Best dance shows in NYC this month
The venerable company—including dancers Stella Abrera, Roberto Bolle, Isabella Boylston, Misty Copeland, Herman Cornejo, David Hallberg, Sarah Lane, Hee Seo, Christine Shevchenko, Daniil Simkin, Cory Stearns, Devon Teuscher and James Whiteside—returns to the Met for eight weeks. The run includes three ballets by artist in residence Alexei Ratmansky—Harlequinade (May 13–18), Whipped Cream (May 24–29) and The Sleeping Beauty (July 1–6)—as well as a collection of three shorter Ratmasnky dances (May 21–23). Other offerings include a trio of works by Twyla Tharp (May 30–June 3), the company premiere of Cathy Marston's Jane Eyre (June 4–10) and the full-length ballets Le Corsaire (June 11 –15), Manon (June 17–22) and Swan Lake (June 24–29).
The Italian Dance Connection gives New York the boot in a three-day festival that comprises 16 live dance works (including 10 premieres) and a dozen films. The offerings are divided into four distinct programs.
NYCB returns to Lincoln Center with a six-week slate that includes multiple collections of dances by company founder George Balanchine. Among the many other offerings in the varied season are premieres by Pam Tanowitz and resident choreographer Justin Peck; two mixed bills of work by 21st-century choreographers; and, for the final week, Balanchine's full-length forest romp A Midsummer Night's Dream (May 28–June 2).
David Parsons and his company return to the Joyce with a mixed bill that features three pieces by Parsons—Round My World, Nascimento and company favorite Caught—as well as the late Paul Taylor's Runes (1975) and the New York premiere of Trey McIntyre's Eight Women, set to music by Aretha Franklin. (At matinee performances, Parsons's Hand Dance replaces the Taylor piece.)
La MaMa's annual festival runs riot with dance. Witness Relocation's Surveys the Prairie of Your Room (May 18, 19), created and performed by Dan Safer and Ae Andreas, features music by Heather Christian and text by Kate Scelsa. Other participating artists include Italy's Gruppo Nanou (Apr 26–28), Colleen Thomas (May 3–5), Mia Habin (May 3–5), Yin Mei Dance (May 9, 10), Hari Krishnan/inDance (May 11, 12), Bobbi Jene Smith (May 16–19), Jesca Prudencio (May 23, 34) and Sin Cha Hong (May 25, 26).
Having already presented opulent, adults-only burlesque takes on the previously child-oriented Snow White, Cinderella, The Nutcracker and Ferdinand the Bull, director-choreographer Austin McCormick and his fancy-naughty troupe set their sights on Lewis Carroll's oft-plundered Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Expect to go down all sorts of rabbit holes.
The 42nd annual edition of the African-diaspora cultural festival focuses on the history and culture of Rwanda in a program created by artistic director Abdel R. Salaam. The Rwandan company Inganzo Ngari is joined onstage by actor-poet Malaika Uwamahoro and the BAM/Restoration Dance Youth Ensemble. In addition to performances, the festival includes community events, readings, film screenings and a visual-art exhibition.
Founded by modern dance titan José Limón in 1946, the company continues under the guidance of artistic director Colin Connor. This latest NYC engagement includes two Limón favorites, The Moor's Pavane and Psalm, along with Connor's The Weather in the Room and Francesca Harper's Radical Beasts in the Forest of Possibilities, which is set to a score written and performed live by Nona Hendryx.
Advanced students from the Martha Graham School perform their 2019 New York season. Selections include multiple dances by Graham—including Heretic (1929) and Applachian Spring Suite (1944)—as well as a new piece by France's Brice Mousset.
Chinese-American choreographer Yin Yue and her company proffer three world premieres that deal with our concept of time: The Time Followed, Stones and Kisses and the ensemble piece Citizen. The show features original music by Juliane Jones and Doug Beiden.
92nd Street Y hosts this intimate lunchtime series of dance and performance. Offerings in May range from a collection of Merce Cunningham solos (May 3) to a celebration of Israeli folk dance (May 31).
Hook Arts Media presents this two-day cultural bash including dance, food, music, face-painting and other neighborhood-pride-building activities at two locations. It begins with a free cookout and DJ dance party on Friday, May 31 at PS15 and is followed by a day filled with special dance performances by The Dance Cartel as well as Ballet Hispanico's second company: BHdos, and Taina Asili on Saturday, June 1 at Valentino Park & Pier.
Fadi J. Khoury and his company continue their monthly Black Box series. The April edition features a performance of Reflections followed by a talk-back and reception.
Artistic director and choreographer Takehiro Ueyama presents the NYC premiere of two pieces: In the Sea of Heaven, inspired by ecological tragedies, and The Game 2, about women in the workplace. The program also includes the late Kazuko Hirabayashi's Les Reves d'Après-Midi, a daydream duet for a boss and his secretary.
Varone and his ensemble of 13 dancers return to BAM with a work that comprises seven interrelated vignettes on themes of faith and community, including the NYC premiere of epilogue. The show features an original score performed live by musicians including the Bang on a Can all-Stars.
Johnson and her contemporary-ballet company perform a collection of works, including Nighty and Dreams (set to Schubert), Trio Sonatas (set to Handel), Undercurrent (set to Górecki) and the world premiere of Clearing, set to music by Phillip Glass. Joining the troupe as a guest artist this season is former New York City Ballet soloist Craig Hall.
New Dance Alliance's festival, now in its 33nd season, showcases work by experimental artists. This year's lineup, curated by Karen Bernard, includes Audrée Juteau, Michele Beck, Futile Gestures, Britta Joy Johnson, Janeill Cooper, Patrick Quinn, Anna Witenberg, Siri & Snelle, dendy/donovan projects, Andrea Haenggi, Deborah Conton, the Moving Architects and many more. A $20 ticket on Sunday 9 gets you access to multiple multi-artist shows in a six-hour marathon.
The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's free, wide-flung celebration of the arts has many exciting offerings in 2018. Catherine Galasso's Of Granite and Glass (June 15–17) is a site-specific multimedia dance work inspired by Boccaccio's Decameron; Cori Olinghouse's Grandma (June 15–17) explores ghosts of the Deep South; Marisa Michelson and Royce Vavrek's Naamah's Ark (June 17), performed by MasterVoices, is a dramatic oratorio about the Biblical flood as told from the perspective of Noah's wife. Participating artists also include Jace Clayton, Enrico D. Wey, It's Showtime NYC!, Naomi Goldberg Haas, Laura Nova and Elia Alba.