9 Dance Performances to See in N.Y.C. This Weekend

Our guide to dance performances happening this weekend and in the week ahead.

AMERICAN BALLET THEATER at the Metropolitan Opera (May 13-July 6). The Italian theatrical form commedia dell’arte, popular from the 16th century to the 18th century, introduced the mischievous Harlequin and the object of his affection, Columbine, whose father attempts to thwart their playful relationship. Marius Petipa made a ballet of their antics in 1900, and Alexei Ratmansky reimagined it, based on Petipa’s notes, for Ballet Theater, where he is the artist in residence. Ratmansky’s cheery “Harlequinade” made its debut last June, and now it kicks off the company’s spring season with a week of performances.
212-362-6000, abt.org

DANCE BROOKLYN at City Tech Theater (May 11, 7 p.m.). This annual celebration of Brooklyn-based dance companies is a smorgasbord of global styles. Participants will include Something Positive Inc., which will contribute a dance reflecting an Afro-Caribbean blend of African and French social styles; the Brooklyn Irish Dance Company, which will perform an excerpt from “A Celtic Christmas Story”; and Ninja Ballet, which fuses ballet and martial arts. Other artists will add salsa and belly dancing to the mix. This free event is presented by Purelements, an East Brooklyn arts organization and dance company that will do a work by Hollie Wright.

SIMONE FORTI, STEVE PAXTON AND YVONNE RAINER at Dancespace Project (May 16-17, 8 p.m.). Forti, Paxton and Rainer first met in 1960 while studying under the modern dance pioneers Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham. A few years later they forged another path, participating in the founding of Judson Dance Theater, which ushered dance into its postmodern phase. They have remained influential artists ever since, and all have written books. This event reunites them for performative readings of their material, illustrating an important narrative thread in the story of American dance.
866-811-4111, danspaceproject.org

LA MAMA MOVES! DANCE FESTIVAL at LaMama’s Ellen Stewart Theater (through May 26). This eclectic annual festival features local and global artists hailing from China, South Korea and Norway, among other countries, curated, as from the beginning, by Nicky Paraiso. This week, the choreographer Hari Krishnan, whose work draws on both queer theory and South Indian dance, presents four pieces that each dissect, satirize or subvert cultural stereotypes (Sunday, 7 p.m.; Monday, 3 p.m.). From Wednesday to May 19, Bobbi Jene Smith, a magnetic former member of the Batsheva Dance Company who now makes her own raw, mesmerizing work, offers “Lost Mountain,” which she performs in along with 11 other musicians and dancers.
212-475-7710, lamama.org

NEW YORK CITY BALLET at the David H. Koch Theater (through June 2). For the first time, the work of City Ballet’s founding choreographer, George Balanchine, and that of its current resident choreographer, Justin Peck, are on a program together (Friday, Tuesday and Thursday), cementing Peck’s status as the heir apparent and the shaper of the company’s modern identity. In between, spread over two shows and mixed in with other Balanchine classics, Peck’s latest piece and new dances by Pam Tanowitz and Gianna Reisen enjoy a few encores. On Wednesday, Balanchine gets his own program that comprises the large-scale “Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet” and “Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3.”
212-496-0600, nycballet.com

[Read about the events that our other critics have chosen for the week ahead.]

JODY OBERFELDER at the Flea Theater (May 15-18, 7 p.m.; through May 19). This week, Oberfelder concludes her trilogy examining the biological wonder and symbolic meanings of our bodies. In 2013, she focused on the heart in “4Chamber” and, in 2017, turned to the head in “The Brain Piece.” Her latest, “Madame Ovary,” explores gender and the anatomy of sex, using Flaubert’s “Madame Bovary” as a point of reference to track how far we have and have not come in conceptualizing gender and its social role. Oberfelder’s multimedia approach includes dance, film, spoken word and an original score by Missy Mazzoli.
212-226-0051, theflea.org

PARSONS DANCE at the Joyce Theater (May 14-15, 7:30 p.m.; May 16-17, 8 p.m.; through May 26). When Paul Taylor’s “Runes” had its premiere in 1981, the New York Times dance critic Anna Kisselgoff called it “spellbinding.” One of its performers, David Parsons, went on to form his own company and create dozens of attractive, athletic dances. For its two-week residency at the Joyce, Parsons Dance will perform “Runes” in tribute to Taylor, who died in August. The program will also include Trey McIntyre’s “Eight Women,” which honors another recently deceased artist, Aretha Franklin; Parson’s own “Nascimento”; and his enduring light trick dance, “Caught.”
212-242-0800, joyce.org

SUNDAYS ON BROADWAY at Weis Acres (May 12, 6 p.m.). Five years ago, Cathy Weiss opened up her downtown loft for this intimate series of one-off performances, readings and discussions by veteran artists and newer voices. This week, she curates the offering with Emily Climer. The participants are Daniel Lepkoff and Sakura Shimada, whose work explores the practice of physical communication; Kota Yamazaki, who performs a solo that references his recently completed “Darkness Odyssey” trilogy; and Doug LeCours, who does a duet with Anna Witenberg in which their bodies become atoms that attract, repel and collide.

VANGELINE THEATER at Theater for a New City (May 16-18, 8 p.m.; through May 19). Tatsumi Hijikata, a pioneer of the haunting postwar Japanese performance art butoh, once said, “Since the body itself perishes, it has a form. Butoh has another dimension.” That idea of disappearing and tapping into another realm was a catalyst for “ɪˈreɪʒə (Erasure)” by the New York-based butoh artist Vangeline. In the hourlong solo, she attempts to render herself symbolically invisible so as to allow room for women who have been erased throughout history. The intention, she writes in an artist statement, is that they may then “come back and dance through me.”
212-254-1109, theaterforthenewcity.net

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