Dance St. Louis

right to left, Antonio Douthit-Boyd, Alicia Graf-Mack, Jamar Roberts and Kirven Douthit-Boyd in Alvin Ailey performance
Andrew Eccles

St. Louisans will get to see three former Alvin Ailey dancers — who now live in the Gateway City — in a Dance St. Louis showcase next February.

The performance will feature St. Louis native Antonio Douthit-Boyd, his husband, Kirven Douthit-Boyd, and dancer Alicia Graf-Mack. Last January, the Douthit-Boyds announced they were leaving the prestigious Ailey company and moving to St. Louis to work at COCA. Graf-Mack had already made a new home in St. Louis.

Brazilian dance troupe Compagnie Käfig
Agathe Poupeney / (Provided by Dance St. Louis)

Fans of dance in St. Louis are in for a treat this weekend, with National Dance Week - St. Louis taking over Grand Center and an exciting dance performance at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.  

Dance St. Louis presents Compagnie Käfig, a male Brazilian dance troupe that has been selling out performances on their U.S. tour and will perform at the Touhill this weekend.

Normandy High School students learn ballet from Dance Theatre of Harlem's teaching artists Theara Ward
Willis Ryder Arnold / St. Louis Public Radio

This weekend, the Dance Theatre of Harlem performs as part of the Dance St. Louis fall season. Yet the company is here to teach as well as perform. Since Oct. 27, teaching artist Theara Ward has been teaching ballet and diaspora history at Normandy High.

“The main thing is for young people to understand history, how they connect to history and how history connects to them, their culture, their community, but also how the arts can be used as a powerful tool to express yourself,” Ward said. 

Courtesy Chicato Tap Theatre

It’s not often that 30 different professional dance companies perform in the same place on the same weekend. But it’s happening this weekend at the Touhill. Beginning Thursday, May 22 and ending Saturday, May 24, ten different professional companies will perform each night, representing a spectrum of dance styles and locales over the course of the three nights.

St. Louis is represented by at least one local company per night, with performances by The Big Muddy Dance Company, Leverage Dance Theater, Saint Louis Ballet, Common Thread Contemporary Dance and MADCO.

Ellyxandria Ferguson

Updated Friday, April 25, 2014 to include audio from Cityscape.

Growing up in north St. Louis, Antonio Douthit dreamed of dancing with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The story of his rise from homeless kid to COCA prodigy to Ailey dancer is legend in the St. Louis arts world.

Joan Lipkin has been creating theater with people who have disabilities since 1996, when she co-founded the DisAbility Project.  An outgrowth of That Uppity Theatre Company, of which Lipkin is artistic director, the DisAbility Project brings together amateur and professional performers of all abilities to create theater based on lived experience.

Marianne Leach

When a symphony orchestra performs Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana,” it’s always something of a spectacle.  The stage is packed to the brim with a large orchestra including two pianos and celeste, vocal soloists, a chorus and children’s chorus.  But Nashville Ballet Artistic Director Paul Vasterling’s vision of “Carmina Burana” employing 120 singers, 60 orchestral musicians and 40 dancers takes the work to new proportions. 

Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company

Dance St. Louis' season opener features four world premieres performed by four St. Louis professional dance companies.  The Saint Louis Ballet, Leverage Dance Theater, MADCO, and Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company are teaming up to open the 2012-2013 season with “New Dance Horizons.”

The dance and percussion company STOMP is in town this weekend for its Dance St. Louis performances at the Fox Theatre.