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15 Dance Performances to See in June

By: Susan Reiter
Date: Jun 06, 2024


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Catch American Ballet Theatre, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and a few free performances


Don't fret if you missed your chance to snag tickets to Twyla Tharp's world premiere on Little Island. There are still many dazzling dance performances to see this month. Catch venerable troupes like American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Paul Taylor Dance Company, see international companies at The Joyce and enjoy a few FREE performances at parks in Manhattan and Queens.

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Oona Doherty: Navy Blue

The Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street in Chelsea

Runs June 4-9. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

The cutting-edge Irish dance-maker Oona Doherty is known for her bracing, highly charged work. She makes her Joyce debut with the evening-length Navy Blue, a fusion of movement, poetry and politics exploring how we can fight for a better future. A dozen dancers perform to an electronic soundtrack comprised of pieces by Sergeï Rachmaninoff and deejay Jamie xx.


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Avenue between Ashland Place and St. Felix Street in Fort Greene, Brooklyn

Runs June 4-9. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

NYC's beloved Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performs two contrasting programs during this weeklong BAM engagement. Contemporary Visions features new productions of pieces by Jamar Roberts, Hans van Manen and Alonzo King. All Ailey offers a quartet of classics by the company's founder: Memoria, A Song for You, Cry and his timeless Revelations.


Bryant Park Picnic Performances: Contemporary Dance Programs

Bryant Park, 40th to 42nd Streets between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in Midtown West

June 6, 7 and 14. FREE

Throughout the summer, Bryant Park is presenting FREE performances on select evenings. Music, theatre and movement are all on the schedule and can be enjoyed in this verdant, Midtown oasis. There are three dance programs in June: On Thursday, June 6, enjoy Sidra Bell Dance New York, the invigorating youngsters of the National Dance Institute, street dancers from It's Showtime NYC! and a trio of tappers: Naomi Funaki, Jared Alexander and Ayodele Casel. On Friday, June 7, David Dorfman Dance, Soles of Duende and Joffrey Concert Group share the bill. On Friday, June 14, catch Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, Robin Dunn's "SHOUT" and a tribute to dancer-choreographer Kevin Wynn, who passed away last year.


School of American Ballet Workshop Performances

Peter Jay Sharp Theater, 155 West 65th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue on the Upper West Side

Runs June 8 and 11.

Many members of New York City Ballet trained at the troupe's School of American Ballet, and the prodigious students always put on impressive end-of-year performances. This year's edition includes two pieces created for SAB in different eras: George Balanchine's 1934 masterpiece Serenade, and Christopher Wheeldon's 1999 opus Scènes de Ballet, an expansive showcase for students of all levels. Also on the bill, an excerpt from Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2, one of Balanchine's grandest works. Bonus: The June 11 performance includes Tendu, a world premiere by SAB and NYCB alum Lauren Lovette.


Queensboro Dance Festival

Various outdoor locations in Queens.

Runs June 8-September 15. FREE

Celebrating its tenth anniversary, this ambitious, wide-ranging festival offers FREE outdoor performances by Queens-based dance artists at various locations throughout the borough. Shows are usually 70 minutes and feature six to eight dance companies. Every event is followed by a brief dance lesson led by one of the troupes. Check out the calendar for the full schedule.


Introdans: ENERGY

The Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street in Chelsea

Runs June 11-16.

Returning to the Joyce for the first time in a decade, the adventurous Dutch company Introdans offers a triple bill titled ENERGY. The dancers cover considerable stylistic range performing works by the rigorous American postmodernist Lucinda Childs; the innovative British dancemaker Akram Khan, who seamlessly blends contemporary technique with the Indian classical form Kathak; and Mauro Bigonzetti, who evokes the spirit of southern Italy in Cantata.


Carolyn Dorfman Dance: Celebrate 40/NYC

Ailey Citigroup Theater, 405 West 55th Street at Ninth Avenue in Midtown West

Runs June 12-13.

Over the past four decades, New Jersey-based choreographer Carolyn Dorfman has created deeply humanistic dances for her eponymous troupe. In honor of the company's 40th anniversary, she presents a pair of New York premieres: her latest work, The Attitude of Doing, with music by violinist Regina Carter, and NOW! by Juel D Lane, who started out with Carolyn Dorfman Dance. A range of classic Dorfman repertory rounds out the program.


