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15 Dance Performances to See in September

By: Susan Reiter
Date: Sep 08, 2023
Dance

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Catch NYC Ballet, Dorrance Dance, the Fall for Dance fest and more

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Kick off autumn with a wide array of movers and shakers, including New York City Ballet's fall season and beloved festivals like DANCE NOW and City Center's Fall for Dance. This month also offers Indian dance and plenty of contemporary work in venues large and small. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account daily to see what we're selling as ticket inventory changes frequently.

DANCE NOW

Joe's Pub at The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street near Astor Place in the East Village

Runs September 6-9

The eclectic DANCE NOW festival returns after a three-year hiatus with a new crop of five-minute pieces by veteran and emerging choreographers. This edition features two alternating programs which both include The Dandelion Project, a short documentary about how DANCE NOW artists coped during the pandemic shutdown.

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Douglas Dunn + Dancers: Garden Party

Douglas Dunn Studio, 541 Broadway between Spring and Prince Streets in Soho

Runs September 6-10

Endlessly adventurous, Douglas Dunn—a veteran of Merce Cunningham's company and the experimental Grand Union of the 1970s—presents an encore run of Garden Party, his well-received collaboration with visual artist Mimi Gross. A series of vignettes that fuse movement, visual art, music and poetry, the 10-dancer piece was described as "a dance you'd find in the middle of a Wes Anderson movie" by The New York Times. In other words, colorful and quirky.

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Infinity Dance Theater: Frida Kahlo and the Dance with Death

Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue at 10th Street in the East Village

Runs September 15-16. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

In 1987, busy ballet dancer Kitty Lunn broke her back and became a paraplegic. Her experience inspired her to found Infinity Dance Theater, which showcases dancers with and without disabilities. This month, her company presents the world premiere of Frida Kahlo and the Dance with Death, which Lunn choreographs and performs. A tribute to the famed artist who, like Lunn, suffered a life-altering spinal cord injury, the evening-length work features an original score by William Catanzaro.

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Heart of Brick

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

Runs September 15-22. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

Prolific, genre-defying choreographer Raja Feather Kelly (A Strange Loop, the feath3r theory) celebrates Black queer love in Heart of Brick, a multi-artist collaboration. R&B musician serpentwithfeet provides the score while multimedia artist Wu Tsang tackles the design of this evening-length work about two men who connect at a Black gay nightclub.

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Step Afrika!

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

Runs September 16-17. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

This invigorating troupe brings its signature blend of percussive, traditional African and contemporary dance to the Skirball for a two-night run. The five-piece program incorporates songs, storytelling and humor, plus lots of audience participation. An excellent introduction to dance for kids.

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New York City Ballet: Fall Season

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

Runs September 19-October 15. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets to select performances.

New York City Ballet kicks off its 75th anniversary with a four-week fall season devoted entirely to the choreography of George Balanchine, who cofounded the company with Lincoln Kirstein. Following a weeklong run of his beloved 1967 three-act ballet Jewels, the lineup will offer a broad sampling of his enduring works, including Bourrée Fantasque (1949), an epic for 42 dancers which NYCB last performed almost 30 years ago. To mark the troupe's founding three quarters of a century ago, the company will recreate its inaugural performance of Concerto Barocco, Orpheus and Symphony in C on October 11, the same date as its 1948 debut.

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Bijayini Satpathy: ABHIPSAA – A Seeking

Baryshnikov Arts Center, 450 West 37th Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues in Midtown West

Runs September 21-22

Bijayini Satpathy, an exquisite interpreter of Odissi from her many years with Nrityagram, branches out on her own with ABHIPSAA–A Seeking, four works that allow her to put her personal stamp on the Indian classical dance form she knows so well.

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New Chamber Ballet

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

Runs September 22-23

Miro Magloire and his elegant, unshowy New Chamber Ballet dancers consistently deliver refined classical works performed in the choreographer's signature in-the-round style. This program includes recent pieces set to Ravel, Boulez and two contemporary composers, all featuring live musical accompaniment.

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Erasing Borders Dance Festival

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

Runs September 23-24

The Indo-American Arts Council is behind this festival, which aims to expand awareness and appreciation of Indian dance forms. The first two days include appearances by renowned Bharatnatyam dancer Padma Shri Malavika Sarukkai along with workshops and lectures. Can't make it in person? The final performance on September 25 is virtual and can be live-streamed for FREE on YouTube.

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Smaïl Kanouté: Never Twenty One

Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street between Madison and Park Avenues

Runs September 27

Smaïl Kanouté, a French-Malian dancer and graphic artist, choreographs and performs in this US premiere inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. Co-presented by the Crossing the Line Festival and New York Live Arts, Never Twenty One commemorates young people of color lost to gun violence by focusing on three Black men killed in New York, Johannesburg and Rio de Janeiro. 

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BalletX

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

Runs September 27-October 1

Founded in 2005, this Philadelphia-based troupe has evolved into one of the most refreshing repertory companies in the country. For its return to the Joyce, BalletX performs two New York premieres—Honey by former Alvin Ailey resident choreographer Jamar Roberts, and Jennifer Archibald's Exalt—along with Credo by company cofounder Matthew Neenan.

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Fall for Dance

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

Runs September 27-October 8

The 20th anniversary of this exhilarating and affordable annual favorite features five programs with three contrasting works each. Catch celebrated companies that rarely perform in NYC, including Houston Ballet, England's Birmingham Royal Ballet and two stars from the Paris Opera Ballet. Or enjoy the latest offerings from local luminaries such as Caleb Teicher, Limón Dance Company and Michelle Dorrance collaborating with Ephrat Asherie.

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VIM VIGOR: Punchline

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

Runs September 28-30

Gibney presents the New York premiere of Punchline by dance-theatre company VIM VIGOR featuring three dancers exploring the space between comedy and death. Shannon Gillen and Jason Cianciulli co-choreograph and costar in this amusing meditation on mortality with an electronica score by Marshall Chadbourne.

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Dorrance Dance

92NY, 1395 Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street on the Upper East Side

Runs September 29

Tap genius Michelle Dorrance and her troupe kick off 92NY's 150th year of dance with new works by company members Elizabeth Burke, Luke Hickey and Claudia Rahardjanoto alongside SOUNDspace, the groundbreaking movement-as-music piece that made the troupe's reputation. Can't make it in person? You can stream a recording of the performance September 30-October 3.

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Bala Devi Chandrashekar: Padmavati - An Avatar

Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street on the Upper West Side

Runs September 30

Bala Devi Chandrashekar, a leading exponent and scholar of the Bharatanatyam style of Indian classical dance, performs this solo inspired by the work of 12th-century poet Jayadeva. Subtitled "A Captivating Sensual Love Story," it explores themes of romance and devotion.

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Top image: Annika Kuo from BalletX, which has a weeklong run at The Joyce Theater this month. Photo by Vandy Photography.

Susan Reiter covers dance for TDF Stages.