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18 Dance Performances to See in June—4 Are FREE

By: Susan Reiter
Date: Jun 01, 2023


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See American Ballet Theatre, Caleb Teicher tap, no-cost alfresco dance and more


Dance isn't slowing down for the summer. This month, American Ballet Theatre returns to Lincoln Center for a five-week season, and dance stars of tomorrow show off their skills at several annual showcases. Flamenco, swing dance and experimental work are also on the calendar, as well as four FREE outdoor offerings.

In terms of COVID-19 safety protocols, masks are optional and proof of vaccination is not required unless otherwise noted. While we are trying to keep this article up to date, be sure to double-check the protocols before purchasing tickets so you arrive prepared.

If you're a TDF member, log in to your account daily to see what we're selling as ticket inventory changes frequently.

Ballet Hispánico

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

Runs June 1-3. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

NYC's premier dance company showcasing Latine artists returns to City Center with two world premieres. Sor Juana by Michelle Manzanales celebrates the undersung title figure, an influential 17th-century feminist, poet, composer, philosopher and nun from Mexico. Omar Román De Jesús' Papagayos depicts a mischievous and manipulative figure. Other repertory on the program includes William Forsythe's duet New Sleep, the flamenco-inflected Linea Recta by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Club Havana, Pedro Ruiz's invigorating evocation of his homeland of Cuba.


Yoshiko Chuma & The School of Hard Knocks: Shockwave Delay

La MaMa's Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 East 4th Street in the East Village

Runs June 1-11. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

A fierce provocateur, choreographer and conceptual artist Yoshiko Chuma can always be counted on for work that surprises and unsettles. In her latest uncategorizable performance, Shockwave Delay, a rotating ensemble of artistic collaborators (dancers, actors, musicians, visual artists) interact indirectly, a metaphor for the endless circles of life, vacillating between peace and war. Better experienced than described!


School of American Ballet Workshop Performances

Peter Jay Sharp Theater, 155 West 65th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue

Runs June 3-5

The most advanced students at the School of American Ballet, which is closely affiliated with New York City Ballet, dance complete works and excerpts from the company's repertory with live orchestral accompaniment in this always impressive graduation performance. This year's lineup includes two major ballets by the school's founder, George Balanchine: La Source and the Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet. Other pieces include the ebullient suite of dances from Napoli by Danish choreographer August Bournonville and selections from Coppélia.


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 6-11. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

The perennially popular Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater heads to Brooklyn with two programs showcasing the company's diverse and challenging repertory. The first features pieces by an impressive trio of choreographers: Ronald K. Brown, Kyle Abraham and Twyla Tharp's Roy's Joys, a rarely seen 1997 dance set to the music of jazz innovator Roy Eldridge. The other program consists of four works by the troupe's namesake: Night Creature, Cry, Survivors, his impassioned tribute to Nelson and Winnie Mandela, and (surprise!) Revelations.


Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company: /Time: Study III

Broadway and 46th Street in Midtown West


The ever-adventurous Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company marks its 40th anniversary by making its Times Square debut with /Time: Study III, a FREE alfresco performance created specifically for the occasion.


Hudson River Dance Festival

Pier 63 in Hudson River Park, 23rd Street and the Hudson River in Chelsea

THURSDAY CANCELED DUE TO AIR QUALITY Runs June 8-9. FREE - bring your own blanket, no chairs allowed

Hudson River Park and The Joyce Theater partner for this FREE two-evening fest featuring modern masters moving against the Hudson River sunset. The lineup includes tap genius Ayodele Casel, Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden's exhilarating Complexions Contemporary Ballet and the storied Paul Taylor Dance Company.


Dance at Bryant Park Picnic Performances

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

THURSDAY CANCELED DUE TO AIR QUALITY June 8-9, 15-16. FREE - bring your own blanket

This FREE summer-long performance series features a rich range of dance styles on four double bills in June. Robin Dunn and The Lite celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop on June 8. On June 9, two different generations of contemporary dance share the stage: the witty Dance Heginbotham alongside the sensual abandon of Jennifer Muller/The Works. On June 15, the politically charged dance-theatre of Kayla Farrish is juxtaposed with works by Terk Lewis, a veteran of Complexions Contemporary Dance. And on June 16, enjoy an evening of percussive dance featuring the multicultural all-female trio Soles of Duende and tap artist Josh Johnson. Check out Bryant Park's full summer schedule for other exciting FREE performances.



Chelsea Factory, 547 West 26th Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues in Chelsea

Runs June 8-10

Acclaimed Chinese-American choreographer Yin Yue brings her namesake ensemble to Chelsea Factory for her latest work NOWHERE, a meditation on how uncertainty can spur change and evolution.


