During the pandemic, Dallas’ TITAS/Dance Unbound truly embraced digital performance and streaming. But now that coronavirus restrictions have all but disappeared, the dance presentation company is wholeheartedly betting on the one-of-a-kind power of live performance.
To help entice audiences back to the Moody Performance Hall and Winspear Opera House, TITAS has assembled a full season of 10 companies from five countries, with four Texas/Dallas debuts. It’s a mix of familiar crowd-pleasers and daringly avant-garde works, programmed with the “sophisticated dance audience” of Dallas in mind.
“Post-pandemic, a lot of people are coming out for what they know,” says Santos. “They come for The Nutcracker and Alvin Ailey and remember how much they enjoy the magic of live performance, and then are eager to return and experience it again and again.”
Another triumph is Les 7 Doigts, bringing a jaw-dropping blend of dance and cirque from Montreal, Canada, for its Texas debut November 3-4, 2023, at the Moody Performance Hall. “As a rule, I don’t put cirques in our dance series—they belong more in general programming,” says Santos. “But this piece is so incredibly well choreographed in the movement that you don’t ever see the prep work coming for a trick. It’s the most amazing crossover and has stuck with me ever since I saw it years ago.”
Another that has been on Santos’ wish list for a while is Vertigo Dance Company, bringing its new work Makom (or “place”) to Dallas from Israel. Established in Jerusalem more than 27 years ago by Noa Wertheim and Adi Sha’al, Vertigo has been in talks to come to Dallas for years; “we’re super excited that the time is now,” says Santos. Their blend of modern dance and classical ballet will play the Moody Performance Hall April 12-13, 2024.
Another troupe that defies definition is Cie Hervé Koubi, out of France and Algeria. The “mostly” male company is made up of street dancers, with Hervé’s classical ballet structure laid on top of the movement. They return to Dallas on Jan. 19, 2024, at the Winspear with their new work Sol Invictus, which features music by Swedish composer Mikael Karlsson mixed with excerpts by Steve Reich and digital composer Maxime Bodson.
“This is diversity in the truest sense,” says Santos. “With a global perspective and broad representation of culture, dance is such a central art form. With programming like this, we’re making Dallas a must-stop location for touring companies.”