NYCB to open center dance series

Times Staff Writer

Starting with three different programs by the New York City Ballet in October, the Los Angeles Music Center’s second self-produced dance season will present seven companies in 2004-05 -- all but one of them performing in the L.A. County facility for the first time. A total of 26 performances are scheduled.

Besides celebrating the 100th anniversary of co-founder George Balanchine’s birth, the New York City Ballet engagement, Oct. 6 to 10 in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, will include resident choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s “Carnival of the Animals,” which features narration written and performed by actor John Lithgow. Ballets by Jerome Robbins and company director Peter Martins are also promised.

On Oct. 23 and 24, Garth Fagan Dance will appear in the Ahmanson Theatre performing “Woza” to music by Lebo M -- one of the composers Fagan worked with on the stage version of “The Lion King” -- along with “Translation Transition” to music by the Jazz Jamaica All Stars, and “DANCECOLLAGEFORROMIE,” a tribute to artist Romare Bearden.

The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company will celebrate its 20th anniversary season on April 2 and 3, 2005, at the Pavilion with “Mercy, 10x8 on a Circle,” “There Were” and “The Phantom Project: Still/Here Looking On,” a re-examination of one of Jones’ most controversial pieces.


Using music from the Pink Floyd album “The Wall,” Beijing Modern Dance Company will perform “Rear Light” on March 4 and 5 in the Pavilion, with choreography credited to Li Han-Zhong and Ma Bo.

The lone holdover from the first season, American Ballet Theatre, will return to the Pavilion from April 27 to May 1, 2005, dancing its familiar production of the full-length “Giselle” as well as a program of mixed repertory.

The Merce Cunningham Dance Company will roll the dice from June 2 to 5, 2005, in the Ahmanson, performing any of 32 possible versions of “Split Sides,” created for Cunningham company’s 50th anniversary last year to music of Radiohead and Sigur Ros. Cunningham will shuffle music, decor, costumes, lighting and dance segments at every performance to allow for new collaborative interactions.

Closing the season from June 23 to 26, 2005, will be the Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg in Boris Eifman’s new full-length dance version of “Anna Karenina.”


As in its first season (still in progress), a major omission in the Music Center season is arguably the lack of any Latino companies in a county with more than 4 million citizens of Latino heritage -- about 44.6% of the population at the last census.