Turkish Delight

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Living legends are hard to come by these days. This is especially true in the dance world, where Pina Bausch is about as good as it gets. Credited with the birth of dance theater—the meshing together of the two art forms—Bausch is one of the few consistent innovators with the power to stretch the boundaries of performance. In fact, her annual presentation at BAM has become a highlight of the New York cultural scene. This year, Bausch takes on the city of Istanbul and its multifaceted physical and political culture with a show that has already traveled to Paris, Berlin and Tokyo to rave reviews.

Néfés, which means “breath” in Turkish, promises some sublime, on-stage imagery based at least partly, one can assume, on the city’s sparkling coastline. Capital city of the Byzantines (when it was known as Constantinople), and later to its Ottoman overlords, this 2,000-year-old city has weathered the latest changes in Turkish political culture and is perhaps the ultimate meeting point between East and West. Istanbul is a rich and complex topic to explore—a task Bausch will no doubt conquer with her usual inventiveness and talent.

Dec. 8-10; 12, 14-16. BAM, Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Ave. (betw. St. Felix St. & Ashland Pl.), B’klyn, 718-636-4100; Thurs.-Sat. 7:30, Sun. 3, Tues. 7, $25-$85.

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