National Dance Company of Ireland’s ‘Rhythm of the Dance’ at Palace; New Hazlett Hosts Texture Contemporary Ballet’s ‘Transformations’ (Sun., 3/17/24)

1) How true to its roots is the supposedly authentic Irish music and dance that we get? Maybe it’s best not to care, for as Louis Armstrong once observed, all music is “folk music”—horses don’t create it. The touring show Rhythm of the Dance, which has been circling the globe for the past 20 years and evolving as it goes, is a case in point. Produced by an outfit called National Dance Company of Ireland, the show features traditional Irish step dancers, and musicians with traditional instruments playing for the dances and songs. But there are many touches of modern showmanship as well, and it all seems to work out. Judge for yourself when Rhythm of the Dance visits The Palace Theatre for one performance only. 4 p.m. 21 W. Otterman St., Greensburg. (M.V.)

TRANSFORMATIONS (dance/ballet) presented by Texture Contemporary Ballet, Alan Obuzor, Artistic Director.  March 15, 16, and 17.

Abigrace Diprima, Elaina Sutula, and Baylee Sullivan dance a number from Texture Contemporary Ballet's 'Transformations.' (Photo: Rachel Harman)

Abigrace Diprima, Elaina Sutula, and Baylee Sullivan dance a number from Texture Contemporary Ballet’s ‘Transformations.’ (Photo: Rachel Harman)

2) Priding itself in “presenting more new work than most other companies across the country,” Texture Contemporary Ballet is holding true to its promise with five new works at the New Hazlett Theater in a show titled Transformations. Kicking off the evening’s theme of change and transition, choreographer Madeline Kendall Schreiber will premiere “Verdurous,” a work for five dancers, accompanied by the music of Bach, Ólafur Arnalds, Erland Cooper and Björk/Vitamin String Quartet, among others. “Chasse Neige,” with music by Franz Liszt, follows in expanded form from its 2018 premiere choreographed by Katie Miller. Dancers Madison Cole and Jillian Sinko will perform “YES,” a 2017 work by choreographers Kelsey Bartman and Alan Obuzor. Then, celebrating the “natural ebb and flow of life that we all experience,” a refreshened “Breathe” (first presented outdoors at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater’s Open Air event in 2021) will find new life indoors with four company dancers. And, in a world premiere, Obuzor will close the evening with his latest work, “Here/There,” a piece which includes music from Anesthesia, Fun, Glass Animals, and The Airborne Toxic Event. 2 p.m. New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. (C.P.O.)

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Mike Vargo

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