Thursday 5.8

[DANCE]

SHAKE YOUR BODY

Learn all the right moves

If you've ever wanted to twirl like a flamenco dancer or tap your feet like Fred Astaire, National Dance Week is the perfect time for anyone who hasn't gotten moving to start! Beginning today, studios such as Ailey Extensions, the American Tap Dance Foundation, Djoniba Dance & Drum Center, Power Pilates, the Hip-Hop Dance Conservatory, and many others are offering free classes. Newcomers can try out just about every dance form known to man and then keep the party rolling long after the week of freebies is over. There's also a performance that includes ballet, jazz, lyrical, Latin, and Middle Eastern dances on Sunday to show you how fabulously you'll be able to move if you stick the program out. Starts today, through May 17, classes to be held at multiple venues; Sunday performance at 4, New Dance Group Performance Center, 305 West 38th Street, second floor, 212-904-1990, ndw-nyc.org, free–$12 KEISHA FRANKLIN

[THEATER]

THE WAIT IS OVER

After a six-year delay, Edward Albee's play is back

Originally scheduled to run at the Signature in 2002, Edward Albee's Occupant was canceled during previews when its star, Anne Bancroft, came down with pneumonia. Now, Tony winner Mercedes Ruehl is onboard to portray the late acclaimed sculptor (and Albee friend) Louise Nevelson—ably abetted by the excellent Larry Bryggman—in this story about the charismatic artist's life and career. Though the entire eight-week run sold out while the show was still in rehearsals, it's been extended another week and, last we heard, tickets were still available. (The catch: They're now $65 instead of $20.) Pam MacKinnon, who staged the hit revival of Albee's Peter and Jerry at Second Stage earlier this season, directs. In previews, opens June 5, through July 6, Signature Theatre, 555 West 42nd Street, 212-244-7529, signaturetheatre.org, $65 ANGELA ASHMAN

[THEATER]

SHORT AND SWEET

Summer's almost here, which means that the Ensemble Studio Theatre's annual array of one-acts, Marathon 2008, is back to delight us with 15 new short plays on alternating programs. For its 30th anniversary, EST brings us works by brilliant award winners (David Auburn, Neil LaBute), talented newcomers (Anne Washburn, Amy Herzog), and established veterans (Frank Gilroy, José Rivera). Highlights include a solo piece by the always-entertaining drag artist Taylor Mac and a play titled Japanoir by the Voice's own Michael Feingold. Opens today, through June 28, Ensemble Studio Theatre, 549 West 52nd Street, 212-352-3101, $18 ANGELA ASHMAN

 
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