Where in the U.S. can you see the works of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Beijing Dance LDTX, and stars of Paris Opéra Ballet all in one festival? The answer is easy: Dance Salad in Houston. Artistic director Nancy Henderick searches the globe for tasty choreography to offer her audience in Houston. Her formula is to provide excerpts from a range of international works, some familiar, but mostly new. Almost every year includes something by the mercurial Cherkaoui, and this year it’s his Milonga with a cast of 10 tango dancers from Argentina, two contemporary dancers, and five tango musicians.
Beijing Dance LDTX, a stunning group, performs two works by the husband-and-wife team Li Hanzhong, who co-founded the company, and Ma Bo. Treading on Grass is set to the piano version of Stravinsky’s Firebird, and Sorrowful Song is danced to Gorecki’s Symphony of Sorrowful Songs.
Another highlight is bound to be Manuel Legris and Laetitia Pujol of Paris Opéra Ballet dancing the rapturous pas de deux from Preljocaj’s Le Parc and a duet from Neumeier’s Sylvia. Manuel Legris, now the artistic director of the Vienna State Ballet, was a POB étoile for two decades, and Pujol is a current étoile.
But Dance Salad offers many other ingredients too. Dancers from the Royal Danish Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, and Staaatstheater Wiesbaden from Germany, are also part of the festival. At no other one-weekend festival can you see so many top dance artists from Europe and Asia. It’s worth the trip. April 17–19, 2014, at Cullen Theater, Wortham Center, Houston. Click here for more info.