Dance a World Away

danceThree separate venues. Three amazing dance companies. Three nights of entertainment that will stay with you long after the holiday season is over. Let’s take the first step to a world of fancy footwork…

Hungarian State Folk Ensemble

“It is marvelous – crackling with dancing that snaps like a whip in a program framed successfully by a sophisticated context.” — Anna Kisselgoff, New York Times

“It is marvelous–crackling with dancing that snaps like a whip” — The New York Times

The Hungarian State Folk Ensemble preserves Gypsy culture and customs that date back centuries through traditional folk music, vivid dance and stunning costumes that reflect the proud heritage of their country and diverse people.
The Hungarian State Folk Ensemble was founded in 1951 with the purpose of collecting, preserving and presenting the treasures of Hungarian folklore. The HSFE presents all folk-related Hungarian genres on stage: historic music, authentic folk music and dance, dramatic folk plays, as well as traditional-based world music, show-dancing and the elements of contemporary dance-house tradition. Its variegated repertoire has made the HSFE one of the most widely performing ensembles of the world: during the six decades of its existence, the HSFE has performed in 50 countries of four continents, entertaining more than 8 million people altogether. At home, the HSFE performs about 100-120 times a year, besides being regular guest of theatres all over the Carpathian basin.
On-stage adaptations of Hungarian folklore appeared about half a century ago. Beside the authentic and educational presentation of dances, there has always been a renewing wish for the establishment of an independent dance theatre within the HSFE. However, when the real revival of folk dance on stage came about in the beginning of the 1970’s, professional folk dance ensembles started to include authentic themes in their repertoire. Transformation and substitution of original dance figures with more “stagelike” movements was no longer a guiding principle, and for long, the precise reproduction of authentic dances was held to be the right interpretation. In the last decade though, the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble, performing various themes, has managed to transcend this idea.

Friday, November 15 8:00PM

Forever Tango
Forever Tango has mesmerized audiences on Broadway, on TV’s Dancing with the Stars, and on stages around the globe. Now the U.S. tour of the one-and-only, Tony-nominated Broadway production comes to NJPAC’s Prudential Hall. Sensuous and sophisticated, Forever Tango is brought to life by a sizzling company of 26 Argentinean dancers and musicians who are sure to leave you breathless.
Called a “must-see” by The New York Times, director-composer-producer Luis Bravo’s seductive Forever Tango features a company of 14 world-class dancers, a vocalist, and an 11-piece, on-stage orchestra anchored by the bandoneón, the accordion-like instrument that is the mainstay of tango music.

Tforeverhrough dance, music (both traditional and original compositions) and inventive, dramatic vignettes, this highly theatrical production traces the tango’s colorful history, from its birth in turn-of-the-century Buenos Aires bordellos to its acceptance into high society. Male dancers move in sleek black tuxedos with matching ties, fedoras and shiny black shoes, and female dancers dressed in stunning cocktail dresses, high heels and fishnet stockings seductively embrace, dip and lunge at lightning speed. The original Forever Tango took San Francisco by storm in 1994, where it played an unprecedented 92 weeks. In 1997, the show played its first of three engagements on Broadway, where it earned rave reviews and became the longest-running tango show in Broadway history.

Sunday, November 10 7:00PM

Shanghai Ballet
Shanghai-BalletFor more than three decades, the Shanghai Ballet has been dazzling international audiences with its unique repertoire of folk-infused Chinese ballet and classical Western masterworks. For the company’s Berkeley debut, audiences are treated to the “Romeo and Juliet” of Chinese folklore—a poignant love story that dates to the Tang Dynasty. The Butterfly Lovers follows a young couple’s ill-fated romance through elegant choreography, splendid costumes, and evocative sets depicting the natural—and supernatural—worlds. These masterfully trained dancers convey the story’s bittersweet beauty with expressive hand gestures and theatrical pantomime, evocative complements to their stunning classical technique.

Saturday, November 16 8:00PM

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