Holiday Arts Guide: Dance Picks


Streb: Forces

Through December 22

David Van Tiegham provides music and Jim Lewis, who wrote Fela!, words for the high-impact hijinks of Elizabeth Streb’s Extreme Action Company. A live-action adventure for daredevils of all ages and the people who worry about them. SLAM, 51 North 1st Street, Brooklyn,

Big Apple Circus: Luminocity

Through January 12

Gentle enough for toddlers, yet still a thrill for hard-bitten New Yorkers and their teenagers, this homegrown circus delivers the genuine pleasure of real skill beautifully realized. With acts (including horses and puppies) hailing from seven countries, routines choreographed by Vicki Davis, the firm hand of director Michel Barette at the controls, and Rob Slowik conducting the live band. Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center, 62nd Street between Amsterdam and Columbus avenues,

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

November 29–January 4

The granddaddy of local productions features 90 of the world’s strongest ballet dancers, a tree growing magically tall, and 100 students from the School of American Ballet gliding to Tchaikovsky tunes played by the New York City Ballet orchestra. Christmas on steroids. David A. Koch Theater, 63nd Street at Columbus Avenue,

Nutcracker Rouge

November 29–January 12

Count on Austin McCormick and his Company XIV to put a raunchy spin on the tender holiday tale. Their 90-minute “baroque burlesque confection,” set in gay Paree and written by Jeff Takacs, who also presides as Drosselmeyer, conflates dance, theater, circus, opera, and gorgeous visual effects. Juilliard-trained performers and young circus artists wear next to nothing. No one under 16 admitted. Minetta Lane Theater, 18 Minetta Lane,

Soledad Barrio & Noche Flamenca

December 3–15

The passionate, anti-glamour flamenco genius returns with her tight group of singers and guitarists to heat up those dark December nights. Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue,

Jon Kinzel

December 4–7

Someone Once Called Me a Sound Man, says Kinzel, who refuses to sit still inside any one medium. This ensemble piece features dancers Stuart Shugg and Simon Courchel, with a score by Jim Dawson. Chocolate Factory Theater, 5-49 49th Avenue, Queens,

Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel Performance Group

December 4-7

In Moses(es), Wilson and his troupe of passionate dancers and singers explore the story of Moses, its meaning in terms of leadership, secular and religious, and the effect of migration on beliefs and customs in various world cultures. BAM Harvey Theater, 651 Fulton Street, Brooklyn,

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

December 4–January 5

Firmly in command, Robert Battle brings to the venerable troupe dances by the Royal Ballet’s Wayne McGregor (Chroma) and Bill T. Jones (the wonderful D-Man in the Waters, which just won a Bessie for Best Revival), plus world premieres by Aszure Barton and Ron Brown, as well as dances by Ailey, Rennie Harris, Kyle Abraham, Paul Taylor, Ulysses Dove, Garth Fagan, Ohad Naharin, Jiri Kylian, and Battle himself. NYCity Center, 135 West 55th Street,

The Yorkville Nutcracker

December 5–8

Dances Patrelle, official troupe of Ballet Academy East, surrounds world-class professionals Jenifer Ringer, Jared Angle, and Matthew Dibble with its well-trained students and company members in the 18th annual production of this holiday treat, set in historic environments like Gracie Mansion and the New York Botanical Garden. Kaye Playhouse, East 68th Street between Park and Lexington avenues,

Martha Clarke’s Chéri

December 8–22

Now in previews, Clarke’s new work fuses theater (with text by Tina Howe and a starring role for Amy Irving), dance (featured are ballet’s Herman Cornejo and Alessandra Ferri), and live music (by pianist Sarah Rothenberg). Inspired by Colette’s 1920 novel, it tells the tragic story, set in Belle Époque Paris, of a young man hopelessly in love with an older woman. Irene Diamond Stage, Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 West 42nd Street,

Cori Olinghouse: Ghost Lines

December 12–14

Dance and film go hand-in-hand down memory lane, as Olinghouse collaborates with film artist Shona Masarin and A-list dancers Michelle Dorrance, Elizabeth Keen, Mina Nishimura, and Eva Schmidt to produce echoes of a lost movement history, punctuated with fluent tap and a hint of butoh. Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, 131 East 10th Street,

ABT’s The Nutcracker

December 13–22

Alexei Ratmansky’s very smart, slightly sinister take on this holiday classic delights children and adults alike, with its off-kilter furniture, terrifying snowstorm, and utterly charming young mouse. A live orchestra plays the beloved Tchaikovsky score. Howard Gilman Opera House, Brooklyn Academy of Music, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn,


December 17–January 5

A bouquet of new and repertory works by one of the country’s most entertaining troupes, an offspring of Pilobolus that’s been delighting fans for more than 30 years. Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue,