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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Photograph: Courtesy Andrew EcclesAlvin Ailey American Dance Theater

The best dance shows in NYC this month

From ballet to hip hop and contemporary performance, New York's best dance shows offer plenty to choose from

Adam Feldman
Written by
Adam Feldman
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For dance lovers, New York City always offers good reasons to get moving. If your taste runs to classical ballet, you can 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. Many of these venues have been dark since the pandemic shutdown began, but as live performance returns to New York, dance is coming back with it, including multiple free outdoor events in the summer. Here are some of the best dance shows to check out in the next few months.

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Best dance shows in NYC this month

  • Dance
  • Ballet
  • price 4 of 4
  • Upper West Side

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. Note: Tickets go on sale to the general public on October 11, 2021.

  • Things to do
  • Performances
  • price 2 of 4
  • Greenwich Village

Hanukkah in NYC won't be the same with this annual strip show: For 15 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, but this year they say they are blowing out the candles for good. First, however, they are offering one last serving of tasty kosher camp. Joining them for this final gelt trip are hosts Fancy Feast and Bastard Keith, DJ Momotaro, and naughty performers Zoe Ziegfeld, Tallulah Talons Allegra Meshuggah, Rara Darling, Madame Brassiere, Rita N Wink and Jonny Porkpie.

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  • Dance
  • Ballet
  • price 3 of 4
  • Lenox Hill

Dances Patrelle offers its annual performance of The Yorkville Nutcracker, set in 1895 New York and featuring adorable child dancers alongside the professionals. This year's 25th annual edition once again features Abi Stafford—a longtime New York City Ballet star who left the company in September—as the Sugar Plum Fairy, joined this time by current NYCB principal Jared Angle as her Cavalier.

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  • Dance
  • Contemporary and experimental
  • price 3 of 4
  • Flatbush

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 cast of this year's edition includes Aliesha Bryan, the Red Dance Studio Chinese Dancers, Sira Melikian, ShanDien LaRance and Michael “Big Mike” Fields.

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  • Dance
  • Contemporary and experimental
  • price 2 of 4
  • Tribeca

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 for this 19th annual production includes students from Steffi Nossen School of Dance and e.g. dance.

  • Dance
  • Hip-hop
  • price 3 of 4
  • New Jersey

This production interprets the classic with hip-hop choreography and an updated version of the holiday story; directed and choreographed by Jennifer Weber and adapted by Mike Fitelson, the production features onstage DJs, an amped-up version of the Tchaikovsky score and a short opening act by rap pioneer Kurtis Blow. (The show plays at NJPAC on December 18 and then at Brooklyn's Kings Theater on December 19.)

Want to study dance in New York?

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