During the first part of its 2021-22 season, TITAS/Dance Unbound treated Dallas audiences to U.S. and Texas premieres, reimagined cultural icons, exuberant Latin dance, and even pieces choreographed to the music of R&B legend D’Angelo. But in true TITAS fashion, it only gets better from here. Finishing out the season—which was truncated to seven shows from its usual 10 due to the pandemic—are two impressive Dallas debuts, a very special Command Performance gala, and the surprise return of a hit addition to TITAS’s regular programming.
Santos says that TITAS’s Unfiltered series, which is separate from its subscription series, has become a hot ticket, as the draw of potentially scandalous subject matter piques the interest of curious audience members. But one person’s risqué is another’s run-of-the-mill, and above all, the companies that TITAS presents focus on beautiful storytelling and evocative physicality, all told through world-class dance.
“I had heard about this piece for a long time and finally saw it at a festival in Colombia,” says Santos, “and I am so excited to finally have Marie Chouinard here. She’s one of two companies in the Unfiltered series this season—what may offend one group may be pure magic to another. I don’t want to force anyone to buy a show that they might find offensive, but we’re finding that everyone wants to be a part of the cool kids club.”
Another dance entry point for many new TITAS fans is Command Performance, which is set this year for April 23 at the Winspear. The “pyrotechnics of dance,” as Santos calls it, is a star-studded revue of crowd-pleasing works, some commissioned specially for this night. This year features several special milestones: TITAS’s 40th anniversary and Santos’s 20th anniversary as artistic director. There is also a fundraising gala dinner after the performance, but fans can purchase tickets to the show only if they choose. The audience can expect to see stars like Tiler Peck and Roman Mejia from New York City Ballet, Catherine Hurlin and Aran Bell from American Ballet Theatre, and dancers from San Francisco Ballet, MOMIX, A.I.M. by Kyle Abraham, and Australia’s SWAY—who perform atop 14-foot-tall poles—as well as local performers from Bruce Wood Dance and Dallas Black Dance Theatre.
Closing out TITAS’s season on June 3-4 is Ballet X, an “it company” out of Philadelphia that was co-founded in 2005 by artistic and executive director Christine Cox and choreographer Matthew Neenan. Though Santos doesn’t know yet what repertoire they will be dancing, he’s excited for the promised new work from what Dance Magazine has called an “epicenter of creation.”
“It’s going to be a great surprise hit,” Santos says,” and no matter what they perform it’s a thrilling way to be wrapping up our season.”