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Critic's picks: Dance

Five must-see dance shows from Miami to West Palm Beach.

 

Miami City Ballet – Program One

Oct. 21-23 at Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722 or ArshtCenter.org. Tickets start at $20.

Nov. 5-6 at Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-462-0222 or BrowardCenter.org. Tickets cost $25-$59.

Nov. 11-13 at Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; 561-832-7469 or Kravis.org. Tickets start at $20.

Miami City Ballet is presenting four remarkable programs plus its annual "Nutcracker" performance this season. Any performance by the company is a safe bet, but the opportunity to see "Giselle" doesn't come every year. The romantic ballet tells the story of a peasant girl who falls in love with Count Albrecht and dies of a broken heart after discovering he betrayed and lied to her. The ballet requires exceptional acting skills and precise technique. Watching ballerinas reinvent the famous "mad scene," when Giselle goes insane after discovering Albrecht's betrayal, is always exciting.

The Hip Hop Nutcracker

Nov. 29-Dec. 1 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-462-0222 or BrowardCenter.org. Tickets cost $25-$59.

If you're tired of watching the same "Nutcracker" every year, but still want to feel the Christmas spirit of the story, "The Hip Hop Nutcracker" is the show to see. The program uses Tchaikovsky's score, but instead of an orchestra, you'll find an electric violinist and a DJ onstage. Natural hair, jeans, T-shirts and sneakers substitute for slicked hair buns and tutus. Instead of the familiar setting of a family's living room with a Christmas tree, the story takes place in the streets of New York, and the dancers' hip-hop and break-dancing moves perfectly complement the music. At times, it seems as if Tchaikovsky composed the music especially for this contemporary act.

Spring to Light – Peter London Global Dance Company

Dec. 29-31

Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722 or ArshtCenter.org. Tickets start at $40.

This contemporary-dance company features some of the best dancers in South Florida. A former teacher from the New World School of the Arts in Miami, Peter London founded the company so his students would have a place to dance in Miami, instead of leaving town looking to perform with Alvin Ailey or Martha Graham. London was born in Trinidad, but established his career in New York, graduating from Juilliard and dancing with Martha Graham. He often incorporates his background into his works. He draws inspiration from throughout the world, including the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. The company will celebrate its fifth anniversary with "Spring to Light," a show with choreographies by London and choreographers from Ballet Hispanico, Limon Dance Company, Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey.

Aiykodans

Feb. 16-18

Carnival Studio Theater at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722 or ArshtCenter.org. Tickets start at $40.

Choreographer Jeanguy Saintus founded this Haitian dance company in the late 1980s because he wanted the world to view Haiti for more than poverty and disaster. The choreographies showcase Haitian culture, mixing contemporary with folk, African, indigenous and French dance styles, and are often set to drums and percussion. The dancers' movements are strong, intense and full of passion, so much so at times it seems as if they're dancing for their lives. A must-see.

Alvin Ailey's Revelations

Feb. 23-26 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722 or ArshtCenter.org. Tickets start at $29.

Feb. 28 at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; 561-832-7469 or Kravis.org. Tickets start at $29.

Alvin Ailey wowed audiences when he debuted his masterpiece, "Revelations," in 1960. The piece explores the struggles of black people in America, from slavery onward. More than 50 years later, the piece has just as much power today as it did in the '60s. Moving through powerful songs such as "Wade in the Water" and "Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham," dancers jump and spin across the stage with vigor, expressing pain and joy with every movement.

Barbara Corbellini Duarte is an entertainment writer and videographer. Reach her at bduarte@southflorida.com. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @babicorb.

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