Our sneak peek at dance shows we’d love to see
Twyla Tharp Dance
New Work & Repertory
When and where: July 11–23, Joyce Theater, New York, NY
Tharp’s witty and athletic choreography melds balletic precision with postmodern’s pedestrian movement, an insouciant style, and a quicksilver way with bodies in space. Her company returns to the Joyce stage with a two-week season of repertory—the playful, square-dance-inspired Country Dances (1976) and the virtuosic Brahms Paganini (1980)—plus a new work set to Beethoven’s Opus 130.
World Dance in the Hollywood Hills
Summer Season at the Ford
When and where: July 8–October 15, John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, Hollywood, CA
The Ford Theatres present performing arts and film events “as diverse as Los Angeles County itself,” and after a two-year renovation project, the Ford’s historic amphitheater in Cahuenga Pass reopens. This month you can see flamenco (Fountain Theatre, July 23) and classical Indian dance (Mythili and Aditya Prakash, July 29), or enjoy a family matinee of Philippine dance (Kayamanan Ng Lahi, July 30). Artist-led jam sessions also pop up around the city: try Tahitian dance (with Kalakeke Pacific Island Dance Company, July 7) at Newhall’s library or rueda de casino, a Cuban form of salsa danced in a circle (with Contra-Tiempo, July 9), at Pomona’s monthly Art Walk.
American Dance Festival
When and where: Through July 30, multiple venues, Durham, NC
Summer is a time for dance festivals, and this summer American Dance Festival celebrates its 83rd season with 26 companies and choreographers performing in more than a dozen venues. Highlights include an all–William Forsythe program from Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (July 8–9) and a new evening-length work from Company Wang Ramirez (July 22–23), a newcomer to the festival last year that delighted audiences with its globally inspired mix of hip-hop, martial arts–influenced movement, and contemporary.
Bates Dance Festival
When and where: July 9–August 6, Bates College, Lewiston, ME
Bates Dance Festival prides itself on incubating not just talent but community, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty of out-of-town talent visiting this summer. Tapper Michelle Dorrance and her dancers bring excerpts from three works: Blues in D; SOUNDspace; and ETM: The Initial Approach, in which the dancers play music not just with their taps but with tap boards wired up as electronic instruments. Doug Varone presents three of his sweeping, humanistic contemporary dances, including The Fabulist, a solo for himself; and ReComposed, inspired by the swirling pastels of abstract expressionist painter Joan Mitchell. And Kate Weare presents the erotically charged Dark Lark, with a cello/electronics score performed live by Chris Lancaster, and Marksman, a new trio.
Capital Fringe Festival
When and where: July 7–31, multiple venues, Washington, DC
Then there are fringe festivals. You never know what you’re in for when you walk into the theater—or bar, or storefront, or busy downtown intersection—and that’s definitely part of the fun. DC’s Capital Fringe produces events year-round, but each July it overflows across the city in an outpouring of independent dance, theater, music, and “unclassifiable” performance. The 2016 season features more than 130 productions at 20 venues. The Logan Fringe Arts Space is the festival’s hub, offering drinks, food, mingling, and free music in its courtyard.
“Death & Delight”
When and where: July 14–16 & 21–23, BodyVox Dance Center, Portland, OR
2016 is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, and Bard-focused productions are popping up all over. Dance theater company BodyVox presents its sixth annual collaboration with Chamber Music Northwest: “Death and Delight,” a double bill of new productions of Romeo and Juliet, set to Prokofiev’s original rehearsal version for solo piano, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, set to Mendelssohn’s suite for piano four hands; the music will be played live. Founded by two Momix co-founders, Jamey Hampton (also a former Pilobolus dancer) and Ashley Roland, the company revels in athletic movement, theatrical storytelling, comic hijinks, and eye-tricking illusions.
New York City Ballet
When and where: July 20–30, Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), Saratoga Springs, NY
NYCB has migrated north in the summer for half a century, abandoning Manhattan’s sweltering streets for the horse-racing town of Saratoga Springs, and the formality of Lincoln Center for an open-air auditorium surrounded by sloping lawns where dancegoers picnic. This season honors that 50-year partnership with 16 ballets by eight choreographers, including Scherzo, a new ballet by Justin Peck; Christopher Wheeldon’s American Rhapsody; and George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream—also danced at SPAC’s opening night performance in 1966. Half-hour pre-performance talks provide insight and information.