Michelle Dorrance and her company, Dorrance Dance, return this September with a new show, “ETM: Double Down,” transforming the sounds and movements of virtuoso tap dancing into electronic tap music. Dorrance, who grew up in Chapel Hill, collaborated on “ETM” with fellow off-Broadway STOMP veteran, Nicholas Van Young, a musician and the technical whiz behind the equipment and computer know-how needed. Dorrance also will be joined by her brother, Donovan Dorrance, a musician who composed some music in the show.
Dorrance is fresh off performing her new piece at Jacob’s Pillow this summer in Massachusetts’ Berkshires. Dancers perform on wooden electronic trigger boards allowing their acoustic footsteps to synthesize with digital melodies. Dance becomes sound, music becomes visual, something for dance aficionados and music lovers alike.
Offered will be two shows at UNC Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill through Carolina Performing Arts: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14-15. Tickets available at the Memorial Hall Box Office, or online at carolinaperformingarts.org. Prices range from $15 to $49.
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Music in Durham
There’s lots of good music in Raleigh this month, including Erykah Badu at Red Hat Amphitheater for Hopscotch and The Connells at Raleigh Little Theatre’s Amphitheatre. But Durham will be calling us, too. For the Squirrel Nut Zippers at the Carolina Theatre (Sept. 23), the Durham Blues Festival (Sept. 9) and Leon Bridges at DPAC on Sept. 11. N&O music reviewer David Menconi has this to say: “Bridges is 27 years old, going on 72. Born in Atlanta and raised in Texas, he burst out last year with “Coming Home,” (Columbia Records), a startlingly mature debut album that cast Bridges as an old soul in every sense of the term – hearkening back to Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and other late great soul/gospel icons.” Tickets start at $35. dpacnc.com.
North Carolina Opera
Richard Wagner’s “The Ring Cycle” is sort of the Mount Everest for an opera company: excess and excellence. And staging any part of the four-part opera is a rare event outside a large metropolitan opera company. Until now. The North Carolina Opera’s first presentation this fall is “Das Rheingold,” the beginning of the story of the magic ring, the dwarf Alberich, the King of the Gods, Siegfried and Brunhilde. Music director Tim Myers conducts the 80-member orchestra. It’s sung in German and will last 2 hours and 45 minutes, which includes the intermission. Shows are 8 p.m. Sept. 16 and 3 p.m. Sept. 18 in Meymandi Concert Hall, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., Raleigh. Tickets range from $25 to $98. ncopera.org
Theatre in the Park
Theatre in the Park takes on “Southern Baptist Sissies,” which as you might guess deals with religion and sexuality. It’s been described as hysterical and heart-wrenching which is probably what you’d expect from the show’s writer Del Shores, who brought us “Sordid Lives” and “Queer as Folk.” The show is Sept. 22-25. $24. The theater is at 107 Pullen Road in Raleigh. theatreinthepark.com.
Raleigh Little Theatre
Coming to terms is also the theme of “Mothers and Sons” at Raleigh Little Theatre. The play by Terrence McNally is about a mother’s visit with her dead son’s former partner, Cal. It opened on Broadway in 2014 and earned Tyne Daly a Tony nomination. In its review The New York Times said: “Mr. McNally charts the gains and losses, victories and defeats for gay men — or, specifically, middle-class gay men in Manhattan – in the years since AIDS was first identified in the early 1980s.” RLT’s production on Sept. 23-Oct. 9 will be directed by Timothy Locklear. There’s a conversation after the Sept. 29 performance with Locklear, Patsy Clarke, co-author of “Keep Singing,” James Miller, executive director of the LGBT Center of Raleigh and Lee Storrow, executive director of the NC Aids Action Network. $24; $15 on the first Sunday. raleighlittletheatre.org
Linda Haac, Roy Dicks, David Menconi and Mary Cornatzer