Welcome to good times: In the realm of dance, your spring is going to heat up early and stay hot. Or at least tingly warm. There’s the brand new: Company E, a repertory troupe making a foray into Israeli choreography. There’s the new-to-Washington: Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. And the big new production: Washington Ballet’s world premiere of “Alice (in Wonderland).” Plus returning favorites: San Francisco’s Margaret Jenkins, the masters of slowness Eiko and Koma, tapper Savion Glover, as well as local lights Dana Tai Soon Burgess and Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh, reviving a little-known Anna Sokolow work. And that’s just a teaser. What follows are some of the more dramatic contours in a season running deep and wide.
Most anticipated:Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, under Artistic Director Robert Battle (Feb. 7-12 at the Kennedy Center Opera House). Battle takes over from Judith Jamison, the longtime director and friend of the late Ailey. The new guy — youngish (39), likable — never knew the founder nor danced with the company he now leads. Perfect for a fresh start. And Battle, better known as a choreographer, has novel things in store: the troupe’s first assay of a Paul Taylor work (“Arden Court”), dances by other well-respected artists such as Ohad Naharin and Ulysses Dove, and two by the new director himself.