DANCE CARD: "It's an incredible season for modern dance this spring," opines Charlotte Adams, dancer and artistic director of Tenth Street Danceworks.

This year's Tucson dance season is the most promising yet, ranging from modern to ballet to jazz to street-smart. Ken Foster, head of Centennial Hall programming, deserves much of the credit for the world-class cutting-edge dance coming to town, along with presenter Southwest Dance, which organized this weekend's second annual statewide Contemporary Dance Festival.

Here's a summary of events to save your pennies for in the coming weeks:

February 1-3: Second Annual Arizona Contemporary Dance Festival (see article, left).

February 2: Merged Realities in Concert, 8 p.m. at UA Crowder Hall. The UA dancers and choreographers mix it up with performance artists et al. Tickets are $3, $2 for students, available at the door or by calling 621-1162. Call 325-6504 for information.

February 9: River North Dance, 8 p.m. at TCC Music Hall. A hot jazz troupe out of Chicago makes its Southwest debut. Tickets are $14 to $20, with discounts available. Call 791-4836.

February 13, 14: Stomp!, 7:30 p.m. at UA Centennial Hall. Part of the Street Noise series, the troupe is an "increasingly popular company that's taking the U.S. by storm," Adams says. "They just blow everybody away." Among other things, the dancers "wear 50-gallon drums on their feet," says Anne Bunker, artistic director of Orts. It's a combo of performance art, music and movement. Call 621-3341 for ticket prices.

February 22, 23, 24: Orts Flying High and Low, 7:30 p.m. February 22, 8 p.m. February 23 and 24, at PCC Center for the Arts. The Orts Theatre of Dance winter concert, featuring new trapeze work, a premiere by New York choreographer Joy Kellman and more. Thursday's preview tickets are $5. They range from $6 to $10 for the weekend, with kids under 15 free when accompanied by an adult. For more information call 624-3799.

February 23: Compagnie Marie Chouinard, 8 p.m. at UA Centennial Hall. Part of UA Presents' cutting-edge Millennium Project, the Canadian company dances a startling new version of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. Even in its 1913 Paris premiere, this modern ballet provoked fistfights in the audience. Tickets are $15, $11 for faculty, staff, students and children. Call 621-3341.

March 2: Urban Bush Women, 8 p.m. at UA Centennial Hall. Bones & Ash comes alive with brash street-inspired dancing, rock-and-roll music and inventive staging. Part of the America in Motion series of UA Presents. For ticket information call 621-3341.

March 2, 3: Tucson Regional Ballet, 2 and 8 p.m. March 2, 2 p.m. March 3, at TCC Leo Rich Theatre. The Southwest String Quartet accompanies this local amateur company in the first-ever ballet rendition of the newly classic children's book The Three Little Javelinas, by Tucsonan Susan Lowell. This is the same troupe that does the Southwest Nutcracker at Christmastime. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, students and kids. To charge by phone call 791-4266.

March 8-10: Ballet Arizona, 7:30 p.m. March 8 and 9, 2 p.m. March 10, PCC Center for the Arts. The Masters is a concert of three works by modern ballet masters: George Balanchine's "Serenade," Paul Taylor's "Esplanade" and Antony Tudor's "Lilac Garden." Tickets are $16, $21 and $26, with $3 off for kids and seniors. They're available at Dillard's or by calling 882-5022.

March 19: "Daughters of the Lonesome Isle," 8 p.m. at PCC Center for the Arts. Tickets are $4 to $8 before March 17 at Dillard's and the PCC Cashier's office; and $6 to $10 thereafter. Call 884-6458 for information. Katharine Harts and Carol Rhodes stage a collaboration based on the music of John Cage, with a corps of local dancers performing.

March 29-30: Film and stage star Ben Vereen performs with the UA dancers, 8 p.m. at UA Centennial Hall. Tickets are $12 to $18, with a $3 discount for seniors and students, available at Dillard's and the Centennial Hall box office. Call 621-3341 for information.

After all this dance viewing you can take a breath and start resting up for more concerts in the spring. April highlights are Ballet Arizona's Romeo and Juliet on April 20 (call 882-5022 for info); Russia's Bolshoi Ballet on April 22 (602-482-6410); Orts' annual free concert in Reid Park April 19-21; and Contraband, another avant-garde troupe, at Centennial Hall April 27 (621-3341). Also, keep an eye out for a multi-media "virtual concert," a UA School of Music and Dance collaboration scheduled for some time in April.

May brings Tenth Street Danceworks to Pima College with the TSO String Quartet and Isaacs/McCaleb Dancers (May 9 and 10), and a Zenith Dance Collective Choreographers' Showcase on a May date not yet determined. TW

--Margaret Regan
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