12 Dance Performances to See in NYC This Holiday Season
By JUAN MICHAEL PORTER II
Friday, November 18, 2022  •  
Fri Nov 18, 2022  •  
Dance  •   2 comments Share This

Catch Les Trocks, multiple Nutcrackers, a world premiere by Michelle Dorrance and more

NYC's winter dance season always brings a nonstop march of Nutcrackers and holiday spectaculars. But there are also plenty of adventurous, body-bending delights on the boards to close out 2022.

In terms of COVID-19 safety protocols, rules vary by venue. 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 to see what we're selling as ticket inventory changes frequently.

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The Tongue of the Flame

The Graham Studio Theater at Westbeth, 55 Bethune Street between West and Washington Streets in the West Village

Runs November 18-19. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

Masks are required.

Blakeley White-McGuire and Daniel Fetecua-Soto, former principals with the Martha Graham Dance Company and the Limón Dance Company, respectively, have developed a powerful artistic collaboration. This is the third iteration of their duet The Tongue of the Flame, a marvelously sensual exploration of vulnerability, control and trust. Danced to a new score by Pablo Mayor, this 40-minute piece is a distillation of these two astounding artists as they bare all, at points literally.

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Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company: Once Upon El Barrio

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

Runs November 18-20. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

Masks are required.

Founded in 1972 to provide a showcase for dancers and choreographers of color, Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company celebrates its half-century anniversary with Once Upon El Barrio. This full-length dance drama is inspired by the recollections of Puerto Rican-Cuban author Piri Thomas, who wrote about growing up in Spanish Harlem in the 1940s and surviving drugs, incarceration and rehabilitation with the help of his family and community. Conceived, written and choreographed by Alpha Omega's artistic director Enrique Cruz DeJesus, Once Upon El Barrio incorporates live music and poetry to tell this story of resilience.

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Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes

Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Sixth Avenue at 50th Street in Midtown West

Runs November 18-January 2, 2023. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

Masks are optional.

The world-famous Rockettes are back for their annual 90-minute celebration of NYC during the holidays. This seasonal spectacle has been kicking up its heels every year since 1933 (save for a 2020 pandemic hiatus) and features Santa Claus, a Living Nativity, a virtual tour of the Big Apple and impeccable synchronized dancing from a crew of leggy ladies. They are the show's raison d'être and these hardworking troupers perform up to five times a day!

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Complexions Contemporary Ballet

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

Runs November 22-December 4. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

Masks are required.

Founded in 1994 by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater alums Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden, Complexions Contemporary Ballet is vibrant, diverse and always a good time. This year, the company presents two weeklong programs at the Joyce. The first focuses mostly on Rhoden's recent repertoire as well as fan favorite Hissy Fits. The second program features two world premieres, Rhoden's Endgame and Jae Man Joo's new duet Serenity, along with the company premiere of Slingerland, a pas de deux from dance genius William Forsythe.

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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 25-December 31.

Masks are optional.

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. Not only does the holiday treat offer star turns for many of the company's rising dancers, it also gives myriad children their first taste of dance, whether they're watching or performing in the show. While full of beautiful dancing perfectly set to Tchaikovsky's evergreen score, for Balanchine, the most exciting aspect was conjuring the stage magic to grow the Christmas tree to epic heights. All these decades later, that adorned arbor, gorgeous music and glorious dancing continue to attract audiences from all over the world.

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

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

Runs November 30-December 24.

Masks are required.

The incomparable Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre returns for its annual City Center winter residency with four distinct all-Ailey programs as well as new works. Highlights include BUSK, Aszure Barton's frenetic ode to street performers (and a shout-out to Michael Jackson); a new mounting of Survivors, a tribute to Winnie and Nelson Mandela's undefeatable courage co-choreographed by Ailey and Mary Barnett; the world premiere of resident choreographer Jamar Roberts' exploration of brooding and sensual love In a Sentimental Mood; the company premiere of Twyla Tharp's sultry tribute to Roy Eldridge's jazz music, Roy's Joys; and, of course, Ailey's uplifting classic Revelations. The performances on December 16 and the matinees on December 17 and 18 are particularly special as they showcase thrilling pieces by Ailey and the company's current artistic director Robert Battle danced to live music by the Future of Jazz Orchestra, curated by Jazz at Lincoln Center.

