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13 Dance Performances to See This October

By: Susan Reiter
Date: Sep 27, 2019


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Big companies like ABT and Paul Taylor return, plus ice theatre, dance plays and Misty Copeland!


New York's dance scene reaches a critical mass this month with a slew of impressively varied offerings. Major companies (American Ballet Theatre, Paul Taylor American Modern Dance) and choreographers (Kyle Abraham, William Forsythe) are represented, as is more esoteric fare such as classical South Indian dance and ice dancing. Of the 13 events we're highlighting, at press time we have TDF member discounts to two, and we expect to have others in the coming weeks. It's best to check our offers daily as ticket availability changes frequently.


Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street

Runs October 1-6.

This feisty and unpredictable Philadelphia-based troupe has dazzled in previous Joyce appearances. For its first full-week run at the Chelsea dance hub, BalletX is performing a new full-evening work, The Little Prince. Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's two-act ballet is based on the fantastical French novella, and is set to Peter Salem's original score, which the composer plays live on multiple instruments.


American Dance Guild Performance Festival
Ailey Citigroup Theater, 450 West 55 Street at Ninth Avenue

Runs October 3-6.

This edition of ADG's annual showcase is titled Shaping the Now: Dance in Uncertain Times. The opening program salutes three honorees -- dance educator Jody Gottfried Arnhold, dancer and choreographer Gus Solomons, Jr. and Abdel R. Salaam, cofounder and director of Forces of Nature Dance Theater -- whose work will be presented on subsequent evenings, along with pieces by more than 30 other contemporary choreographers. It's a veritable dance sampler.


Shantala Shivalingappa: Akasha
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street

Runs October 8-12. At press time, discount tickets were available for Akasha.

Born in Madras and raised in Paris, Shivalingappa is an eloquent exponent of classical Kuchipudi dance from South India. During her week-long run at the Joyce, she'll perform five solos, each inspired by a different ancient Hindu poem, with a quartet of musicians providing accompaniment.


Dance Heginbotham: Herz Schmerz
Baryshnikov Arts Center, 450 West 37 Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues

Runs October 10-12.

Choreographer John Heginbotham, currently represented on Broadway by Oklahoma!, first joined forces with lauded writer-illustrator Maira Kalman for 2017's The Principles of Uncertainty. They continue their collaboration with this world premiere, a dance play inspired by the writings of Swiss author Robert Walser. Unfolding in a series of impressionistic vignettes, the performance features designs by Kalman, live chamber music by Hans Huber and Heginbotham's signature wit and deft timing.


William Forsythe: A Quiet Evening of Dance
The Shed, 545 West 30 Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues

Runs October 11-25.

The work of the influential American expatriate choreographer gets a two-week showcase at the city's newest arts center. This intimate program of new and existing works -- including two commissioned premieres -- will be performed by seven veteran Forsythe interpreters, with their breathing as the primary aural accompaniment.


Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street

Runs October 15-20.

Kyle Abraham's company returns to the Joyce with a varied program of new and old pieces. Highlights include a world-premiere solo Abraham will perform with a live gospel choir, an ensemble piece by company member Keerati Jinakunwiphat and the addition of a 1976 work by postmodern luminary Trisha Brown to A.I.M.'s repertory. Plus on opening night only, American Ballet Theatre's beloved principal Misty Copeland will perform a solo Abraham created just for her.


Swan Lake / Loch na hEala
BAM Harvey Theater, 651 Fulton Street between Rockwell and Ashland Places

Runs October 15-20.

Swan Lake as an Irish folk tale? That's the premise of this dance-theatre piece by Teac Damsa, which is having its U.S. premiere at BAM. Choreographed by company founder Michael Keegan-Dolan, it resets the familiar tale in the Irish Midlands and features a contemporary score by Slow Moving Clouds that fuses Irish and Nordic music.


American Ballet Theatre
David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza, enter at 63rd Street

Runs October 16-27.

No story ballets this season. This fall, ABT is presenting an eclectic mix of abstract pieces, including premieres by celebrated choreographers Twyla Tharp, Gemma Bond, Jessica Lang and principal dancer James Whiteside. Tharp's new work, set to Brahms, features 20-year company vet Herman Cornejo. Two of last spring's highlights -- Alexei Ratmansky's expansive The Seasons and the vivid revival of Tharp's Deuce Coupe -- also return.


Ice Theatre of New York
Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers, Pier 61 at 21st Street and Twelfth Avenue

Runs October 18, 19 and 21.

The city's ambitious figure-skating repertory company makes the case for ice dance as high art. In addition to cultivating skating choreographers, the troupe also imports acclaimed figures from the modern and classical dance worlds. This season includes a performance by a hip-hop/street dance skating duo alongside works by Jody Sperling, Deneane Richburg and Lorna Brown.


BalletCollective: Faraway
GK Arts Center, 29 Jay Street between Plymouth and John Streets in Brooklyn

Runs October 23, 25 and 26.

New York City Ballet soloist Troy Schumacher has been moonlighting as the leader of his own troupe for the past decade. This October, BalletCollective presents an evening of works in collaboration with the adventurous music ensemble The Knights, with choreography by Schumacher, Gabrielle Lamb and Preston Chamblee, who will also be dancing alongside seven of his NYCB colleagues.


Armitage Gone! Dance: You Took a Part of Me
New York Live Arts, 219 West 19 Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues

Runs October 23, 25 and 26.

Choreographer Karole Armitage's latest work is inspired by Noh dance-theatre and explores erotic fixation and unresolved emotions. Longtime Armitage interpreter Megumi Eda plays a ghost who must find closure before she can move on. Venturing into dreamlike territory, You Took a Part of Me features commissioned music by Reiko Yamada.


Houston Ballet
City Center, 131 West 55th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues

Runs October 24-26.

Houston Ballet is too rarely seen in New York, which makes this 50th anniversary celebration even more exciting. The multifaceted program includes works by three renowned contemporary choreographers, Mark Morris, Justin Peck and Aszure Barton, plus with the Orchestra of St. Luke's in the pit, you can count on high-caliber live accompaniment as well.


Paul Taylor American Modern Dance
David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza, enter at 63rd Street

Runs October 29-November 17. At press time, discount tickets were available for Paul Taylor American Modern Dance.

The venerable company shifts its Lincoln Center season from spring to fall, returning to the venue for the first time since the death of its founder. Fittingly, this season celebrates his oeuvre by presenting 19 of his works created between 1962 and 2018. Highlights include a revival of the rarely seem Post Meridian and the classic Company B with live music by vocal trio Duchess. Kyle Abraham contributes a world premiere to the troupe's expanding repertory, and recent works by Pam Tanowitz and Margie Gillis will also be performed.


Susan Reiter regularly covers dance for TDF Stages.

Top image: Andrea Yorita, Richard Villaverde, Skyler Lubin and Stanley Glover in BalletX's The Little Prince. Photo by Vikki Sloviter.

TDF MEMBERS: Go here to browse our latest discounts for dance, theatre and concerts.

Susan Reiter covers dance for TDF Stages.