Dance performances

The 10 outstanding and on-point dance performances of 2019

The dance stage gave us upside-down guitar playing, jaw-dropping magic, and a ravishing finale: The Best of Arts & Entertainment of 2019 included those 10 performances.

1. . Valerie Oliveiro: “The Standard,” June 20-22: In the intimate space of JSB Tek Box, Oliveiro’s use of slow motion and stillness was captivating. Dancers Rosy Simas and Arwen Wilder were particularly electric.

2. Zhauna Franks: “Swan Song Studies,” June 13-16: Franks performed poignant and gripping magic with Stephanie Fellner for a solo show performed by two women.

3. Ashwini Ramaswamy: ‘Let the Crows Come’, November 8-9: Ramaswamy’s contemporary Bharatanatyam choreography morphed and soared as it was beautifully translated through the bodies of Alanna Morris-Van Tassel and Berit Ahlgren.

4. Final season, Zenon Dance Company, June 13-16: from Wynn Fricke’s “Wine Dark Sea” sculpture (2012) to Luciana Achugar’s wonderful bluejeans piece, “Molten Substance”, and works like “Song Awakened ” by Danny Buraczeski and Colleen Thomas ” ” Catching Her Tears “, the company’s latest offering was a deservedly delightful finale.

5. TU Dance 15th Anniversary Spring Program, May 3-5 Featuring two works by Alvin Ailey, a piece by Urban Bush Women founder Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and a revival of the 2017 piece by Ronald K. Brown’s “Where the Light Shines Through”, the TU dancers perfectly executed the works of the choreographers who influenced the company.

6. “Jealousy,” Hijack, July 12-14: Hijack’s Arwen Wilder and Kristin Van Loon showed off their interconnected way of moving while navigating obstructive scenery and lighting design by Ryan Fontaine and Heidi Eckwall at Hair + Nails Gallery.

7. Candy Box Festival, Arena Dances, May 2-4: Arena Dances Artistic Director Mathew Janczewski presented local choreographers at the Arts Midwest Conference and Candy Box Festival, headlined by Darrius Strong , April Sellers and Chris Schlichting.

8. Leslie Parker: ‘crystal, smoke n’ spirit(s)…’, July 18-20: With percussion, poetry and music, Parker’s new work featured lively, lyrical dance.

9. Kim Gordon and Dimitri Chamblas, March 4-5: Former Sonic Youth singer Kim Gordon danced backwards while playing guitar in a carnal and heart-pounding show at the Turnblad Mansion.

10. Claudia Rankine and Will Rawls: “What Remains,” March 7-9: This show wasn’t so much an adaptation of Rankine’s books “Citizen” and “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely” but a ritual transformation , guttural language, expressions of grief and anger, and vulnerability.