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Emanuel Gat Dance: LOVETRAIN2020

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

Runs December 1-3.

Masks are optional.

Israeli choreographer Emanuel Gat's troupe of dancers dives into LOVETRAIN2020, a celebration of the sounds and vibes of the '80s set to songs by the British duo Tears for Fears. Presented as part of BAM's New Wave festival, this 75-minute piece features 14 dancers swirling around the stage in Thomas Bradley's colorful, genderfluid costumes, combining idiosyncratic gestures with ensemble sequences that evoke a painting of a bacchanal come to life.

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Tere O'Connor: Rivulets

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

Runs December 7-17.

Masks are optional.

Veteran modern choreographer Tere O'Connor taps some of NYC's hottest young dancers in this world premiere exploring the relationship between unison and non-unison movement. This hourlong piece gives these dazzling performers a showcase to evolve their artistry in real time through a variety of expansive movements. The title means small stream, and O'Connor's Rivulets is a collection of choreographic pathways that refuse to be pinned down within one specific style or technique.

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Dorrance Dance

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

Runs December 7-18.

Masks are required.

Since winning the MacArthur "Genius Grant," Michelle Dorrance's career has skyrocketed. The tap master has received commissions to create new works for major troupes, including American Ballet Theatre and the Martha Graham Dance Company, and made her Broadway debut as choreographer for Flying Over Sunset. For her return to The Joyce, Dorrance has crafted a world premiere with her longtime collaborator, vocalist Aaron Marcellus. While details about this untitled work are still under wraps, we know the rhythmic soul singer will perform his original songs live alongside Dorrance and her talented tappers.

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Dances Patrelle's The Yorkville Nutcracker

Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, 68th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues on the Upper East Side

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

Masks are optional.

Set in 1895, The Yorkville Nutcracker takes audiences on a festive tour of old New York as envisioned by choreographer Francis Patrelle, including stops at Gracie Mansion's ballroom and a romantic romp in Central Park. This version of the iconic holiday ballet features a first act that is less of a traditional pantomime and more of a character-driven dance party. Patrelle always snags New York City Ballet dancers to play the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. This year, those honors go to the recently promoted soloist Miriam Miller and longtime principal Jared Angle.

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Gibney: YAG 2022

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

Runs December 13-17.

Masks are optional.

Gibney presents the world premiere of YAG 2022, a reinvention of contemporary dance genius Ohad Naharin's 1996 dance of the same name. Originally choreographed for Batsheva Dance Company, this iteration still showcases Naharin's signature Gaga technique but updates the magic of his kinetic non sequiturs to our current era. There's no fixed narrative to the cool actions taking place on stage, so your experience is left up to personal interpretation.

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Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

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

Runs December 20-January 8.

Masks are required.

The comedic ballet troupe of male and nonbinary dancers is back and primed for their traditional holiday run at the Joyce. This year, the divas have sharpened their pointes and freshened up their technique for a retrospective of their classical repertoire, including Act II of Swan Lake, Les Sylphides, The Dying Swan and Paquita. The joy of watching the Trocks is that they don't shy away from spoofing the ridiculousness of ballet or its gendered tropes. But when it comes time to bust out the fouetté turns and batterie, they aren't playing around.

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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: April Watson from Complexions Contemporary Ballet, which has a two-week run at The Joyce. Photo by Rachel Neville.




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2 Comments:
Yuri G said:
All promoters must know that "Masks Required" is an immediate turn-off for many potential patrons (including yours truly). It is common scientific knowledge that ordinary masks do not protect against illnesses. Those who worry should be allowed to feel better by wearing them. But demanding this level of discomfort from the rest of us is unnecessary overkill.
Posted on 11/18/2022 at 11:14 PM
Marina said:
Yuri, if I or someone next to you starts coughing, I don't think you will be feeling too comfortable.
Posted on 11/21/2022 at 9:21 AM
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