TITAS/DANCE UNBOUND unveiled its 2020-2021 season, foreshadowing what live performances may look like during the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re moving forward with a leap of faith,” Charles Santos, Executive and Artistic Director of TITAS, said. “I’m committed to the experience of live performance. Nothing compares to being in a theater and seeing an amazing dancer.”
The presenter of major national and international touring dance companies canceled five productions of its 2019-2020 season as the coronavirus pandemic restricted travel and closed performing arts venues. For the first time in its history, TITAS will present an all-American season featuring seven dance companies and two special events.
“We decided to celebrate American artists living and working in our own country,” Santos said. “Every company is different, but it is a great spectrum of what’s happening in modern dance today.”
There are practical reasons for presenting American companies for the upcoming season. Typically, half of TITAS’ programming consists of international companies. As the pandemic continues to impact travel, Santos is concerned about visa complications and border closures.
Santos shifted the beginning of the season from August to October, allowing more time to prepare safety protocols for the audience and the dancers. In addition to the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s cleaning and safety protocols, TITAS has included a wellness addendum into the dance companies’ contracts.
“There’s no 100% safe environment, but we wanted to layout for the artists what we’re doing as a venue and our expectations of the artists to take care of themselves,” Santos said.
No guests will be allowed backstage and the artists are discouraged from meeting friends and family in the public areas of the performance venues. There will be no backstage buffets. The dance floor will be regularly sanitized. TITAS is working the Center as it explores ticketless entrance, staggering audience arrival to eliminate crowds in the lobby, temperature checks and digital programs. The audience will be required to wear masks. “This is a time for crisis managers,” Santos said. “There are no bad ideas.”
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TITAS’ season will open at the Winspear Opera House in the Dallas Arts District, with audiences spaced out through the hall. Later in the season, TITAS will present performances at the Moody Performance Hall. Santos anticipates reduced seating capacity throughout the season. With more than 2,000 seats at the Winspear Opera House compared to Moody Performance Hall’s 750 seats, TITAS can serve more patrons.
Santos negotiated with the dance companies to share the financial pain of reduced capacity. “We realized we need to restart the engine of touring programs and the only way we could do that is to work together,” Santos said.
Santos senses patrons’ excitement to see live performances and he is hoping this season will provide a diverse exploration of dance in America as Americans talk about racism. “We’re honored we have so much diversity. We’re hoping to make more dialogue happen,” Santos said. “I think it’s important for people to understand that the creative community is more than entertainment. The arts inspire. They bring people together.”
TITAS/DANCE UNBOUND’s 2020-2021 Season:
Complexions Contemporary Ballet on October 16-17 at the Winspear Opera House
Led by dance icons Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, Complexions has awakened audiences to a new, exciting genre with their singular approach to reinventing dance and contemporary ballet. With stunning gifted dancers and powerful choreography. Complexions returns to TITAS with two divers and extraordinary works. An inspired work, WOKE, created in 2018, examines our humanity and today’s political climate. Wildly timely and awe-inspiring, WOKE is a powerful ballet. LOVE ROCKS, to the music of Lenny Kravitz is Rock meets Ballet!
Alonzo King’s/LINES Ballet on November 6-7 at the Winspear Opera House
Gorgeous, stunning dancers with impeccable technique and powerfully visual works are what make Alonzo King/LINES Ballet so special. Like none other, Alonzo King creates an unforgettable dialogue between movement and music.
Parsons Dance Company on November 20 at the Winspear Opera House
Exuberant, Virtuosic, Sexy. Parsons Dance is everything that is right about American modern dance. Innovative and exuberant, this company always delivers. Their bold, joyous and athletic movement has solidified them as one of the world’s leading modern dance companies. Stunning works, like the iconic Caught, exemplify this company’s innovation and huge audience appeal.
Ballet Hispánico on January 15 at the Winspear Opera House
Ballet Hispánico has stepped into the limelight of internationally touring dance companies. Stunning dancers, Latino choreographers with luscious choreography, the company fuses Latin dance with classical and contemporary techniques creating a new style of concert dance where theatricality and passion are at the core. The choreographers represent rich Latino cultures and nationalities including Venezuela, Cuba, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Spain, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia.
Doug Varone and Dancers on February 12 at Winspear Opera House
Doug Varone takes the famed Bernstein West Side Story music and creates SOMEWHERE, something truly magical. An amazing work, to familiar music, it is a surprisingly fresh approach to music that we all know and carry in our hearts. The magic happens when the audience lets go of preconceived images and storylines and experiences the gorgeous music and pure movement.
A.I.M by Kyle Abraham on March 26-27 at the Moody Performance Hall
Bold, refreshing and completely relevant, An Untitled Love is Kyle Abraham’s newest evening-length work. Music by Grammy Award-winning R&B legend D’Angelo, this highly entertaining and captivating work celebrates culture, family, and community.
Aspen/Santa Fe Ballet on April 2-3 at the Moody Performance Hall
Stunning performances, fantastic dancers and a wildly sophisticated collection of truly world-class choreographic works, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet is certainly among the most sought-after companies touring the world today. Fiercely talented and exciting, ASFB is at once powerful and graceful.
Two special events include the 2020 Opening Night Celebration on October 15 and the 2021 Annual Command Performance on June 12, 2021. Subscriptions for the 2020-2021 season start at $116.
Learn more: www.attpac.org/titas