For dance lovers, New York City always offers many good reasons to get moving. If your taste runs to classical ballet, you can often get your fill from New York City Ballet or American Ballet Theatre at Lincoln Center. For more modern fare, visit the Joyce Theatre, New York Live Arts, New York City Center, BAM or the Baryshnikov Arts Center. Looking for avant-garde work? You'll find it at the Skirball Center, the Chocolate Factory or Abrons Arts Center—and that's not to mention hip hop dance, international pageants, dance theater, Broadway musicals, experimental performance art and much more. Here are some of the best dance events coming to New York in the next few weeks.
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Best dance shows in NYC this month
This magical 1954 production, set to Tchaikovsky's incredible score, includes the full New York City Ballet company and two casts of School of American Ballet students, as well as an onstage blizzard and a Christmas tree that grows from 12 to 40 feet. In the end, however, Balanchine's choreography is what holds it all together. It's enchanting.
Artistic director Robert Battle continues to present classics while introducing new choreography to the repertory of the venerable company, which celebrated its 60th anniversary last year. Offerings during its monthlong residency at City Center include a new production of Judith Jamison's Divining (1984), the company debut of a collection of solos by Merce Cunningham, and world premieres of dances by Donald Byrd, Jamar Roberts and Darrell Grand Moultrie—plus, of course, Alvin Ailey's 1960 signature classic, Revelations, which concludes most of the programs.
This year, Dance Magazine honors Sara Mearns, David Gordon and Valda Setterfield, Angel Corella, Masazumi Chaya, Linda Shelton, Bobbi Jene Smith and Caleb Teicher. Performers include Mearns, Gordon, Wally Cardona, Karen Graham, Osnel Delgado Wambrug, Daileidys Carrazana Gonzalez and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (featuring Jacqueline Green and Jamar Roberts).
Now in its 26th season, the company offers two world premieres by founder Jacqulyn Buglisi—The Moss Anthology: Variation #5 and In the name of the fire, and the flame, and grace…jb—as well as her 2001 work Sand and the NYC premiere of Virginie Mécène's UNUM. (The gender-neutral ballroom dance I Love You is also on the bill on December 11 and 12, and Meagan King's KINGS is featured on December 11.)
Tanowitz and her postmodern-ballet troupe return to the Joyce in a collaboration with world-class pianist Dinnerstein, who will play Bach's Goldberg Variations live onstage as dancers from the troupe perform around her.
Triskelion Arts's ongoing series presents work by four emerging companies , paired differently over the course of four evenings. The featured artists this time around are Mark Schmidt and Remi Harris, caitlinadams/Heidco, Collin Kelly and Quentin Burley Dance Group.
The company offers its annual performance of The Yorkville Nutcracker, set in 1895 New York. This year once again features guests Abi Stafford and Ask la Cour—both of whom have been New York City Ballet principals—as the Sugar Plum Fairy and her cavalier.
Brooklyn Ballet's take on The Nutcracker, choreographed by artistic director Lynn Parkerson, emphasizes cultural and artistic diversity. Alongside sequences that hew to the classic 19th-century tradition are interludes featuring street dance, flamenco, belly dancing, Chinese dance, hoop dance and hip-hop.
The folk-dance company, guided by artistic director Alberto Lopez Herrera, reprises a 2018 piece that celebrates the holiday season as it is experienced by a child of Mexican-American immigrants in New York City. In styles that range from Aztec-inspired movement to ballet, and to music from mariachi to Tchaikovsky, 16 dancers perform sequences created especially for this show by Mexican and Mexican-American choreographers.
The Ukrainian ballet company, led by Elena Baranovskaya, performs the holiday classic for one night in Newark. A cast of 40 performs a lavish two-act production, choreographed by Marius Petipa and set to Tchaikovsky's well-loved score.
Adult members of Alden Moves Dances Theater join forces with children (ages 3 to 11) from the company's school in the fifth annual production of Alden LaPaglia's immersive staging of the holiday favorite.
Symphony Space presents a screening of the glorious Bolshoi's production of the holiday favorite, set to Tchaikovsky's music and recorded in front of a live audience in 2018. Margarita Shrainer plays Marie, and Semyon Chudin is her Prince.
The captivating Michelle Dorrance, who won a 2015 MacArthur "genius" grant for her innovative tap work, offers the world premiere of a holiday show set to Duke Ellington and Bill Strayhorn's 1960 jazz reimagining of Tchaikovsky's ballet score. This centerpiece, choreographed by Dorrance and Josette Wiggan-Freund, is presented alongside different pieces in each of the company's three weeks at the Joyce: All Good Things Must Come to an End (Dec 17–22); Elastic Time (Dec 24–29); and, in the final week, three shorter works, including two that feature master clown Bill Irwin.
Israeli-American contemporary choreographer Zvi Gotheiner, who grew up on a kibbutz in a parched area of northern Israel, draws on his personal experience in a new piece that explores questions related to water shortage and the political and social ramifications thereof. (The title means water in Hebrew.)
Choreographer David Parker and his Bang Group reprise their neovaudevillian version of The Nutcracker, a comedic deconstruction of the holiday classic that mixes tap, ballet, contemporary dance and disco. The cast includes students from Steffi Nossen Dance Company, Frank Sinatra High School for the Performing Arts and e.g. dance.
The pre-professional dancers of the Kozlova's school offer their annual one-hour performances of Tchaikovsky's holiday plum, which the former Bolshoi Ballet and New York City Ballet étoile has staged after Marius Petipa and Valery Vainonen's original. This year's cast is led by Rajna Removic and Justin Valentine.
Choreographed by longtime Jesuit pastor Robert VerEecke, this liturgical dance piece is aimed at those who want a little más Christ in their Christmas shows. Steven Cornwall and Maresa D'Amore Morrison play Joseph and Mary, joined by members of the Chevalier Ballet Company and other groups. A Boston holiday tradition for decades, the show made its New York debut only last year.
Well-practiced Irish dancers, including alums of Riverdance and Lord of the Dance, kick up their heels in a holiday entertainment created by Brooklyn Irish Dance Company. Choreographer Erin O'Donnell doubles as the lead performer.
Apparently, there's no Hanukkah in NYC without...a strip show? For 13 years, burlesque mavericks Darlinda Just Darlinda and Minnie Tonka have teamed up and turnt up the festival of lights as the wicked duo The Schlep Sisters. They return with a night of 100% certified kosher camp at this bananas, all-inclusive dreidel party. They're joined by fellow variety stars Varla Valour, Bastard Keith, Lydia Vengeance, the Goddess Pearlman, the Evil Hate Monkey, Cassandra Rosebeetle and host Fancy Feast.