By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
'AMERICAN LIVING ROOM 2004'
July 22-September 2, HERE Arts Center, 145 Sixth Avenue, 212.868.4444, here.org
JUNE 2-JULY 28: Every Wednesday evening in June and July, as the sun begins to set over the Hudson River, a different group of musicians and dancers plays host to a gathering on the rolling lawns of this fabulous estate, which just happens to be a public garden. In order, they are the Near East Music Ensemble, which will teach all comers belly dance and the debke; Dancing Crane, a troupe from the Caucasus Mountains in the Black Sea region of Georgia, James Reams and the Barnstormers, offering American bluegrass and the square dances that go along with it; and Kotechegna, from West Africa's Cote d'Ivoire, a percussion ensemble with teachers who'll demonstrate dances relating to animals and forest spirits. Next is Retumba, with music from Puerto Rico and Cuba, and Yvette Martinez teaching dances; Tahuantinsuyo, a pioneer folk group from the Andes; Kinding Sindaw, a Filipino troupe that will perform and teach dances imitating birds, fish, butterflies, and rivers; Zlatne Uste, a 12-piece Balkan brass band; and wrapping up the season, Los Macondos, celebrating the music and dance of Colombia.
JULY 17:Dance highlight of this outdoor event is Brooklyn's own Mark Morris Dance Group.
'DANCING IN THE STREETS'
Various venues, 212.625.3505, dancinginthestreets.org
JUNE 15-28: Incorporating at least four different choirs and appearing on staircases at six different buildings in three boroughs, site-specific artist Stephan Koplowitz's latest (and largest) work, 30 minutes long, focuses on the tension between the grand sweep of some city staircases and the casual use the public makes of them. The Grand Step Project will be performed three times at each landmark, beginning with 90 continuous minutes on the evening of the world premiere, June 15 at 8 at the World Financial Center Winter Garden, West and Vesey streets. That night the New York Choral Society, singing a cappella, opens for the cast of 50 dancers, moving on with them June 17-19 to the steps of the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd streets, where the new piece, performed to a commissioned score by Quentin Chiappetta, will be shown at noon, 12:45, and 1:30 p.m. each day. On June 23 the Highbridge Voices, a youth choir, welcomes them to the Bronx County Building at 161st Street and the Grand Concourse, also at noon, 12:45, and 1:30; on June 25 the Great Day Chorale joins them at Brooklyn Borough Hall, singing spirituals, at the same hours; on June 26 the Great Day Chorale sings at 2, 2:45, and 3:30 p.m. at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, and the final performances take place June 28 at 5, 5:45, and 6:30 p.m. at the National Museum of the American Indian, 1 Bowling Green, where the SilverCloud drum group performs Native American traditional music.
St. Mark's Church, 10th Street and Second Avenue, 212.674.8194, danspaceproject.org
MAY 27-JUNE 27: Trajal Harrell Dance Style's first full-length work descants on Brett Easton Ellis's Less Than Zero, June 3-6; the Capoeira Foundation holds its annual batizado, June 5; the wonderfully unpredictable Sally Silvers and Dancers offer Dang Me and Dreamsdocometrue June 10-13; and former Merce Cunningham dancer Kimberly Bartosik shows the full-evening I sat down on the bank the grass was damp a little then I found my shoes wet, June 24-27.
'FAMILY DANCING AT BATTERY PARK CITY'
JUNE 25 Barnklubben Elsa Rix, Swedish Folkdancers of New York & Ole Olsson's Oldtime Orkestra
JULY 24 Kotchegna Dance Company & Mane Kadang
'HOT!: THE NYC CELEBRATION OF QUEER CULTURE'
Dixon Place, 258 Bowery; Dixon Place at the Marquee, 356 Bowery, 212.219.0736, dixonplace.org
JULY 6-28: After 16 months "in exile," this tiny downtown crucible for experimental work brings it all home on Wednesday nights, to its Bowery loft and to the Marquee, up the street at 356 Bowery. Queer dancers on display include Kelly Bartnik, Anne Gadwa, and Carlos Fittante (July7); Jen Abrams, Pedro Osorio, and Peter Sciosioli (July 14); the Body Blend Dance Series curated by Alexx Shilling (July 21), and Jeff McMahon and Greg Walloch (July 28).
'JACOB'S PILLOW DANCE FESTIVAL'
June 19-August 29, 358 George Carter Road, Becket, Massachusetts, 413.243.0745, jacobspillow.org
June 5-13, University Settlement, 184 Eldridge Street, 212.219.0736, dixonplace.org
'LATINO CULTURAL FESTIVAL'
'LINCOLN CENTER FESTIVAL 2004'
JULY 6-25: The dance component of this annual cultural feast focuses on Frederick Ashton, the late British choreographic genius whose centennial we celebrate this year. Seven different programs are offered, danced by four ballet companies: England's Birmingham Royal Ballet performing the 1940 Dante Sonata, 1961's The Two Pigeons, the 1968 Enigma Variations, and the 1977 Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan; the London-based Royal Ballet performing a program of short Ashton works featuring principal guest artist Sylvie Guillem plus his 1948 Cinderella; the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago in A Wedding Bouquet and Les Patineurs(1937) and Monotones I andII(1966, 1965); and Japan's K-Ballet, making its North American debut in the 1980 Rhapsody. In a more contemporary vein, Shen Wei Dance Arts offers the New York premiere of a new full-evening Shen Wei work to music by Xenakis, Volans, and Ligeti (July 14, 16, and 17 at Alice Tully Hall).
