Dance performances

Dance Shows to End the Summer – Our Top 5 Picks

Lively festivals, fresh premieres, unexpected crews – the dance scene only shines brighter as we enter the final weeks of summer. Here are our top picks for August.

Reclaiming East and West

Lai Yi Ohlsen, Pareena Lim and Benjamin Akio Kimitch in rehearsal. MANCC photo by Chris Cameron, courtesy of The Shed.

NEW YORK CITY Featured as part of The Shed’s Open Call commissioning program, Benjamin Akio Kimitch tiger hands reinvents dance stereotypes between East and West as the choreographer revisits his training in non-Western dance and his close connection to Peking Opera. August 4-6. theshed.org. —Courtney Escoyne

A Smorgasbord in Scotland

Five dancers dressed in blue pose in front of a white background.  One is on his knees, looking down, while behind him another smiles exaggeratedly broadly, gazing into the distance.  A dancer in a wheelchair gestures as if supporting something invisible above her head, while another right behind her raises a circle above her head.
by Farah Saleh A little trip. Photo by Mihaela Bodlovic, courtesy of EIF.

EDINBURGH Scotland’s capital is jam-packed as the Edinburgh International Festival approaches. Among the highlights for dance enthusiasts: Scottish Ballet presents a new version of Coppelia by Jess and Morgs (Jessica Wright and Morgann Runacre-Temple), using the classic to ask questions about artificial intelligence and whether real life can compete with technology; Alan Cumming stars as Scottish National Bard Robert Burns in the dance-drama vehicle choreographed by Steven Hoggett Burn; and several works deal with themes of migration, including Akram Khan The Jungle Book RevisitedFarah Saleh A little trip and Akeim Toussaint Buck Displacement windows. August 5 to 28. eif.co.uk. —THIS

Requiems and Homecoming

A group of dancers support or imitate a dancer closer to the front, who seems in danger of fading backwards and touching the ground if not for the other bodies supporting them.  Their back leg hovers just above the ground, toes extended but bent at the knee.  The impression is one of exhaustion, but also of support.
AIM by Kyle Abraham in Requiem: Fire in the Air of Earth. Photo by Peter Hönnemann, courtesy of Michelle Tabnick PR.

NEW YORK CITY Lincoln Center’s summer for the city wraps up this month with a series of events, including three powerhouse dance programs. Reunions, hosted by Kyle Abraham, features the work of AIM alumni Rena Butler, Kayla Farrish, Vinson Fraley, Nicole Mannarino, Chalvar Monteiro, Jie-Hung Connie Shiau, and Maleek Washington, August 6-7. Current members of AIM take the stage with the New York premiere of Abraham’s Requiem: Fire in the Air of Earthwhich explores reincarnation and dark futurism to a reimagining of Mozart Requiem in D minor by electronic dance music artist Jlin, August 11-13. And the BAAND Together Dance Festival, August 9-13, is back after last summer’s popular first outing, featuring Ballet Hispánico, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet and the Dance Theater of Harlem sharing an outdoor stage and a new commission for dancers from all five companies by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. lincolncenter.org. —THIS

Doherty and Dread

A young woman's face is clearly in focus in a line of other faces.  Everyone is looking forward, towards the right frame of the image.  All are wearing identical, utilitarian, navy blue overalls.  The lighting has a blue tint.  The space seems dense.
Rehearsal for Oona Doherty’s Navy blue. Photo by Ghislain Mirat, courtesy Doherty.

HAMBURG Oona Doherty’s critically acclaimed works, characterized by their gritty realism and visceral movement languages, have explored themes ranging from working-class masculinity to the impact of religion on his hometown of Belfast. However, as she describes her last, Navy blue, like “a rebirth” and “a question about what to do next”, it seems that the choreographer is about to take a new direction. With 12 dancers and an original soundtrack created with British DJ and producer Jamie xx, Navy blue promises to create an unsettling sense of dread while considering where we’ve been, where we’re going, and how we can fight for societal change. The one-night work will premiere at the Kampnagel festival in Hamburg on August 10 before touring Europe. oonadohertyweb.com. —Emily May

Under an open sky

On a jetty with shimmering blue water behind her, Genevieve Penn Nabity swings into a pointed bend at six o'clock.  Her blonde hair falls to her shoulders.  Her long peach skirt floats around her calves.
Geneviève Penn Nabity of the National Ballet of Canada. Photo by Karolina Kuras, courtesy of NBoC.

TORONTO The National Ballet of Canada kicks off its season early with outdoor performances at Harbourfront Centre. For Sharing the Stage, the company is joined by soulful Holla Jazz, feminist dance theater troupe Rock Bottom Movement, kathak-trained artist Tanveer Alam and Indigenous dancer-choreographer Samantha Sutherland. NBoC’s contributions to the mixed performance will include choreography by Artistic Director Emeritus Karen Kain, Wayne McGregor and Christopher Wheeldon. August 16-20. ballet.national.ca. —THIS