Just Dance: This Summer’s Most Spectacular Performances in NYC


Catskill Calling

The American Dance Institute, under the direction of Adrienne Willis, recently broke ground at ADI/Lumberyard, a state-of-the art facility for new dance and performance on the Hudson River in Catskill, New York. Celebrating its arrival in our state after five years in Rockville, Maryland, ADI’s Incubator program is presenting premieres by five of this city’s most interesting choreographers, in a month-long session at the Kitchen in Chelsea (June 2–July 2, 512 West 19th Street, Launching the series is Yvonne Rainer’s The Concept of Dust: Continuous Project–Altered Annually (June 2–4), weaving meditations on aging with the postmodern matriarch’s trademark offhand dance style. Brian Brooks Moving Company offers the choreographer’s new Wilderness (June 9–11), followed by Jane Comfort and Company’s ode to urban living, You Are Here (June 16–18). Choreographer Susan Marshall, composer Jason Treuting, and visual artist Suzanne Bocanegra collaborate on the experimental CHROMATIC (June 23–25), inspired by the color theory of Josef Albers. The project winds down with I Want You to Want Me (June 30–July 2), a quartet by Jack Ferver, an actor who’s been morphing into a choreographer. Comfort, who developed her You Are Here at ADI in Rockville, rhapsodizes about the organization: “Adrienne started asking artists, ‘What do you need?’ We needed residencies. Time in the theater with a tech crew. They’re giving commissioning funds. They rented the Kitchen. I’ve got fairy godparents! We’re all so used to slogging it out for ourselves; having this level of support is just great. Catskill’s moment is about to come — it feels like Soho did in the early Seventies.”

Jody Sperling/Time Lapse Dance

June 2–4

Sperling built her reputation channeling Loie Fuller, the turn-of-the-nineteenth-century dance pioneer who used lighting and flowing fabric to create magical stage effects. Sperling recently became the first choreographer-in-residence aboard a U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker in the Arctic; her Polar Rhythms project documents her experience dancing on sea ice and encompasses live action, mixed-media installations, music by Alaska-born composer Matthew Burtner, and conversation about climate change for adults and kids alike. Ice Cycle involves six female dancers, two visual artists, and a host of consultants and panelists. University Settlement, Speyer Hall, 184 Eldridge Street,

Performance Mix Festival

June 6–11

The New Dance Alliance presents the thirtieth-anniversary version of this eclectic festival, featuring forty artists at thirteen events — some of them free — over six days. On opening night, the always unpredictable Clarinda Mac Low and ubiquitous dancer Carolyn Hall create a participatory algorithm for dancemaking, sharing the bill with the acrobats of LAVA and Yasuko Yokoshi. Later shows feature Narcissister, Johanna S. Meyer, Philadelphia’s Headlong, several artists from Montreal, and festival director Karen Bernard. On Thursday, June 9, there’s breakfast — bagels, politics, conversation, and performance — at 10:30 a.m. Closing day, meanwhile, is all about various blends of improvisation: tap, music, contact. Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand Street (enter at Pitt Street),

Aviva Geismar/Drastic Action

June 16–18

Geismar’s Dis/Location (Fort Tryon), a free 35-minute site-specific work, explores the experience of immigration in a park that has welcomed waves of immigrants for decades, raising questions about how we create a sense of home. Also on the bill are short dances by middle school students from the City College Academy of the Arts, where Geismar’s troupe teaches. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket; if it rains, head to the academy (4600 Broadway, enter at 196th Street) instead. Billings Lawn, Fort Tryon Park, west of the 190th Street A train station,

Rioult Dance NY

June 21–26

Left to themselves, alumni of the Martha Graham Dance Company tend to make dances rooted in Greek mythology; Pascal Rioult and his wife, Joyce Herring, are no exceptions. The first of two programs, each performed four times, contains ballets based on Euripides’ Iphigenia in Aulis and The Trojan Women, as well as one drawn from the myth of Helen of Troy. The second includes dances to Bach, Ravel, and Tchaikovsky, in addition to a series of duets drawn from Rioult’s repertory. Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue,

Twyla Tharp Dance

July 11–23

The virtuoso choreographer has been in residence at the Joyce in Chelsea and will bring us both a mixed-repertory slate — including her 1976 Country Dances and 1980 Brahms Paganini — and a new work to Beethoven’s Opus 130. Her current ensemble, heavy on veteran male dancers, includes John Selya, Matthew Dibble, Daniel Baker, Ramona Kelley, Amy Ruggiero, Eva Trapp, Nicholas Coppula, Kaitlyn Gilliland, and Reed Tankersley. Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue,

Bridgman|Packer Dance

July 13–16

A masterful crew of technical collaborators join this longtime choreographic duo for an evening of two recent works — Remembering What Never Happened and Voyeur, the latter inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper — that fuse complex video projections with live performance. The effect is immersive and surreal, turning Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer into an entire ensemble. Sheen Center, Loreto Theater, 18 Bleecker Street,

National Ballet of Canada

July 28–31

A highlight of this summer’s Lincoln Center Festival, Christopher Wheeldon’s The Winter’s Tale is a remarkably successful translation of Shakespeare’s problem play into dance. Tony-winning choreographer Wheeldon (An American in Paris) reassembles the creative team that mounted Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland five years ago, offering up Bob Crowley’s sets and costumes, a score by Joby Talbot, projections by Daniel Brodie, silk effects by Basil Twist, and lighting by Natasha Katz. Turning a script so metaphysically intense into dance is no easy task, but this crew brings it off and then some — a mere film of it brought me to tears, so imagine how powerful a stageful of live performers will be. David H. Koch Theater, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza,

American Dance Festival

August 1–6

The North Carolina–based festival colonizes Manhattan this summer, with two programs of dance. One, Monday through Wednesday, presents Tatiana Baganova’s Sepia, influenced by Kobo Abe’s novel Woman in the Dunes, performed by Provincial Dances Theatre of Yekaterinburg, Russia, here making its New York debut. Then, Thursday through Saturday, Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre, a Miami-based troupe, offers Herrera’s Various Stages of Drowning: A Cabaret, which experiments with underwater film to conjure dream states. Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue,


August 16–21

Philadelphia’s gilt-edged chamber ballet troupe, directed by Christine Cox, opens its first week-long season in New York City. On the bill: Show Me, set to the music of Brooklyn Rider and with choreography by company co-founder Matthew Neenan; a new work by Trey McIntyre to songs by Amy Winehouse; and a premiere by Kevin O’Day to an original piece by John King, to be played live by cellist Wendy Sutter. The gorgeous, passionate, very diverse ten-member ensemble will knock your socks off. Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue,