"Celtic Nights: The Emigrants Bridge," 7:30 p.m. March 12, Miller Symphony Hall, 23 N. Sixth St., Allentown, is a two and one-half hour show featuring three male vocalists, three female singers, six dancers and musicians.
In a recent interview, the show's director and producer Michael Durkan explains, "We built the storyline around the journey Irish immigrants made by ship to America with their hardships they endured, mostly arriving penniless.
With passion, intense emotion and intricate virtuoso guitar playing and footwork, Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana presents "The Soul of Flamenco," 8 p.m. March 14, Miller Symphony Hall, 23 N. Sixth St., Allentown.
The program encompasses traditional Flamenco, originating from Andalusia, a province in southern Spain. Flamenco was influenced by Arabic, Judaic and the gypsy cultures. Flamenco is about rich, expressive and percussive music, dance and song with foot stomping, clapping and castanets.
"I like stories where I can seek beauty and meaning even in the darker aspects of life," Kathryn Craft says in a recent interview.
Craft signs copies of her first novel, "The Art of Falling," 4 p.m. Feb. 1, Moravian Book Shop, 428 Main St., Bethlehem.
Craft started dance training later than she wished, at the age of 16 and "realized at once I'd been looking for it my whole life," Craft says.
The struggle of being a dancer and not living up to the expectations of dancers of her age brought about the novel's protagonist, Penelope, who also has issues.
Repertory Dance Theatre (RDT) graces the stage of Miller Symphony Hall, 23 N. Sixth St., Allentown, for its 27th annual presentation of "Nutcracker," 2 p.m. Dec. 14, 15, with the return of Carolina Ballet Theatre's dance alum Matthew Harvey as the Cavalier and partner Madeline Jazz, also of the Carolina Ballet Theatre, portraying the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Also appearing is former American Ballet Theatre and North Carolina Dance Theatre's Sarah James, an alumna of RDT, now dancing for ABT star Craig Salstein's new company Intermezzo.
"The Great Russian Nutcracker," 2, 5:30 p.m. Dec. 14, State Theater Center for the Arts, 453 Northampton St., Easton, is the Moscow Ballet's version of "Nutcracker and the King of Mice," the original tale by E.T.A. Hoffman, with elements of legendary Russian folk characters Father Christmas and the Snow Maiden.
"It's a very energetic and fun and beautiful show for all ages," says Sally Michael Keyes, public relations director, North America, for the Moscow Ballet.
The Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (PYB) Ballet Guild of the Lehigh Valley celebrates the 45th year of its staging of the "Nutcracker" with an orchestra of 45 musicians, The South Side Sinfonietta, directed by Eugene Albulescu, along with a chorus of 20 children, the Nutcracker Treble Choir, led by choral director Christine Lerew.
PYB's "Nutcracker" is at 1, 4 p.m. Dec. 14, and 2 p.m. Dec. 15, Lehigh University's Zoellner Arts Center, 420 E. Packer Avenue, Bethlehem.
"Choreographically, I consider myself a kinetic storyteller," says Charles O. Anderson, the former Muhlenberg College professor now teaching dance at the University of Texas, Austin.
Anderson is the choreographer for the Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre 33rd annual season production of "Jesus Christ Superstar," directed by James Peck with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, through July 28, Empire Theatre, Baker Center for the Arts, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown.
"Oklahoma!" is history-making as the first show in musical theater to use dance to advance the plot so successfully and extensively.
Agnes de Mille, who choreographed the first production of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's "Oklahoma!" in 1943, was among the great ensemble of choreographers of the 1940's era, including George Balanchine in classical ballet, Gene Kelly with dance in film, and Martha Graham, a pioneer of modern dance.
First of three parts
Choreography: How does it begin? Where does it come from?
Explains Karen Dearborn, a professor and founding Director of Dance at Muhlenberg College, who choreographed "Crazy for You" for the Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre, where the Tony-winning Gershwin musical continues through June 30:
"Choreographing for a musical starts with research, reading the play, listening to the music, researching the dances of the period and understanding the original and subsequent productions to grasp the musical's history.
Late spring is here with rain and blooming trees and soon summer will be upon us with the "A Midsummer Night's Dream" production of the Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (PYB) of the Ballet Guild of the Lehigh Valley, 7 p.m. May 24, Baker Hall, Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University, Bethlehem.
As Shakespeare's King Oberon from "A Midsummer Night''s Dream puts it, "I know a bank where wild thyme blows, where oxlips and the nodding violet grows ... "