The Russians are Here: Provincial Dances Theatre at ADF


Anastasiia Sokolova coming out of the tree in Maple Garden by Tatiana Baganova, danced by her troupe, Provincial Dances Theatre at ADF, 7/14/16. Photo: Grant Halverson.


Read my full review here on, but in the meantime, here’s an excerpt and some enticing photographs. This fabulous American Dance Festival presentation will repeat July 15 and 16 in Reynolds Theater–Friday at 8, Saturday at 7. I had been looking forward to this for months, having previously seen both pieces on the program, and I was enthralled again.

Tatiana Baganova is back at the American Dance Festival with her company, Provincial Dances Theatre. Based in Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth largest city, located on the Asian side of the Ural Mountains, PDT is an avant-garde troupe that communicates powerfully by any means necessary. They work on the audience by strong dancing and odd movement but also with elaborate and unusual make-up, costuming, sets, lighting and music—all of those more than a little strange.

Baganova has been to the ADF numerous times, participating in the International Choreographers Commissioning Program, and in Past/Forward, and the company has been here, too. This time is a little different, because, after the Durham season ends, the ADF will present the company in New York debut (Joyce Theater) on a double bill with Rosie Herrera Dance Company. Charles Reinhardt, former ADF director, told me this week that Baganova, Herrera and Shen Wei were the three most thrilling ADF “discoveries” of the 21st century, and the current program will give you a good idea of why he would say that about Baganova’s work with Provincial Dances.


Strange happenings in the dark wood of Maple Garden. Provincial Dances Theatre at ADF, 7/14/16. Photo: Grant Halverson.

I’ve had the good fortune to see Baganova’s work several times since 1999, when she first came to ADF and made the first iteration of Maple Garden, setting it on ADF students. My reviews don’t go back that far, but below are links to reviews back to 2004.

Provincial Dances Theatre in the Russian Festival, ADF 2004, including Maple Garden “Strange and Stranger”

Baganova in the International Choreographers Commissioning Program at ADF 2006 “Hot Now”

Provincial Dances at ADF 2006 “The Pig Has Flown”

Baganova in Past/Forward at ADF 2010 with Sepia  Sepia has changed a little, but overall the description holds.


From Tatiana Baganova’s magnificent dance, Sepia, at ADF 7/14/16. Photo: Grant Halverson.



Provincial Dances Theatre, near the end of Sepia at ADF, 7/14/16. Photo: Grant Halverson.



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