16 Dance Performances to See in April
By JUAN MICHAEL PORTER II
Friday, March 25, 2022  •  
Fri Mar 25, 2022  •  
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Catch New York City Ballet's spring season, City Center's inaugural Dance Festival, The Joyce Theater at Chelsea Factory and more

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Dance into spring with veteran companies and up-and-coming movers and shakers. April's dance highlights include New York City Ballet's spring season, the conclusion of City Center's inaugural Dance Festival, The Joyce Theater's partnership with the recently opened Chelsea Factory, Step Afrika!'s history-inspired Stono and the UK's Candoco Dance Company, featuring disabled and nondisabled performers. 

In terms of COVID-19 safety protocols, all of these performances require audiences to provide proof of being fully vaccinated with an FDA or WHO authorized vaccine. Masks are also mandatory. Note that some venues are adding additional rules such as proof of a booster shot. While we are doing our best to keep this article up to date, before buying tickets to any event, double-check the COVID-19 rules to avoid disappointment.

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

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Soledad Barrio & Noche Flamenca

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

Runs April 5-10.

Flamenco lovers have long known that Soledad Barrio is a world treasure. As a performer and choreographer, she is so powerfully charismatic, even her smallest gestures stir your soul. After being forced to postpone her January run due to omicron, she finally returns to The Joyce alongside her magnificent ensemble of singers, guitarists and dancers with a new program developed during the pandemic, a celebration of reconnection.

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The Joyce Theater at Chelsea Factory

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

Runs April 5-16.

To kick off its programming partnership with the recently opened culture hub Chelsea Factory, The Joyce has invited four up-and-coming choreographers to present sets during this two-week extravaganza. Adriana Pierce's #QueertheBallet (April 5-6) showcases queer women and nonbinary dancers in classical ballet. Bessie Award winner Kyle Marshall (April 8-9) explores the Black experience, including Afrofuturism and the freedom African Americans find at church and clubs. Luke Hickey (April 12-13) shares his fusion of traditional and contemporary tap dance with jazz. Finally, Calpulli Mexican Dance Company (April 15-16) dives into the history of Cinco de Mayo through the lens of Mexicans, Poblanos and immigrants.

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Candoco Dance Company

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

Runs April 8-9. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

Made up of disabled and nondisabled performers, the UK-based Candoco is renowned for proving that bodies of all types can and should dance. The troupe's BAM engagement features a reimagining of postmodern master Trisha Brown's Set and Reset for dancers of all abilities and the US premiere of Face In, Candoco's 2017 collaboration with Israeli-American dance-maker Yasmeen Godder that takes a wacky dive into intimacy and personal reflection.

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City Center Dance Festival

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

Runs through April 10. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets to Ballet Hispánico, Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Martha Graham Dance Company.

The inaugural City Center Dance Festival showcases exceptional NYC-based companies making their return to the stage. The event kicked off in late March with the Paul Taylor Dance Company and continues in April with three hometown favorites: Ballet Hispánico (April 1-3), the first troupe devoted to Latinx dance-makers; Dance Theatre of Harlem (April 5, 8-10), the first Black classical ballet company; and the venerable Martha Graham Dance Company (April 6-10).

Ballet Hispánico turned 50 during the shutdown and this belated celebration features the New York premiere of Doña Perón, choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's explosive portrait of the iconic yet divisive Eva "Evita" Peron, set to music by Peter Salem. Dance Theatre of Harlem shares a trio of 21st-century works created by resident choreographer Robert Garland, Claudia Schreier and the aforementioned Ochoa, alongside an amuse-bouche of classical ballet with Dylan Santos' staging of Odalisques Variations from Le Corsaire. Martha Graham Dance Company closes out the fest with the namesake choreographer's classics Chronicle, Appalachian Spring and Ritual to the Sun complemented by new works from Hofesh Shechter and Sonya Tayeh.

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Compañía Nacional de Danza

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

Runs April 12-17.

Following his retirement as a much-loved principal with New York City Ballet in 2018, Joaquín De Luz took over as artistic director of Compañía Nacional de Danza, Spain's premier ballet company. For the troupe's Joyce debut, De Luz commissioned a reinvention of Carmen choreographed by Johan Inger, with George Bizet's gorgeous score arranged by Rodion Shchedrin. Inger's vision of the ballet updates the action to modern times while framing the drama through the eyes of a child.

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Ashwini Ramaswamy: Let the Crows Come

Baryshnikov Arts Center's Jerome Robbins Theater, 450 West 37th Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues in Midtown West

Runs April 13-15.

Minneapolis-based dancer-choreographer Ashwini Ramaswamy brings her genre-bending piece Let the Crows Come to BAC for its New York premiere. An exploration of a shared memory, the work features three solos depicting the same recollection in different styles: Ramaswamy in Bharatanatyam, Alanna Morris in Afro-Modern and Berit Ahlgren in Gaga. They are joined on stage by composers Jace Clayton (aka DJ /rupture) and Brent Arnold, who put a contemporary spin on the classical South Indian score.

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La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival

La MaMa's Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 East 4th Street between the Bowery and Second Avenue in the East Village

Runs April 14-May 1.

La MaMa presents the 17th edition of this downtown favorite featuring a diverse mix of cutting-edge new works. Longtime curator Nicky Paraiso notes that this year's lineup explores a wide range of themes via movement, including the meaning of home, the need for trust and researching postmodern dance as a racial construct. Over three jam-packed weeks, nine diverse dance-makers and companies, including the Tiffany Mills Company, Gerald Casel Dance, Compañía Cuerpo de India and Valetango Company, push the boundaries of the art form.

