Spring Dance Guide
10 dance events to attend this spring
As sure as the flowers bloom in the spring, the dance companies are coming alive to present their season-closing performances. The local dance venues: Citizens Bank Opera House, Dance Complex, the Shubert Theatre and even the ICA will be buzzing with every style of dance—ballet, contemporary, tap, folkloric and experimental collaborations, a testament to the importance of dance among our arts offerings. The calendar includes many of the local companies, along with visiting troupes from New York, bringing new works expanding the repertory for viewers eager to see dance that reflects modern times. There are so many good choices that I hesitate to recommend one over the other. As for me, I hope to attend all of them.
Jean Appolon Expressions
Dance Complex, Cambridge | April 1-2
Boston-based company Jean Appolon Expressions will present “Tyaka: A Bloom Residency Performance,” based on the rhythms and folkloric traditions of the choreographer’s birth country, Haiti. The title refers to a Haitian stew, a symbol for the mélange of Haitian and modern dance movement that Appolon combines in his choreography. The works will be performed by his multi-ethnic troupe which includes American and Haitian performers.
Boston Ballet: 'Our Journey'
Citizens Bank Opera House | April 6-16
The Boston Ballet’s 2022-23 season continues with “Our Journey,” a powerhouse of contemporary works featuring “La Mer,” a 45-minute-long work for 33 dancers, 45 musicians of the BB orchestra and eight singers from women’s vocal group Lorelei Ensemble. Created in collaboration with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, the piece refers to romantic images of the ocean, but also to more contemporary concerns about climate change and stresses on the environment. Completing the program is Justin Peck’s work “Everywhere We Go,” for 25 dancers. Resident choreographer at New York City Ballet, Peck recently created the dances for the 2022 Steven Spielberg film remake of “West Side Story.” However, Peck has plenty of points in this world, with more than 50 ballets to his credit. Don’t miss this program.
Paul Taylor Dance Company
Shubert Theatre | April 14-16
The Paul Taylor Dance Company has lost none of its vibrancy since its founder’s passing in 2018 and the troupe continues to perform in NYC and on tour. Presented by Celebrity Series of Boston, two of Taylor’s works — "Brandenburgs" and the now-classic, anti-war piece “Company B” — will be performed, along with “Somewhere in the Middle,” created by the much-in-demand young choreographer, Amy Hall Garner.
Molissa Fenley & Pat Catterson: 'Taking the Long View'
Dance Complex, Cambridge | April 15-16
Molissa Fenley and Pat Catterson, a pair of choreographers who made their significant reputations during the era of the 20th-century dance boom, are collaborating on a program entitled “Taking the Long View” to bring their works to Boston. Fenley will present three works: “Cosmati Variations, Variation 5,” music by John Cage; “Lava Field,” music by John Bischoff; and “Current Piece, music by Vijay Iyer. Fenley will perform in her works, alongside Christiana Axelsen and Timothy Ward. Catterson will present her 115th work, “Tremer,” danced by a company of six performers to a score by Quentin Chiappetta.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Boch Center Wang Theatre | May 4-7
During the return of one of the most beloved of dance visitors to Boston, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will offer a variety of works over one long weekend as part of Celebrity Series of Boston. The program will keep local fans up to date as the company continues to add new pieces, along with performing old favorites from Mr. Ailey’s repertory. “Revelations,” one of the modern dance classics, will end every program. Besides the Ailey works, the programs will feature pieces by Kyle Abraham, Robert Battle, Jamar Roberts, Paul Taylor and Twyla Tharp. The company continues to showcase some of the most talented dancers on the planet in a cornucopia of virtuosity on stage.
DANCE NOW Boston
Dance Complex, Cambridge | May 13-14 & May 21-22
DANCE NOW Boston, a partnership between Dance Complex and the New York -based company The Bang Group (led by David Parker), aims to bridge the gap between New York and Boston by presenting fully stuffed, shared programs. On the weekend of May 13-14, The Bang Group will perform “Two Times” and “Sparkle,” plus works by Boston choreographers Janelle Gilchrist, Meghan McLyman and Jenny Oliver. The following weekend, May 21-22, will feature The Bang Group in “Friends of Dorothy,” and “Schlemiezel,” a work in progress, in addition to New York based choreographer, Megan Williams in “One Woman Show.” The program also includes Boston based KAIROS Dance Theater “In Taberna” and Lorraine Chapman the Company in a work to be announced.
ICA/Boston | May 19-20
One of the most exciting dance companies anywhere, Dorrance Dance, a troupe of tap dancers and live musicians, headed by Michelle Dorrance, will bring excerpts from “SOUNDspace” and other works to the stage of the ICA. At press time, the run of three performances was nearly sold-out so good luck on finding tickets—worth the effort.
Boston Ballet: 'The Sleeping Beauty'
Citizens Bank Opera House | May 25-June 4
The BB’s revival of “The Sleeping Beauty,” the 19th-century perennial, featuring five different couples in the lead roles (at different performances) is one of the glories of ballet history—choreography by Marius Petipa; score by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, sets and dozens of lavish costumes by British designer, David Walker. If you’ve seen the ballet, you must see it again for the spectacle and the parade of dancers as Princess Aurora and her Prince. If you have never seen the work, it surely is on your bucket list. Be sure to take the children.
Dance Complex, Cambridge | June 10-11
The Dance Complex closes out its inaugural BLOOM Residency and Platform Raising Program with a finale from Boston collective beheard.world, featuring eight local storytellers, with choreography by Boston-based Anna Myer. The performance will include the world premiere of “Belonging and Othering,” commissioned by the Dance Complex.
Boston Dance Alliance Gala
Arts at the Armory, Somerville | June 15
BDA presents its annual "Dr. Michael Shannon Dance Champion" award for the first time to a triumvirate of local stars: Ann Brown Allen, beloved performer and teacher; Deborah Mason, long-time dance studio director; and Dianne “Lady Di” Walker, an imperial member of the international world of tap and native Bostonian—a distinguished trio. The "BDA Unsung Hero" award goes to Steve Adelson, proprietor of Teddy’s Shoes, long time purveyor of tap, ballet and pointe shoes in Central Square. Join the dance community in a party to celebrate its own.