For much of the dance world, tradition is the backbone in the body of technique. Ballet and modern are perhaps at the helm of this, each with long histories of established customs. This rigorous structure allowed for an interesting tangent in the 1980s in the form of exploratory, creative movement; a sort of cubism of the dance world. These tendencies persist today, and not just in modern dance.

Russian ballet might not fall under the “unorthodox” category for most people, but that’s how Tobi Tobias described recent performances by Mariinsky Ballet.  Although Tobias undercuts the production of “Anna Karenina,” he speaks candidly and gives fair voice to the dancers who “did their best under the unfavorable circumstances.” The review also includes an assessment of Alexei Ratmansky’s “The Little Humpbacked Horse,” a remake of a ballet whose history began in 1864. Find a link to the story here.

The second installment in the wave of the unusual is enumerated in Deborah Jowitt’s latest post about Jonah Bokaer and his pieces “Recess” and “Why Patterns.” Paper and ping-pong balls both make appearances and contribute to larger questions: What is a pattern? When does it cease to be one? What do 10,000 small, plastic balls have to do with anything? Jowitt muses on these and other issues in her post on DanceBeat. Read it here.