences with its Dallas debut in 2013, is back at the Winspear Opera House on Dec. 10.

High-Res_DougVaroneandDancers_ReComposed_2_photocredit-Grant-Halverson_copyright-The-American-Dance-Festival2017 begins with the return of Pilobolus (CPH, Jan. 13–14), one of the most popular and quirky of modern dance troupes, followed soon thereafter by Bridgman|Packer (Jan. 27–28).

It’s back at the Winspear for the return of the kinetic Doug Varone and Dancers (Feb. 18, pictured). Diavolo‘s stylist Architecture in Motion demonstrates the relationship between man and his environment at the CPH (March 10–11). Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater settles in for three shows at CPH (March 31–April 1), followed by another Argentine company, Che Malambo (CPH, April 14–15), known for its rhythmic stomping and speedy footwork. The season concludes at the Winspear on June 3 with the local premiere of Ballet BC.

As always, the season also includes Command Gala Performance (May 13), which treats audiences to a director’s choice of the best dance artists around. Season tickets are available at ATTPAC.org. Individual tickets are available for as little as $12/each.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Best Bets • 04-15-16

Saturday 04.16

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Famed Dallas rockers Jane Doe reunite for concert at Sue Ellen’s

They were the first band Kathy Jack ever booked for Caven. They have played with the likes of the great Deborah Vial. They have been seen at the Kessler, House of Blues and other venues … but not so much lately. Only Susan Carson remains in North Texas, so bringin’ the girls of Jane Doe back together for a concert is a time to celebrate, which you can as they perform Saturday at Sue Ellen’s. Mojo Dolls opens for them.

DEETS:
Sue Ellen’s
3014 Throckmorton St.
9 p.m.
Caven.com

Thursday 04.21 — Friday 04.22

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Edgy Canadian dance company Kidd Pivot makes Dallas debut

If modern dance has taught us one thing, it’s that “dance” is about a heckuva lot more than just moving your feet to music. On the cutting edge of contemporary dance is Kidd Pivot, which makes its North Texas debut for two shows. Combining original music with text, design and, of course, movement, it’s one of the exciting premieres sponsored by TITAS this season.

DEETS:
City Performance Hall
2520 Flora St.
8 pm.
ATTPAC.org

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 15, 2016.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Best Bets • 01.29.16

Sunday 01.31

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Opera luminaries Flicka and Jake, together again … in concert

When last we saw Frederica von Stade, she was delighting audiences in the world premiere of composer Jake Heggie’s Great Scott at the Winspear. Well, these opera luminaries (and personal friends) have teamed up again for an afternoon of music, with “Flicka” singing a variety of songs, accompanied by Heggie on piano. It’s a rare chance to see these talents in a more casual and intimate setting.

DEETS:
City Performance Hall
2520 Flora St.
2 p.m.
$20–$40
DallasOpera.org

Tuesday 02.02 — Sunday 02.14

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‘Bridges of Madison County’ swoons into Fair Park Music Hall

The novel The Bridges of Madison County was something of a phenomenon in the early 1990s, but it took more than 20 years for it to be adapted to the Broadway stage, with Jason Robert Brown providing a Tony Award-winning score. The national tour of the show arrives in Dallas for the first time, courtesy of Dallas Summer Musicals. Get out to see this romantic and elegantly composed musical now through — appropriately enough — Valentine’s Day.

DEETS:
Fair Park Music Hall
901 First Ave.
DallasSummerMusicals.org

Friday 02.05

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Taiwan’s Cloud Gate Dance makes long-awaited Dallas debut

TITAS continues its season of almost-exclusively North Texas premiere dance companies with this import from Taiwan. Cloud Gate Dance Theatre has been around for 40 years, but this is the first chance for Dallas audiences to catch this inventive modern dance troupe. Presented in conjunction with the Crow Collection of Asian Art, this innovative company weaves themes of sunlight, soil, wind, water and fire in a visually arresting style that is dramatic and beautiful. It performs a one-night-only show, so don’t miss it.

DEETS:
Winspear Opera House
2403 Flora St.
8 p.m.
ATTPAC.org

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 29, 2016.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

BREAKING: TITAS unveils 2015-16 season

Tharp Twyla by Richard Avedon

Nine Dallas debuts, including two world premieres, distinguish the 2015–16 season of TITAS, the gay-run organization that presents innovative and international dance troupes to North Texas.

The 11-show season, including TITAS’ annual Command Performance Gala, includes the very sexy BalletBoyz, the return of Complexions Contemporary Ballet (founded by Alvin Ailey alums Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden) and the world premiere 50th anniversary tour of Twlya Tharp Dance.

