San Francisco Ballet (Jan. 27-Feb. 5) Val Caniparoli’s “Lambarena,” a torrid meld of Bach and an Afropop beat with a killer solo for the leading woman, returns to the repertoire for a much-requested 20th anniversary revival.
ODC Dance (March 12-22) A sellout last year, ODC Dance Downtown this time offers three world premieres by Artistic Director Brenda Way, Associate Artistic Director KT Nelson (to an original score by cellist Joan Jeanrenaud) and guest artist Kate Weare.
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Alonzo King Lines Ballet (April 2-12) In this spring home season, King’s extraordinarily pliable dancers will feast on a world premiere inspired by scores by nature soundscape artist Bernie Kraus and composer Richard Blackford.
Paul Taylor Dance Company (April 15-19) For many of us, Taylor is the greatest living American choreographer and one of the most musical; and this biennial visit brings riches: a local premiere, the rarely seen “Fibers” and Taylor classics “Esplanade” and “Promethean Fire.”
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (April 21-26) The dancing, as always, will take your breath away, but this year, the repertoire, including works by Hofesh Shecter, Jacqulyn Buglisi, Hans van Manen and San Francisco’s Robert Moses, should command the spotlight, as will Ailey’s eternal “Revelations.”
San Francisco Ballet (May 1-10) Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson’s “Romeo and Juliet” returns to the repertoire and it will be popular because … because it is Romeo and Juliet. Say the magic words and win a sold-out house.
San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival (June 1-27) The celebration returns to the Palace of Fine Arts on the occasion of the building’s centennial, presenting five companies new to the festival and a special tribute to Hawaiian culture.
Take a chance
Wendy Whelan/“Restless Creature” (Jan. 15-16) After three decades on the New York City Ballet roster, the magnificent Whelan has gone independent with this project. She has commissioned four genre-crossing duets from rising choreographers Kyle Abraham, Joshua Beamish, Brian Brooks and Alejandro Cerrudo, all of who will also serve as partner to the ballerina.
Kyle Abraham/Abraham in Motion: “Pavements” (Feb. 19-20). Inspired by John Singleton’s movie, “Boyz in the Hood,” and the writings of W.E.B. Dubois, Abraham’s work celebrates an earlier generation of hip-hop and laments the disappearance of black neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. Abraham’s local debut a few years ago at ODC Theater attracted much favorable attention.
The Joffrey Ballet (March 14-15). The famed company visits from its Chicago home with three contemporary dances previously unseen in the Bay Area. The date will feature “Incantations” by local luminary Val Caniparoli (replacing the awful “Round of Angels”), Alexander Ekman’s “Episode 31” and a ballet by Stanton Welch, set to John Adams’ rhythmically daring “Son of Chamber Symphony.” Can he improve on the version by Mark Morris? We shall see.
Compagnie Käfig (April 21). This could be the sleeper of the spring dance season. The company’s founder, Franco-Algerian Maurod Merzouki, has assembled a troupe of 11 Brazilian men for a feast of hip-hop, samba and martial art that will leave no one indifferent. Decades old, this exciting troupe is making its belated Bay Area debut at Stanford.
Oakland Ballet Company (May 22-25). The troupe celebrates its 50th anniversary with a new work by Artistic Director Graham Lustig and commissions from former choreographers for the troupe. The list includes Val Caniparoli, Betsy Erickson, Alonzo King, Michael Lowe and Amy Seiwert. Lustig will also revive excerpts from the historic Sergei Diaghilev era and some of the American classics that won former artistic director Ronn Guidi international attention.
Allan Ulrich is The San Francisco Chronicle’s dance correspondent. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org