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15 Dance Performances to See in November

By: Susan Reiter
Date: Nov 08, 2023


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Catch 'The Nutcracker,' Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and more

Two holiday favorites kick off this month: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's annual run at New York City Center and New York City Ballet's iconic production of The Nutcracker choreographed by George Balanchine. You can also catch some of the final offerings of the ambitious Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels fest, including a new staging of Pina Bausch's The Rite of Spring at Park Avenue Armory. Plus exciting companies from near and far at The Joyce and BAM.

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Kyle Marshall Choreography

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

Runs November 8-12. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

After garnering acclaim and awards in more intimate venues, Kyle Marshall's eponymous company makes its Joyce debut with a trio of premieres that reflect the choreographer's wide-ranging artistic and socio-political interests. Ruin explores how and what we hear as performers use dynamic listening devices to amplify the sounds they're making with their bodies. Alice, a solo about self-acceptance, is set to an Alice Coltrane score. Onyx honors Black and brown rock 'n' roll pioneers with a soundscape that includes samples from Little Richard, James Brown, Tina Turner, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and other groundbreakers.


Pam Tanowitz: Song of Songs

New York City Center, 131 West 55th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues in Midtown West

Runs November 9-11. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

One of the most sophisticated and inventive dance-makers working today, Pam Tanowitz is known for her intricate, evocative choreography. Her new full-evening work Song of Songs is named for and inspired by a romantic poem in the Hebrew Bible. David Lang's score features choral settings of the ode that complement Tanowitz's Jewish folk dance-inflected movements in this celebration of love and community.


Samita Sinha: Tremor

Danspace Project, St. Mark's Church, 131 East 10th Street between Second and Third Avenues

Runs November 9-11.

Multidisciplinary artist Samita Sinha, whose work distills and expands on Indian vocal traditions, collaborates with sonic artist Ash Fure and the distinctive dancer/performance artist Okwui Okpokwasili on Tremor. Unfolding in a space designed by architect Sunil Bald, the hourlong piece explores the experience and resonance of vibration.


Jamal Jackson Dance Company: TEETH

Triskelion Arts, 106 Calyer Street at Banker Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Runs November 9-18.

Choreographer Jamal Jackson explores complicated questions of history and identity with the dance-theatre piece TEETH. Four young students of color are magically transported back to 18th-century America by a "Griot Tooth Fairy" and learn firsthand how enslaved folks played important roles in the founding of our country.


Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble: In the Eye of a Dream

Theaterlab, 357 West 36th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues in Midtown West

Runs November 9-19.

This plucky troupe dedicated to the repertory of the late choreographer Anna Sokolow presents In the Eye of a Dream featuring her tributes to two legendary visual artists. Frida is a multimedia celebration of Sokolow's close friend Frida Kahlo. Magritte brings the surrealist paintings of René Magritte to life through movement, immersive projections and text by John White, Paul Éluard and Edgar Allan Poe.


Complexions Contemporary Ballet

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

Runs November 14-26.

Founded in 1994 by Alvin Ailey alums Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, this popular contemporary troupe presents sleekly sensual choreography performed by fearless dancers with superb technique. For the Joyce run, the company offers three programs with a wide-array of repertory, including a world premiere by Rhoden set to songs by U2, works by guest choreographers Justin Peck, Ricardo Amarante and Jenn Freeman, and the debut of Complexions' new poet-in-residence, Aaron Dworkin.


Akram Khan: The Jungle Book Reimagined

Lincoln Center's Rose Theater, Broadway and West 60th Street in Lincoln Square

Runs November 16-18.

Akram Khan reframes Rudyard Kipling's classic but colonialist The Jungle Book through the eyes of Mowgli, reimaged as a young refugee impacted by the harsh realities of climate change. This narrative-driven production features ten dancers, an original score by Jocelyn Pook and breathtaking video projections and animation. Tickets are pay-what-you-wish starting at $5.