Although it has in recent years moved toward an emphasis of dance over music, this is TITAS’ first-ever season without any music acts presented.

Twyla Tharp Dance‘s tour kicks off the season with two shows (Sept. 18–19) at the Winspear Opera House. That will be followed by the world premiere of the avant garde urban funk of Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion, Oct. 29–30, at the City Performance Hall.

Herve Koubi:Ce-que-le-jour

The next seven shows are all TITAS debuts:

• British-based Akram Khan Dance Company performs two shows at the City Performance Hall, Nov. 6–7.

BodyTraffic, which in three years has risen in international acclaim. Winspear Opera House, Jan. 22, 2016.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan will be presented in coordination with the Crow Collection of Asian Art. Winspear Opera House, Feb. 5.

BalletBoyz combine an all-male cast with muscularity and grace. Winspear Opera House, Feb. 13, 2016.

Akram Khan

Mr. & Mme. Reve, the France-based performance-art troupe that creates dreamlike imagery through movement. City Performance Hall, March 18–19, 2016.

• La Compagnie Herve Koubi Dance. Reve is immediately followed by another French company for two shows, which TITAS executive director Charles Santos calls “surprising and fiercely masculine.” City Performance Hall, March 25–26.

• Canada’s Kidd Pivot Dance Company continues the French-language triumvirate at CPH for two shows, April 21–22, 2016.

• TITAS’ Command Performance Gala annually revives works from some of TITAS’ favorite companies and artists. Winspear Opera House, May 7, 2016.

• The season concludes with a favorite, Complexions Contemporary Ballet at the Winspear, May 21, 2016.

All performances except the gala begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at ATTPAC.org.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

T3, TITAS unveil 2014-15 seasons

Dallas’ Doug Wright

It’s art awareness week in Dallas (unofficially), with Theatre 3 and TITAS announcing their new seasons, and WaterTower’s due on Thursday.

Theatre 3’s mainstage season officially opens in August, with Candy Barr’s Last Dance, by local playwright Ronnie Claire Edwards. It tells the story of the colorful Dallas stripper of the 1940s and ’50s. (Aug. 7–31.) It’s followed in the fall by gay Dallas-bred playwright Doug Wright’s most recent Broadway show, the musical Hands on a Hard Body, based on the documentary set in Texas. (Sept. 25–Oct. 19.)

The holiday production will be a musical by lesbian playwright and Pulitzer Prize-winner Paula Vogel (How I Learned to Drive) called Civil War Christmas, set along the Potomac during the bitter winter of 1864. (Nov. 20–Dec. 14.)

Texas favorite Jaston Williams is on deck for the debut of Jay Presson Allen’s Tru, a one-man show about Truman Capote. Williams has performed the play elsewhere, to great acclaim. (Jan. 8–Feb. 8, 2015.)  That’s followed by Hot Mikado, an outlandish adaptation of the Gilbert & Sullivan classic. (March 12–April 5.)

The sixth show of the season (scheduled for May 2015) has not be announced, but the season closer will be The Liar, Corneille’s classic comedy adapted by David Ives. (June 25–July 19.) In addition, the black box Theatre Too space will, once again, bring back gay writer Joe DiPietro’s I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change in time for Valentine’s Day. (Jan. 15, 2015 with no set closing date.) You can see more about the season, including season tickets, at Theatre3Dallas.com.

Over in the Arts District, TITAS — which is recent seasons has cultivated a dance-centric program — brings back some old favorites and new groups.

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MOMIX

The season kicks off with the popular experimental dance troupe MOMIX for two shows Sept. 12–13. MOMIX will be quickly followed by the debut of Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour — a music, not a dance program — on Sept. 19, then as quickly followed by the debut of Spectrum Dance Company on Sept. 27. All of those performances will be at the Winspear Opera House.

TITAS moves across the street to City Performance Hall for another debut, Brian Brooks Moving Company, Nov. 21 and 22.  It’s back to the Winspear in January for Ronald K Brown/Evidence on Jan. 17 (at the Winspear), then two shows from debut music artist Maya Beiser on March 6 and 7 (at CPH).

The architectural movement of Diavolo returns (again at CPH) for two shows on March 27 and 28, and the popular Parsons Dance Company is back at the Winspear with its sexy choreography April 25.

