The local Company C Contemporary Ballet -- directed by one-time New York City Ballet dancer Charles Anderson -- counts among its many artistic assets a strong relationship with master choreographer Twyla Tharp. Its a good pairing. While Tharp has earned the National Medal of Arts and every other artistic honor under the sun, she has always straddled the line between the triumphant and heretical, choreographing for films such as Hair and Ill Do Anything, collaborating with pop stars like David Byrne and Billy Joel, and risking sure ridicule by using Bob Dylan songs for ballet. Company C has a similar spirit for adventure. Tonights Company C Program B alone includes David Grenkes Vespers, set to the music of Tom Waits, and Andersons Echoes of Innocence, set to the music of electronic composer and Kronos Quartet-collaborator Ingram Marshall. However, the apex of show will be the world premier of Tharps Armenia, based on ten Armenian folks songs and traditional dances compiled by Vardapet Komitas. Combining retrograde movement with unworldly speed and off-beat timing, Tharp's precision disarray demands profound stamina, good humor, and point shoes. In delicate contrast, Starshadows, a graceful adagio set to the music of Ravel, will be presented in honor of local choreographer Michael Smuin, who died this time last year while teaching class.
Sat., April 12, 8 p.m.; Sun., April 13, 2 p.m., 2008