Plenty of theater festivals seem to occur in warmer months, but a few veterans of the scene have staked out February as the time to break from form. Teatro Dallas introduces artistic companies from Mexico City you’ve likely never heard of; Out of the Loop continues its 15-year experiment; and Dallas Black Dance Theatre has convinced its dancers to dangle from silks for the second year in a row. Which one should you attend?
If you’re experiencing some wanderlust, the International Festival is for you. Teatro Dallas, in collaboration with the Dallas Children’s Theater, has dedicated its annual festival to showcasing the thriving theater arts of Mexico City. Representing the local scene, Danielle Georgiou Dance Group will stage Pizzicato Porno, a mixed-media piece that deals with “the meat of intimate human interaction” (the theater recommends ages 16 and up). The real draw, however, is the visiting Mexican companies and performance artists blending contemporary issues and theatrical tradition in works that range from a child-friendly fable performed with intricate masks to a one-woman show about the pain of being forced to leave home in the face of political danger and economic despair.
If you feel like throwing caution to the wind, try the Out of the Loop Fringe Festival. The fare at WaterTower Theatre’s new and experimental works festival, now in its 15th year, is hit or miss, but tickets are reasonably priced, and you might just stumble upon one of the Loop’s many gems. You’ll see work from festival favorites and other locals, but you’ll also hear from artists and theater companies from all over the country. The festival runs for 10 days across the Addison Theatre Centre’s three stages, which might feel like plenty of time to plan your trip up the Tollway, but beware: individual shows usually only run once or twice to make room for the next one on the jam-packed bill. Check the schedule carefully.
If you want to see people fly, Cultural Awareness is your ticket. Last year, for the Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s first foray into aerial work, dancer, choreographer, aerialist, and SMU alum Jamal Story tackled the tale of Narcissus—a handsome yet fatally egotistical fellow—and Echo, the cursed nymph who loved him. This year, the company’s Cultural Awareness festival will see Story further his exploration of classical myth with another high-flying aerial piece, as well as celebrate Black History Month with the world premiere of a new piece by former Alvin Ailey dancer Kirven Douthit-Boyd.