The season wraps up in May with two shows from Malandain’s Ballet Biarritz (May 1 and 2, at CPH), and the local debut of Ballet West (May 29 and 30, at the Winspear). And as always, TITAS hosts its Command Performance Gala at the Winspear on May 16. Tickets and more information available at ATTPAC.org.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

TITAS announces dance-centric season

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The Trocks.

The return of Pilobolus, Philip Glass and Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo — “The Trocks,” a drag ballet troupe — mark the 2013-14 TITAS season, but it’s what’s new about the season that makes the biggest impact.

For decades, TITAS has programmed about 10 shows a year — five music, five dance — until the last two seasons when dance has predominated slightly. That domination is full-force now, with nine of the 11 performances (including the bonus Command Performance Gala) dance.

“We needed to stop thinking about what [TITAS] has done in the past and look to the future,” said Charles Santos, the arts organization’s executive director. “We need to be curatorial as part of ATTPAC.” The center, he noted, already programs music (the interview took place even as the music of Rodriguez wafted from Annette Strauss Square adjacent to the Winspear Opera House), but TITAS does dance “better than anyone.”

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

TITAS presents DanceBrazil tonight at the Wyly

Get the Brazilian

Think your butch boyfriend or girlfriend won’t like the DanceBrazil show by TITAS because it’s all arty? Just explain to them that this troupe not only moves gracefully with its Afro-Brazilian fusion of dance, but they mix it with the martial art of Capoeira used in the video game Street Fighter and the movie The Protector. Trust. They’ll change their minds and you win.

DEETS: Wyly Theatre, 2400 Flora St. 8 p.m. $19–$65. ATTPAC.org.

—  Rich Lopez

The good, the bad & the ‘A-List’

These arts, cultural & sports stories defined gay Dallas in 2011

FASHIONS AND FORWARD  |  The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the DMA, above, was a highlight of the arts scene in 2011, while Dirk Nowitzki’s performance in the NBA playoffs gave the Mavs their first-ever — and much deserved — world title. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

FASHIONS AND FORWARD | The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the DMA, above, was a highlight of the arts scene in 2011, while Dirk Nowitzki’s performance in the NBA playoffs gave the Mavs their first-ever — and much deserved — world title. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

A lot of eyes were focused on Dallas nationally in 2011 — for good and bad — but much of what made the city a fun place last year has specific queer appeal. CULTURE The rise of the reality TV star. 2011 was the year Dallas made a big splash across everyone’s television sets — and it had nothing to do with who shot J.R. (although that’s pending). From the culinary to the conniving, queer Dallasites were big on the small screen. On the positive side were generally good portrayals of gay Texans. Leslie Ezelle almost made it all the way in The Next Design Star, while The Cake Guys’ Chad Fitzgerald is still in contention on TLC’s The Next Great Baker. Lewisville’s Ben Starr was a standout on MasterChef. On the web, Andy Stark, Debbie Forth and Brent Paxton made strides with Internet shows Bear It All, LezBeProud and The Dallas Life,respectively.

‘A’ to Z  |  ‘The A-LIst: Dallas,’ above, had its detractors, but some reality TV stars from Big D, like Chad Fitzgerald, Leslie Ezelle and Ben Starr, represented us well.

‘A’ to Z | ‘The A-LIst: Dallas,’ above, had its detractors, but some reality TV stars from Big D, like Chad Fitzgerald, Leslie Ezelle and Ben Starr, represented us well.

