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
Shanghai Ballet puts its stamp on the timeless tale of a princess, a prince and an evil spell. Artistic director Derek Deane coordinates a massive spectacle set to Tchaikovsky's superb music and featuring Wu Husheng, Qi Bingxue and some 80 other dancers (of whom four dozen play swans).
A cast of 10 performs Nuo's interactive dance musical, cowritten with Linda Burson and codirected with Kevin Davis. The piece aims to convey the natural splendor of frozen landscapes and educate adult and child audiences about the dangers of climate change.
Neumann and Murray explore the way we talk about race—and look at larger questions of time and scale—in a new piece that combines public conversation, video elements and "periodic mesmerizing dances."
YouTube stars and MTV Video Music Award–nominated performer-choreographers Keone and Mari Madrid, who have created dances for Justin Bieber and So You Think You Can Dance, play the lead roles in this immersive dance musical created with Hideaway Circus's Josh Aviner and Lyndsay Magid Aviner. The story, told through West Coast urban dance, is loosely inspired by Romeo and Juliet; the design involves a large amount of yarn.
Complexions hits the Joyce with three programs. The first week of evening shows (January 21–26) comprises two works by co–artistic director Dwight Rhoden: Bach 25, set to Baroque violin and cello music by Johan Sebastian and Carl Philipp Bach, and the world premiere of Love Rocks, a ballet set to songs by Lenny Kravitz. The second week (January 28–February 2) joins Bach 25 with Rhoden's social-justice ballet Woke. Matinees throughout the run offer Love Rocks and Essential Parts, a collection of highlights from the company's 26-year history.
Having put The Nutcracker to bed for another year, NYCB returns to Lincoln Center for five more weeks. Among the offerings are premieres of new works by Alexei Ratmansky and Justin Peck, multiple pieces by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, and, just in time for Valentine's Day, Peter Martins's full-length Swan Lake (February 14–23).
In this joyful annual pageant, members of Thunderbird American Indian Dancers, founded in 1963, perform traditional songs and dances and tell stories inspired by Native American cultures across the continent. There will be dancing, singing and American Indian craft and food stands every day; director and emcee Louis Mofsie guides audiences through the history and traditions being celebrated.
Matthew Bourne's beloved rendition of Swan Lake infuses traditional ballet with elements of contemporary dance, most notably replacing the corps of delicate female swans with a gaggle of aggressive male dancers. Matthew Ball, Will Bozier and Max Westwell alternate as the Swan; Andrew Monaghan and James Lovell share the part of the Prince.
In a follow-up to her 2010 work X, which explored whether individual expression can create a communal cathartic experience, Ring returns to Danspace with an unrestrained piece built out of her five dancers' improvisations and performed mainly without music.
The Bang Group presents unconventional work by three commissioned artists in Women in Motion's annual showcase: asubtout's intergalactic fantasy The Centaur Show, Rebecca Stenn's painterly duet The Oak and the Willow and Same As Sister's celebrity-focused Kallax.