Music Center announces 2009-10 dance season*


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The Dance at the Music Center program will bring five American companies to the center’s stages in the 2009-10 season.

The lineup, announced today, consists of Pilobolus (Oct. 23-25), the Joffrey Ballet’s ‘Cinderella’ (Jan. 28-31), Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (April 9-11), Merce Cunningham Dance Company (June 26-28, 2010) and American Ballet Theatre (July 15-18, 2010).


Last season, the harsh economic climate forced the Dance at the Music Center series to lower its expectations and cancel performances of the Nederlander Dance Theater I last June, dropping the number of companies from six to five. Renae Williams Niles, director of dance presentations for the center, said that during the planning of the 2009-10 season in January, the center could only cross its fingers that it would be able to proceed with its hoped-for lineup.

But Williams Niles said philanthropist Glorya Kaufman’s $20-million donation to the Music Center’s dance endowment, predicted to generate $1 million to be used for dance presentation and educational and community programs, provided a cushion that allowed the Music Center to breathe a sigh of relief and ensured that the center could commit to its plans.

*UPDATE: An earlier version of this post said Glorya Kaufman’s donation is predicted to generate $1.5 million for dance presentation and educational and community programs. The correct figure is $1 million.

Specifically, Williams Niles said that the Kaufman funds ensured that the center could afford to bring in the Joffrey’s production of Sir Frederick Ashton’s ‘Cinderella,’ which calls for a live orchestra rather than taped music.

Williams Niles said that even though the center’s dance program is feeling a little more economically sound since Kaufman’s gift, the global effect on the dance world made it prudent to create a season of American dance. ‘The frequency of touring of European companies has changed,’ she said.

-- Diane Haithman

Top photo: Pilobolus performs ‘Trevi’; credit: John Kane. Bottom photos, left to right: Joffrey Ballet; credit: Herbert Migdoll. Hubbard Street Chicago; credit: Todd Rosenberg