Dimitri Chamblas and Kim Gordon: TAKEMEHOME

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

Runs November 17-18. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

French choreographer Dimitri Chamblas and punk icon Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth join forces for TAKEMEHOME, a trippy tribute to the forgotten souls who inhabit large cities. Nine dancers, five electric guitars and five amplifiers conjure a powerful sense of isolation, as bodies dart in and out under a huge zeppelin. Part of the Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels fest.


New York City Ballet: George Balanchine's The Nutcracker

David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza at 63rd Street and Columbus Avenue in Lincoln Square

Runs November 24-December 31.

As always, there are a multitude of Nutcrackers to see this season. But George Balanchine's version for New York City Ballet, which premiered in 1954, is what turned this Christmas ballet into a seasonal staple across the United States. The five-and-a-half-week run stars multiple amazing dancers in the always-thrilling leading roles, but it's the two alternating casts of kids as angels, candy canes and mice that give this ballet its unique charm and heart.


adaku, part 1: the road opens

BAM Fisher, 321 Ashland Place between Lafayette Avenue and Hanson Place

Runs November 28-December 2.

Dancer/performance artist/choreographer Okwui Okpokwasili and director/visual artist/sound designer Peter Born have been collaborating for more than two decades. Now the two make their BAM debut with the first installment of their adaku saga about a fictional, precolonial African village facing an upheaval and a collective reckoning. The nonlinear narrative features West African forms of dance, poetry and song, and was conceived and written by Okpokwasili, while Born supplies the piece's textured sonic and visual landscape. Part of BAM's NEXT Wave festival.


Dancing with Glass: The Piano Etudes

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

Runs November 28-December 10. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

Five diverse and intriguing choreographers create new dance pieces set to composer Philip Glass' landmark Piano Etudes. Post-modern luminary Lucinda Childs, Chanon Judson of Urban Bush Women, New York City Ballet resident choreographer Justin Peck, Brazilian tap artist Leonardo Sandoval and LA -based dance-makers Bobbi Jene Smith and Or Schraiber put their own spins on these popular piano solos, played live by premier Glass interpreter Maki Namekawa. Part of the Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels fest.


Leslie Cuyjet: With Marion

The Kitchen at Westbeth, 163B Bank Street near West Street in the West Village

Runs November 29-December 2.

Leslie Cuyjet, a striking performer with multiple downtown dance companies, is behind With Marion about her late great aunt, a groundbreaking dance educator for children of color in the 1950s. For the multimedia work, Cuyjet crafts video loops in real time, mixing family movies with her own prerecorded footage.


The Rite of Spring / common ground[s]

Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue between 66th and 67th Streets on the Upper East Side

Runs November 29-December 14.

Almost a half century after its creation, Pina Bausch's The Rite of Spring remains a monumental work of visceral power set to Igor Stravinsky's thrilling score. As the final offering of the Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels fest, the 1975 classic is given a fresh interpretation with 36 dancers from 14 African nations twirling and clashing on a peat-covered stage. It's paired with the new work common ground[s], a collaboration between Senegalese choreographer and performer Germaine Acogny and former Bausch company member Malou Airaudo about the overlaps in their lives.


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

New York City Center, 131 West 55th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues in Midtown West

Runs November 29-December 31.

Even after 65 years, this dynamic company continues to thrill. Its holiday run at City Center is finally back to its pre-pandemic five weeks and features world premieres by Amy Hall Garner, former company member Elizabeth Roxas-Dobrish and recently retired artistic director Robert Battle. Alongside staples by Alvin Ailey, including Revelations, are new stagings of Ronald K. Brown's eloquent Dancing Spirit and works by Alonzo King, Jamar Roberts and Hans van Manen.


YY Dance Company

Gibney 280 Broadway, 53A Chambers Street between Broadway and Elk Street in Tribeca

Runs November 30-December 2.

Choreographer Yue Yin and her company present a pair of contrasting works. The intimate Ripple, created during the pandemic, unfolds through a series of duets that depict moments of balance and harmony amid chaos. Through the Fracture of Light, a 2016 ensemble work set to Tibetan throat singing, showcases Yin's fusion of Chinese dance, folk and contemporary movement.


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Susan Reiter covers dance for TDF Stages.