Leigh Evans’ dance performance piece When Day Became Night, at the Ontological Theater at St. Mark’s Church Aug 15–18, tells the story of ordinary citizens in times of war. The story unfolds through the eyes of a journalist who becomes possessed by the Bone Girl, a ghost whose entire family and village was killed during war. The journalist’s encounter with the Bone Girl forces her to bear witness to her complicity in the erasure of the Bone Girl’s culture. She then becomes a vehicle for historical memory as the Bone Girl’s story emerges through her. Ultimately the issue is one of silence, and to what lengths one must go to break the binding power that silence has over personal and cultural histories in times of war.
The late Michael Smuin’s choreography takes us around the world in Smuin Ballet, Aug 13–18 at the Joyce Theater. Begin in Obrigado, Brazil, set to seductive rhythms recorded by Yo-Yo Ma; then off to Ireland for the popular Bells of Dublin; and the powerful Shinj-u, based on the 18th century Japanese play about two star-crossed lovers. Smuin concludes with a world premiere ballet to the Scherzo of Schubert’s Ninth Symphony. These are some of the last works prior to Smuin’s untimely death on April 23.
Los Angeles-based Lula Washington Dance Theatre blends Afro-Caribbean, modern, street-dance and jazz techniques to create powerful depictions of the African-American experience, both past and present. Lula Washington Dance Theatre is brought to you free Aug 16–17 as a part of Lincoln Center Out of Doors’ Summer of Love: Celebrating the Spirit of the ’60s festival, taking place now through Aug 27 in Lincoln Center’s plazas. This festival features over 100 performances in dance, music, street theatre and family events highlighted by artists and styles of the ’60s period.