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Eiko Otake: The Duet Project: Distance is Malleable

NYU Skirball, 566 LaGuardia Place between West 3rd Street and Washington Square South in Greenwich Village

Runs April 15-17. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

Note: Proof of booster shot required.

In recent years, legendary modern dancer Eiko Otake has stepped away from her longtime personal and professional partner, Takashi Koma Otake, to collaborate with others as part of an ongoing series called The Duet Project: Distance is Malleable, a cross-disciplinary collection of experimental duets. For this New York premiere, she is joined on stage by improvisational dance great Ishmael Houston-Jones, rapper DonChristian Jones, avant-garde pianist Margaret Leng Tan and performance artist Iris McCloughan.

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Limón Dance Company

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

Runs April 19-May 1.

The lauded Limón Dance Company celebrates its 75th anniversary season with two wonderful programs during its two-week run at The Joyce. The first includes Limón's Psalm, Air for the G String by his mentor Doris Humphrey and performances of his iconic solo Chaconne by a number of guest dancers. The second features Limón's final work, Waldstein Sonata, and a reimagining of his first major solo Danzas Mexicanas. Both lineups include new commissions from choreographers expanding on Limón's legacy: Olivier Tarpaga's Only One Will Rise and Migrant Mother by Raúl Taméz, whose work honors the Indigenous people of Mexico.

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New York City Ballet: Spring Season

David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza at 62nd Street and Columbus Avenue in Lincoln Square

Runs April 19-May 29.

The centerpiece of NYC Ballet's spring season is a two-week, 50th anniversary celebration of its 1972 Stravinsky Festival featuring four exhilarating programs set to music by the blazing Russian composer, including George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins' restaging of Firebird and Justin Peck's choreography to Scherzo Fantastique. Other highlights include guest artists from Dance Theatre of Harlem in the NYCB premiere of Gustave le Gray No. 1 by Pam Tanowitz and Balanchine's magical A Midsummer Night's Dream, which includes the farewell performance of gifted but embattled principal dancer Amar Ramasar.

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Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY

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

Runs April 20-23.

MOVETHECOMPANY returns to New York with a series of new works by founder Joshua Beamish performed by stalwarts from American Ballet Theatre, Dance Theatre of Harlem, National Ballet of Canada and Abraham.In.Motion. As a soloist, Beamish dances in the New York premiere of Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's Redemption. Among the pieces he choreographed, the world premiere of Endless Summer is notable as is the in-person premiere of a sensuous digital duet he created for ABT principals Skylar Brandt and Herman Cornejo, which closes out the run.

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Step Afrika!: Stono

The New Victory Theater, 209 West 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues in Midtown West

Unfortunately, the entire run of Stono has been canceled due to COVID-19. 

The percussive dancers of Step Afrika! return to New York for a two-week run at The New Victory Theater with the sounds of freedom and liberation on their minds. In Stono, the group presents a beautiful breakdown of the Stono Rebellion, an insurrection of enslaved Africans in 1739 that included the use of drums. Using their universally acclaimed dancing as well as live music, Step Afrika! digs into this undertaught history while reminding audiences that the fight for emancipation is never quiet. Can't make it in person? A recording of the show will be available to rent beginning on April 20.

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Shamel Pitts/TRIBE: BLACK HOLE: Trilogy and Triathlon

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

Runs April 21-23.

Note: Proof of booster shot required.

Since returning from performing with Batsheva Dance Company in Israel, Shamel Pitts has made quite the name for himself as a choreographer. Now the 2020 Guggenheim Fellow is premiering BLACK HOLE: Trilogy and Triathlon at New York Live Arts with his arts collective TRIBE. A multidisciplinary work that fuses dance, poetry, visual art and lighting design into a distillation of Afrofuturism, the full-length piece follows three Black performers on their collective journey toward transcendence.

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David Dorfman Dance: (A)Way Out of My Body

NYU Skirball, 566 LaGuardia Place between West 3rd Street and Washington Square South in Greenwich Village

Runs April 22-23. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

Note: Proof of booster shot required.

After more than 35 years, David Dorfman's company is still going strong. The visionary choreographer collaborated with singer-songwriter Elizabeth DeLise on his latest premiere (A)Way Out of My Body, an aptly titled examination of feeling outside of one's skin. Dorfman's dancers are backed by DeLise's four-person band as they trip the light fantastic through space, time and reality-bending lighting design by high-tech theatre-maker Andrew Schneider in pursuit of personal truths.

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Flamenco Festival

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

Runs April 22-24.

Some of Spain's most marvelous dancers and musicians converge at City Center for its annual Flamenco Festival, which celebrates the genre's glorious traditions and latest innovations. For the fest's 20th anniversary, Compañía Manuel Liñán's VIVA! defies the strict gender rules of old-school flamenco in a one-night-only performance featuring six men in standard female costumes. Meanwhile, Gala Flamenca presents two performances by a trio of flamenco legends, Mercedes Ruiz, Eduardo Guerrero and María Moreno, joined by rising star María Terremoto.

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Sasha Waltz: In C

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

Runs April 28-30.

Sasha Waltz brings Terry Riley's one-page score to life with her endlessly imaginative movement in In C. Backed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Waltz's dancers create an ever-evolving movement vocabulary, proving that even one page of music can inspire limitless possibilities.

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Juan Michael Porter II is the staff writer for TheBody.com and a contributor to TDF Stages, Did They Like It?, SF Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor, American Theatre, them, Into More and SYFY Wire. He is a National Critics Institute and Poynter Power of Diverse Voices Fellow. Follow him at @juanmichaelii. Follow TDF at @ TDFNYC.

Top image: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Anthony Santos and Micah Bullard in Higher Ground, part of City Center's inaugural Dance Festival. Photo by Theik Smith.




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