Ashley R.T. Yergens: Surrogate

New York Live Arts, 219 West 19th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues in Chelsea

Runs June 13-15.

This world premiere from Ashley R.T. Yergens, a Brooklyn-based dance-maker who investigates how trans perspectives enter mainstream culture, is an absurdist riff on Oprah Winfrey's landmark 2008 interview with a pregnant transman. Yergens and his collaborators explore the concept of using other people's bodies, whether via surrogacy, transmasculine pregnancy or creating choreography.


National Dance Institute's Earth's Song

NYU Skirball, 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square South in the West Village

Runs June 15-18. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

For almost a half century, the Jacques d'Amboise-founded National Dance Institute has offered free dance training to hundreds of NYC public school students. This month, 150 of these movers and shakers take the stage in a robust, end-of-school-year performance titled Earth's Song. A large, diverse team of choreographers, musicians and designers contribute their talents to the show, which explores environmental themes and celebrates our planet's natural wonders.


Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana: EQUILIBRIO (Clásica/Tradición)

The Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street in Chelsea

Runs June 18-23. 

Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana returns to The Joyce with EQUILIBRIO (Clásica/Tradición), an evening-length work honoring the legacy of flamenco while taking the form in new directions. Created by lauded flamenco artist Emilio Ochando for nine dancers, the piece juxtaposes genre traditions with an original score by Daniel Jurado played by multi-instrumentalist Gonzalo Grau.


American Ballet Theatre: Summer Season

Metropolitan Opera House, 30 Lincoln Center Plaza at 62nd Street on the Upper West Side

Runs June 18-July 20.

For its summer season, American Ballet Theatre presents five evening-length ballets, including tried-and-true favorites Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet. The buzzy new addition is Woolf Works by British choreographer Wayne McGregor, a three-act ballet that draws on the themes and style of Virginia Woolf, particularly her novels Mrs. Dalloway, Orlando and The Waves. Originally created for the Royal Ballet, it won the 2016 Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production. The central role will be danced by several leading ABT ballerinas as well as its originator, the seemingly ageless Alessandra Ferri, who will be honored at the June 28 performance. The lineup also includes last year's major premiere, Christopher Wheeldon's Like Water for Chocolate, and John Cranko's classic Onegin.


Queer the Ballet: Dream of a Common Language

Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Avenue, entrance on 25th Street between Third and Lexington Avenues in Kips Bay

Runs June 21-23.

Taking inspiration from Adrienne Rich's 1978 poetry collection Dream of a Common Language, this new evening-length ballet explores the search for community and camaraderie among six queer contemporary dancers. Directed by Queer the Ballet founder Adriana Pierce, the piece includes choreography by Pierce, Minnie Lane, Rosie Elliott and Lenai Alexis Wilkerson.


Paul Taylor Dance Company: Extreme Taylor

The Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street in Chelsea

Runs June 25-30.

A welcome opportunity to see the cherished Paul Taylor Dance Company in a relatively intimate venue. The two Extreme Taylor programs were created specifically for The Joyce and feature works from the 1960s and '70s, from the dark and disquieting (Runes, Big Bertha, Private Domain), to the ravishingly lyrical (Airs, Brandenburgs).


Eiko Otake and Margaret Leng Tan: Stone I

Historic Chapel at Green-Wood Cemetery, enter at 500 25th Street at Fifth Avenue in Greenwood Heights, Brooklyn

Runs June 26-29.

Dancer-choreographer Eiko Otake and pianist Margaret Leng Tan, two trailblazing artists and longtime friends, are behind Stone I, the first installment of a new interdisciplinary collaboration. The two expand on their traditional art forms to explore human dependence on natural resources through movement and sound.


Dumbo Dance Festival

Mark Morris Dance Center, 3 Lafayette Avenue between Rockwell and Ashland Places in Fort Green, Brooklyn

Runs June 27-30.

Young Soon Kim's WHITE WAVE Dance presents this eclectic contemporary dance festival, which brings together companies from NYC and around the world. The June 27 opening gala features some heavy hitters, including Buglisi Dance Theatre, Yoshiko Chuma & The School of Hard Knocks, ZviDance and WHITE WAVE. Five performances over the following three days offer mixed bills with eight companies each, including troupes from Taiwan, Switzerland, Korea, Germany and Japan.


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

Susan Reiter covers dance for TDF Stages.