There were downsides, though. Drew Ginsburg served as the token gay on Bravo’s teeth-clenching Most Eligible: Dallas, and the women on Big Rich Texas seemed a bit clichéd. But none were more polarizing than the cast of Logo’s The A-List: Dallas. Whether people loved or hated it, the six 20somethings (five gays, one girl) reflected stereotypes that made people cringe. Gaultier makes Dallas his runway. The Dallas Museum of Art scored a coup, thanks to couture. The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk not only featured the work of the famed designer, but was presented the designs in an innovative manner. Nothing about it was stuffy. Seeing his iconic designs in person is almost a religious experience — especially when its Madonna’s cone bra. Gaultier reminded us that art is more than paintings on a wall. (A close runner-up: The Caravaggio exhibit in Fort Worth.) The Return of Razzle Dazzle. ­­There was speculation whether Razzle Dazzle could actually renew itself after a near-decade lull, but the five-day spectacular was a hallmark during National Pride Month in June, organized by the Cedar Springs Merchant Association. The event started slowly with the wine walk but ramped up to the main event street party headlined by rapper Cazwell. Folding in the MetroBall with Deborah Cox, the dazzle had returned with high-profile entertainment and more than 10,000 in attendance on the final night. A Gathering pulled it together. TITAS executive director Charles Santos took on the daunting task of producing A Gathering, a collective of area performance arts companies, commemorating 30 years of AIDS. Groups such as the Dallas Opera, Turtle Creek Chorale and Dallas Theater Center donated their time for this one-of-a-kind show with all proceeds benefiting Dallas’ leading AIDS services organizations. And it was worth it. A stirring night of song, dance and art culminated in an approximate 1,000 in attendance and $60,000 raised for local charities. Bravo, indeed. The Bronx closed after 35 years. Cedar Springs isn’t short on its institutions, but when it lost The Bronx, the gayborhood felt a real loss. For more than three decades, the restaurant was home to many Sunday brunches and date nights in the community. We were introduced to Stephan Pyles there, and ultimately, we just always figured on it being there as part of the fabric of the Strip. A sister company to the neighboring Warwick Melrose bought the property with rumors of expansion. But as yet, the restaurant stands steadfast in its place as a reminder of all those memories that happened within its walls and on its plates.  The Omni changed the Dallas skyline. In November, The Omni Dallas hotel opened the doors to its 23-story structure and waited to fill it’s 1,000 rooms to Dallas visitors and staycationers. Connected to the Dallas Convention Center, the ultra-modern hotel is expected to increase the city’s convention business which has the Dallas Visitors and Conventions Bureau salivating — as they should. The hotel brought modern flair to a booming Downtown and inside was no different. With quality eateries and a healthy collection of art, including some by gay artists Cathey Miller and Ted Kincaid, the Omni quickly became a go-to spot for those even from Dallas. SPORTS The Super Bowl came to town. Although seeing the Cowboys make Super Bowl XLV would have been nice for locals, the event itself caused a major stir, both good and bad. Ticketing issues caused a commotion with some disgruntled buyers and Jerry Jones got a bad rap for some disorganization surrounding the game. But the world’s eyes were on North Texas as not only the game was of a galactic measure, but the celebs were too. From Kardashians to Ke$ha to Kevin Costner, parties and concerts flooded the city and the streets. The gays even got in on the action. Despite crummy weather, the Super Street Party was billed as the “world’s first ever gay Super Bowl party.” The ice and snow had cleared out and the gays came out, (and went back in to the warmer clubs) to get their football on. The XLV Party at the Cotton Bowl included a misguided gay night with acts such as Village People, Lady Bunny and Cazwell that was ultimately canceled. The Mavericks won big. The Mavs are like the boyfriend you can’t let go of because you see how much potential there is despite his shortcomings. After making the playoffs with some just-misses, the team pulled through to win against championship rivals, Miami Heat, who beat them in 2006. In June, the team cooled the Heat in six games, taking home its first NBA Championship, with Dirk Nowitzki appropriately being named MVP. The Rangers gave us faith. Pro sports ruled big in these parts. The Mavericks got us in the mood for championships and the Texas Rangers almost pulled off a victory in the World Series. With a strong and consistent showing for the season, the Rangers went on to defend their AL West Division pennant. Hopes were high as they handily defeated the Detroit Tigers in game six, but lost the in the seventh game. Although it was a crushing loss, the Texas Rangers proved why we need to stand by our men.

— Rich Lopez

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 6, 2012.

—  Michael Stephens

“A Gathering — 30 Years of AIDS” tonight at the Winspear

Come together

The Dallas arts community is coming together for a spectacular One-Night-Only performance commemorating 30 Years of AIDS. An unprecedented collaboration between some of the finest arts organizations in Dallas, A Gathering: The Dallas Arts Community Reflects on 30 Years of AIDS will feature eleven Dallas cultural institutions coming together and sharing their talents to create a powerful evening of entertainment. With a cast of more than 200 singers, dancers and actors, A Gathering promises to be a soul-stirring performance, and a night to remember.

All the organizations involved are donating their time and talent for this unique performance. 100% of the proceeds will directly benefit four of Dallas’ leading AIDS service organizations. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to be a part of an extraordinary night of song, dance, hope and solidarity.

Participating organizations: AT&T Performing Arts Center, Booker T. Washington High School of the Performing and Visual Arts, Bruce Wood Dance Project, CharlieUniformTango, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dallas Opera, Dallas Theater Center, SMU Meadows School of the Arts, Texas Ballet Theater, TITAS and Turtle Creek Chorale

—AT&T Performing Arts Center

DEETS: Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. 7 p.m. $12–$100. ATTPAC.org/Gathering

—  Rich Lopez