Ballet Tech Kids Dance

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

Runs June 8-11. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

The talented adolescents of Ballet Tech—a NYC public school founded by Eliot Feld where pupils study dance as well as academics—always put on a terrific, end-of-year showcase. For this edition, they'll dance Feld's playful A Yankee Doodle; two works by Ballet Tech artistic director Dionne D. Figgins; and two world premieres tailored to the kids' skills: one by Men Ca set to music by John Coltrane, the other by former American Ballet Theatre colleagues Robert La Fosse and Brian Reeder, danced to a Duke Ellington score.


New Dance Alliance: 37th Annual Performance Mix Festival

Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand Street near Pitt Street on the Lower East Side

Runs June 8-11

Masks are required.

This long-running incubator of experimental work brings together 30 eclectic dance and cinema artists for four days of boundary pushing. Curated by New Dance Alliance founder Karen Bernard along with a panel of peers, the fest offers a wide array of perspectives and performers, from Bessie winners to street dancers to filmmakers to genre-defying artists.


Ximena Garnica & Shige Moriya: Extinction Rituals

Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street between First and Second Avenues

Runs June 9-10

The Brooklyn-based cofounders of the LEIMAY Ensemble, Ximena Garnica from Colombia and Shige Moriya from Japan, present a work-in-progress performance of their dance-opera Extinction Rituals, inspired by mourning, remembrance and commemorations of life. The music is composed and performed live by Kaoru Watanabe and Carolina Oliveros.


Buglisi Dance Theatre

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

Runs June 13-15. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

A former Martha Graham principal and the creator of the annual Table of Silence 9/11 memorial project, Jacqulyn Buglisi creates heartfelt dances infused with lofty ideas. She and her ensemble of elegantly expressive dancers celebrate their 30th anniversary season with a world premiere, Suns and Future Imaginings, which draws inspiration from several writers to explore the power of communal collaboration and ritual. Also on the lineup, repertory works spanning two decades performed by several former Martha Graham dancers, including Terese Capucilli and Christine Dakin.


Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana

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

Runs June 13-18. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

This venerable troupe, which keeps the fire of flamenco burning, returns to the Joyce for its 40th anniversary with El Cuadragésimo, which celebrates the genre's past and present. The program includes internationally acclaimed soloists and group numbers by Emilio Ochando, all danced to live musical accompaniment.


Planting Connections: Curated by Kyle Abraham

Hearst Plaza at Lincoln Center, 65th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue

Runs June 16-17. FREE

Part of Lincoln Center's Summer for the City fest, this two-evening event is curated by lauded choreographer Kyle Abraham, who pairs dance-makers with composers, so they can craft new site-specific pieces on Hearst Plaza. Check out the full Summer for the City schedule for other exciting FREE performances.


National Dance Institute's Event of the Year

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

Runs June 17-19

Another chance to see young movers and shakers. Jacques d'Amboise founded the National Dance Institute almost 50 years ago to offer high-quality instruction to NYC public school students, especially kids from underserved communities. Its showcases are always ambitious and vibrant, and many genres are represented. This year's program is directed by Bianca Johnson and celebrates the life and legacy of Maya Angelou.


Caleb Teicher: SW!NG OUT

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

Runs June 20-July 2

Caleb Teicher, a deft innovator of tap and swing dance, brings his 2021 smash SW!NG OUT back to the Joyce for an encore run. The show's spontaneous spirit is enhanced by live music from the Eyal Vilner Big Band featuring the sublime vocals of Imani Rousselle. Each performance concludes with an on-stage community jam and all are invited to join, so bring your dancing shoes.


DUMBO Dance Festival

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

Runs June 22-25

Presented by WHITE WAVE Dance, this 22nd annual contemporary dance fest features talented choreographers from around the globe, including the US, Italy, Germany, Japan and South Korea. The four-day event features 55 companies with more than 300 artists performing present solo, chamber and full-scale works.


American Ballet Theatre

Metropolitan Opera House, 30 Lincoln Center Plaza at 62nd Street

Runs June 22-July 22

Bring on the full-length story ballets! That's what's on offer for ABT's summer season, with rotating casts of principals in three longtime favorites and one brand-new work by Christopher Wheeldon. There will be weeklong runs of Swan Lake, Giselle and Romeo and Juliet (with seven different pairs of star-crossed lovers). But the main event is a dozen performances of Wheeldon's dramatically rich, visually elaborate Like Water for Chocolate, inspired by Laura Esquivel's celebrated novel-turned-film about thwarted lovers. The score is by Joby Talbot, a longtime Wheeldon collaborator, and Bob Crowley created the scenery and costumes.


Top image: Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's Linea Recta by Ballet Hispánico. Photo by Paula Lobo.

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Susan Reiter covers dance for TDF Stages.