The more things change, the richer the spread of summer spectacle becomes. Dance on Camera, the annual compendium of international dance films usually exhibited in late January, this year shows up in July. See below for a mere taste of what else is on deck this summer — much of it outdoors, much of it free.
Contemporary Dance Series
Through July 20
On Fridays at 6 p.m. this summer, Tiffany Rea-Fisher curates free outdoor concerts, with multiple dance companies performing nightly on an elevated stage. So far, the series — which has been running since June 22 — has hosted appearances by Graham2, the AThomasProject, Mindy Jackson, NOW Dance Project, the Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, and more. Additional highlights are on the horizon. On July 6, catch a roster that includes Monteleone Dance and Tiffany Mills Company. On July 13, Bryn Cohn + Artists, Diva Dance, Tina Croll + Company, and others take the platform. It all leads up to the concluding program, on July 20, of HopeBoykinDance, Julia Ehrstrand, Gabrielle Lamb, and Earl Mosley’s Institute of the Arts.
Bryant Park Stage, 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue, bryantpark.org
Ballet Festival + Batsheva — The Young Ensemble
Through July 22
The Joyce’s annual Ballet Festival, running through July 7, hosts five companies from all over the country, each for two or three performances. Then, straight from a run at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts, comes to the Chelsea venue Batsheva — The Young Ensemble (July 10–22), the junior offshoot of Tel Aviv’s leading troupe Batsheva. The outfit brings with them Naharin’s Virus, a Bessie Award–winning piece by Ohad Naharin, who recently announced that he’s stepping down as the company’s director but will continue to choreograph. Adapted from Peter Handke’s play Offending the Audience, the deeply ambiguous work, which had its U.S. premiere in 2002, includes sections of Handke’s text, a huge blackboard at the back of the stage, and other deeply theatrical strategies.
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, joyce.org
Through July 29
For ten years, Austin McCormick’s peripatetic baroque-burlesque ensemble has mounted stunning, raunchy versions of popular fairy tales and Petipa ballets. This summer, it offers an ingenious original piece, Boylesque Bullfight, in its own Brooklyn cabaret space. Eight shapely men, attired in little more than jeweled codpieces, corsets, and horned helmets, bring us a jaw-dropping version of Munro Leaf’s 1936 nursery story of Ferdinand, the bull who never learned to fight. The action comes ornamented with soprano Marcy Richardson singing arias from Bizet’s Carmen and a delightful playlist including Tom Waits, Yma Sumac, Gloria Gaynor, and tango tunes. A man-size honeybee rocks point shoes; the very talented performers work out on poles, spiral in Spanish dance styles with lace mantillas and fans, and climax, under a rain of glitter, in a kick-line wearing fake breasts. A blast for all is just about guaranteed.
Théâtre XIV, 383 Troutman Street, Brooklyn, companyxiv.com
Dance on Camera Festival
A co-production of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Dance Films Association, this year’s festival — its namesake’s 46th — offers sixteen programs encompassing ambitious features and quirky shorts from seventeen countries. The opening-night bill highlights Mark Wilkinson’s American Tap, which follows this indigenous art form from its origins among immigrants to its current resurgence. Closing the five-day event is If the Dancer Dances, focused on keeping the work of Merce Cunningham alive for a new generation. In between, watch Lucinda Childs teach members of the Lyon Opera Ballet her choreography to Beethoven, and see Marta Renzi’s tribute to dance artist Aileen Passloff, Her Magnum Opus. In addition to the programs at the giant Walter Reade Theater, free screenings and discussions take place in the FSLC’s Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center Amphitheater across the street. Grab an all-access pass, another discount package, or single tickets and enjoy the comfy, commercial-free cinema environs.
Film Society of Lincoln Center, 65th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam, filmlinc.org
Mark Morris Dance Group
July 28; August 9–12
The redoubtable choreographer displays his precious resources at Lincoln Center this summer, including an expensive showing during August’s Mostly Mozart festival. On July 28, to kick off “Family Day” at Lincoln Center Out of Doors, members of Morris’s company will teach sections of his Love Song Waltzes to participants of all ages starting at 11 a.m in Hearst Plaza. Then, from August 9 to 12, make your way to the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center, where the Mark Morris Dance Group performs a program including that work and the world premiere of The Trout, to the Schubert quintet played live by the Ariel Quartet, joined by pianist Inon Barnatan. Tickets for this are scarce already, so don’t dally.
Both events near Lincoln Center, markmorrisdancegroup.org