Alvin Ailey

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Linda Celeste Sims and Yannick Lebrun. Photo by Andrew Eccles Bookmark & Share

Celebrate Dance

Dance takes many forms, but all celebrate movement in their own way, whether it's classical ballet, tango or contemporary dance. The Center's 2017–18 International Dance Series covers all these bases and more.

Mariinsky Ballet
Mariinsky Ballet's Le Spectre de la Rose

The season opens with the Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra's tribute to master choreographer Michel Fokine, featuring some of his greatest works: Chopiniana, Le Spectre de la Rose, The Swan and Scheherazade. Fokine had classical ballet training at Russia's Imperial Ballet School, but soon turned to choreography and, in the early 20th century, he joined Ballet Russes in Paris. There, Fokine sought to modernize stereotypical ballet traditions by choreographing works to modern music, dispensing with pointe shoes and freeing the dancers' movement. After World War I, Fokine moved to New York City and was invited by Lucia Chase to be one of the founding members of a newly planned American project—a dance company that would eventually become American Ballet Theatre. The Telegraph says, "The Mariinsky dancers combine precision with emotion to luminous effect," and this engagement illustrates both the genius of Fokine and the company's incomparable brilliance.

Tango Buenos Aires

Tango Buenos Aires is one of Argentina's cultural treasures and a favorite company with Center dance fans. For this engagement the company brings Spirit of Argentina, which tells of the life of Carlos Gardel, a French-Argentinian singer and dancer who is credited with introducing tango to the wider world. He was a suave, movie-star-handsome man who had a major hit with the song "My Sad Night" and brought tango from underground dance halls to the upper classes. Gardel collaborated with famous South American composers, especially Astor Piazzolla, who introduced elements of jazz and classical music into his tango works and is described as the foremost composer of tango music. Tango Buenos Aires, with its passionate and uncompromisingly authentic tango, will bring Gardel to life in this new production.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan
Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan's Formosa

Asian contemporary dance companies and choreographers are making a name for themselves in the international dance world. Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan is one, led by company founder/artistic director/choreographer Lin Hwai-min, who brings the company he created more than 40 years ago to the Center for the first time. The troupe presents Lin's ballet, Formosa, which tells the legend of 16th century Portuguese sailors discovering an island and declaring it " formosa," or beautiful island (and later named Taiwan). The Cloud Gate language of movement includes diverse Eastern disciplines such as tai chi, meditation and martial arts mixed with contemporary dance, transforming these ancient aesthetics into a thrilling celebration that depicts a playground of love and life, mediated by tragedy, hope and rebirth. praises " the forcefulness in the choreography and the effortless athleticism of the dancers," while The Washington Post says, " The company possesses an extraordinarily supple and disciplined movement style." Says Lin, " I never dreamed I would become a choreographer. I just wanted to do something that speaks to society."

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Photo by Andrew Eccles

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater makes a welcome return to Segerstrom Hall with a program of works from the company's large and captivating repertoire. Ailey dancers seem to draw on unlimited imagination, commitment and energy, and audiences love the irresistible Ailey spirit and experience. The Independent (UK) says, "Alvin Ailey's dancers are sumptuous. There's a wonderful richness to the way they move: grand scale and velvety softness, shared conviction and plenty of individual personality." The company has often been called an international ambassador for American culture and continues to be one of the most celebrated and beloved dance companies in the world. "Following in the footsteps of our legendary founder, Ailey's mission continually touches the hearts and minds of people of all ages and backgrounds in life-changing ways [and] provides further opportunities to discover our shared humanity," says Artistic Director Robert Battle.

Dublin Irish Dance
Dublin Irish Dance. Photo courtesy of CAMI

The season has two bonus engagements to savor. Dublin Irish Dance makes its Center debut with Stepping Out, an extravaganza of sights and sounds of Irish culture performed by this troupe of world-champion Irish step dancers, an eight-member Irish band and a vocalist. The all-star cast brings to life an epic tale of Celtic culture.

American Ballet Theatre's The Nutcracker

And what are the holidays without The Nutcracker? American Ballet Theatre returns with its critically acclaimed production, a charming and joyful performance filled with action and humor. The Los Angeles Times calls it, "exciting and choreographically intricate … This is a Nutcracker so woven with story threads and rollicking details that the spectator sees new aspects with every viewing. This production is all about love and enchantment."

The 2017–18 International Dance Series celebrates the diversity and range of one of the most expressive forms of entertainment. Enjoy something you love, and try something new.

Subscriptions are available now. Visit for more information or call the box office at (714) 556-2787.

For inquiries about group ticket discounts, please call the Group Services office at (714) 755-0236.

The Center's International Dance Series is made possible by:
Audrey Steele Burnand Endowed Fund for International Dance
The Segerstrom Foundation Endowment for Great Performances

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