'LINCOLN CENTER OUT OF DOORS'
Damrosch Park, 62nd Street near Amsterdam Avenue; South Plaza, 62nd Street behind New York State Theater; North Plaza, north of Metropolitan Opera House; Josie Robertson Plaza, Columbus Avenue and 64th Street, 212.875.5766, lincolncenter.org
AUGUST 10-30: This season's free, al fresco festival focuses on the Pacific Rim, and includes dance performances from South Africa (Soweto Street Beat, August 13), Colombia, Peru, and the Philippines (August 15), Hawaii (A Feast of Hula, August 15 & 16), Korea (August 22), and New Zealand (the Kahurangi Maori Dance Theatre, August 25). From the American dance community come Battleworks Dance Company (August 16), Parsons Dance Company (August 17), and a gala evening shared by Ronald K. Brown/Evidence and Dallas Black Dance Theatre (August 24 & 25); from Spain hails Maria Bermudez y Sonidos Gitanos Flamenco (August 28). Especially for kids, there are Spanish, tap, and African dance lessons at the August 14 PlayDay; a site-specific "Celebration of Saraswati," honoring the Hindu goddess, on August 11; hula lessons and demonstrations on the morning of August 16; and a morning show of Dallas Black Dance Theatre on August 25.
'MIDSUMMER NIGHT SWING'
Josie Robertson Plaza, Columbus Avenue and 64th Street, 212.875.5766, lincolncenter.org
JUNE 10-JULY 16:For five weeks, five nights a week (with the occasional special kids' matinee), the plaza is transformed into a giant dance party, with a specially constructed sprung dance floor, a bandstand for live music, and DJs who spin between sets. Twenty-seven different bands will turn up, beginning opening night with George Gee's Swingin' Big band channeling Count Basie and Glenn Miller. On subsequent nights, Los Soneros de Oriente, Willie Villegas y Entre Amigos, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Avantango, the All-Star Irish Catskill Band and much more, concluding with Illinois Jacquet and his Big Band. June 26 and July 10 are Kid's Days, with special lessons for young 'uns from 4 to 5:30. Buy a season pass, or bring cushy shoes and dance on the adjoining concrete for free.
JULY 29-AUGUST 28:The rambunctious Mark Morris Dance Group offers a Mozart-free but otherwise estimable repertory program (dances to Monteverdi, Haydn, and Bach, played by the Orchestra of St. Luke's) at the New York State Theater August 19 and 21, and Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, queen of Belgian dance, brings her 1992 choreography to 24 Mozart arias for her company, Rosas, to the La Guardia Concert Hall, August 25, 27, and 28.
'QUEER @ HERE FESTIVAL 2004'
June 16-26, HERE Arts Center, 145 Sixth Avenue, 212.868.4444, here.org
'RIVER TO RIVER'
Various venues, 212.219.9401, ext. 304, rivertorivernyc.com
MAY 28-SEPTEMBER 30: The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council co-sponsors several site-specific SiteLines dance works, including Stephan Koplowitz's The Grand Step Project (see "Dancing in the Streets") and pieces by Andrea Haenggi (Under Whose Control, a collision of installation, performance, and multimedia spectacle inside a vacant cigar store at One Wall Street Court, June 16-19 and 24-26); Clarinda Mac Low, Paul Benney, and Alejandra Martorell (Tryst, which celebrates the magical in the midst of the ordinary in various downtown sites, July 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, and 28); Heather Harrington (Giscard Gamesmutates the sign language used in the futures and commodities markets into a dance work on the steps of the Federal Hall National Memorial, August 2, 4, 9, 11, 16, and 18); and Tamar Rogoff (Night for Day, a 30-minute work on a bed that explores insomia at various downtown sites, August 3, 5, 7, 10, and 12).
'SUMMER IN THE SQUARE'
Union Square Park, Union Square East and 16th Street, 212.460.1208
JUNE 30-AUGUST 18:Free Wednesday evening performances under big old trees (bring a blanket!) by such troupes as KR3Ts (an East Harlem-based hip-hop ensemble, June 30), Danzas Españolas (classic Spanish styles, July 7), Taylor 2 (the junior ensemble from the Paul Taylor studio, July 14), Battery Dance (performing works by Jonathan Hollander, August 11), and the Niall O'Leary Dance Troupe (award-winning Irish step dancers, August 18).
'TAP CITY 2004'
The Duke on 42nd Street Theater, 229 West 42nd Street, 212.239.6200, 646.230.9564, nyctapfestival.com
JULY 3-10: The night of July 5 is actually a tap jam on a Circle Line jazz dinner cruise; call right now (646-230-9564) for a discounted ticket. July 6 is the Tap City Gala, a tribute to the late Gregory Hines. July 7 features two performances by international tap artists and ensembles; July 8 is devoted to the youngest dancers; July 9 focuses on local masters, soloists, and ensembles; and the grand finale, on July 10, honors legendary masters and teachers, and hosts the annual Hoofer Awards for leading soloists.