The Top 16 Dance Events in NYC This Summer



May 23–26

More than a mere performance, Baba Chuck Davis’s annual downtown Brooklyn festival anchors a neighborhood-wide celebration of the African diaspora, this year featuring music and dance from Madagascar’s Groupe Bakomanga (making its U.S. debut), as well as select artists from around New York state. Come hungry and with an eye for crafts; be prepared to respond to Baba’s calls. BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Avenue,

MalPaso Dance Company

May 27–June 1

American foundations have circled around this brand-new Cuban troupe, steeped in the country’s diverse dance traditions and directed by Osnel Degado. Their support allows MalPaso to make its New York debut with a work by Ronald K. Brown, whose own company fills the theater the following week. Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue,

John Jasperse

May 28–31

The smartest and farthest out of our mid-career choreographers, Jasperse renders big ideas in irresistible formats. His new quartet, Within between, grapples with the habits of his own history, a 30-year exploration of the cultural landscape. Jonathan Bepler provides an original score, played live. New York Live Arts, 219 West 19th Street,

Daniel Gwirtzman
Dance Company

May 30–June 1

The voluble choreographer celebrates his troupe’s 15th anniversary with the world premiere of Oracle, performed in the round by a dozen dancers who explore gatherings that define the cycle of life. Composer Jeff Story provides an original score. BAM Fisher, 321 Ashland Place, Brooklyn,

From the Horse’s Mouth

May 30–June 1

Tina Croll and Jamie Cunningham’s irresistible combo of dance improvisation and spoken word has been delighting audiences since they first developed it decades ago. This version brings two special programs: a gala celebrating the centenary of Frederic Franklin with performers who knew and loved him, and all-male versions of the venerable score, which lets dancers tell how they got into the profession and why they stayed. Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, 3 Spruce Street,

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet

June 11–14

The Walmart-funded, Euro-centered, Chelsea–based troupe of terrific dancers, now directed by Alexandra Damiani, celebrates its 10th anniversary with a Brooklyn debut, mounting three programs featuring choreographers Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (Belgian), Hofesh Shechter (Israeli), Alexander Ekman (Swedish), Jo Stromgren (Norwegian), and Crystal Pite (Canadian). BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Avenue,

Alvin Ailey American
Dance Theater

June 11–22

A world premiere by the San Francisco–based choreographer Robert Moses, on June 12, highlights this spring season, which features four programs including dances by Hans van Manen, David Parsons, Asadata Dafora, Wayne McGregor, Ronald K. Brown, Ohad Naharin, Bill T. Jones, Aszure Barton, and, needless to say, Alvin Ailey. David H. Koch Theater, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza,

Jason Samuels Smith

June 20

Terrific tapper Smith collaborates with Owen “Flidia” Brown on Transformation: Rhythm’s Roots, a musical response to the Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave. The free evening begins with a master class by Brooklyn-born African dancer Jamal Jackson and includes live music by Flidia’s all-star combo. Herbert Von King Park, Marcy Avenue between Greene and Lafayette Avenues, Brooklyn,

Savion Glover

June 24–July 12

The “king of tap,” a consummate performer and teacher, brings a new show, showcasing his extraordinary virtuosity and uncompromising style. Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue,

Urban Bush Women

July 2

A new work, Chalabati, made for dance students across the South, commemorates the troupe’s 30th anniversary, to music by the Moroccan Gnawa people. Sharing the bill: Laurie M. Taylor/Soul Movement, which concentrates on “sound perception.” Central Park Summerstage, Rumsey Playfield, Fifth Avenue at 69th Street,

Anne Teresa De

July 8–9

Kicking off this year’s Lincoln Center Festival, the high-strung Belgian choreographer returns with a “greatest hits” offering that includes her shattering Fase (1982) to music by Steve Reich, Rosas danst Rosas (1983), Elena’s Aria (1984), and Bartok/Mikrokosmos (1987). Live music is played by Ictus. Gerald W. Lynch Theater, Tenth Avenue at 59th Street,

Bolshoi Ballet

July 12–27

Moscow’s big company brings Swan Lake, Don Quixote, and Yuri Grigorovich’s mostly-male Spartacus, with a score by Aram Khachaturyan played by the Bolshoi Orchestra, to the Lincoln Center Festival. David H. Koch Theater, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza,

Shen Wei Dance

July 17

Hopefully the last Rite of Spring for this century, the choreographer of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics brings us another performance to Stravinsky’s world-changing score. Prospect Park Bandshell, 9th Street and Prospect Park West, Brooklyn,

Lincoln Center Out of Doors

July 20–August 10

Bill Bragin’s cornucopia of international music and dance overflows this summer, featuring A Batalha Do Passinh, a new Brazilian street dance form, plus Rennie Harris Puremovement (July 24), Pam Tanowitz Dance (July 25), Paul Taylor Dance Company and Pablo Ziegler’s New Tango Ensemble (August 1), Camille A. Brown and Dancers (August 2), and Ragamala Dance and Chinese dancers from New York and Philadelphia (August 7). And more, all free. Lincoln Center’s Plazas, West 62nd to West 65th Streets,

Dance Theater of Harlem

July 31

The reinvigorated ballet troupe, under the direction of Virginia Johnson, brings a program that includes dances by Donald Byrd, Robert Garland, and Marius Petipa. Opening the free show is New Orleans musician Leyla McCalla. Prospect Park Bandshell, 9th Street and Prospect Park West, Brooklyn,

Spectrum Dance Theater/
Sidra Bell Dance NY

August 6

In one of the great American second acts, choreographer Donald Byrd moved to Seattle and revitalized Spectrum; his troupe makes a rare local appearance on a bill shared with Sidra Bell’s cinematic choreography and glamorous performers. Central Park Summerstage, Rumsey Playfield, Fifth Avenue at 69th Street,