Our guide to dance performances happening this weekend and in the week ahead.
ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER at New York City Center (Dec. 13, 8 p.m.; Dec. 14, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Dec. 15, 3 and 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 17-19, 7:30 p.m.; through Jan. 5). Ailey’s robust season lineup is enhanced this week with two company premieres. On Friday, the troupe, for the first time, performs“Busk,” created in 2009 by the meticulous, idiosyncratic choreographer Aszure Barton. It gets an encore on Saturday evening with two new works by Jamar Roberts and Darrell Grand Moultrie. On Tuesday, the company adds to its repertory “City of Rain,” a galvanic 2010 work by Camille A. Brown that reflects her physical fervor and acuity.
DORRANCE DANCE at the Joyce Theater (Dec. 17-18, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 19, 8 p.m.; through Jan. 5). This popular company divides its three-week residency into three distinct programs. The one thing they all have in common is “The Nutcracker Suite,” a new work set to Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s effervescent rendition of Tchaikovsky’s standard holiday soundtrack. We’re used to experiencing that familiar tale through the delicate vocabulary of ballet; here Dorrance tells it with gusto through tap, letting us feel and hear it in a fresh way. Joining that work on the first program (through Dec. 22) is “All Good Things Come to an End,” a sweet, incisive, vaudeville-inspired work set to the music of the jazz great Fats Waller.
FRESH TRACKS at New York Live Arts (Dec. 13-14, 7:30 p.m.). This artist development initiative provides five emerging choreographers with rehearsal space, resources and mentorship to put their vision onstage. The program’s concluding showcase features Anh Vo’s “Babylift,” a solo reflecting on the Vietnam War; Annie Heath and Sokunthary Svay’s “This Mother/land Fabric,” which explores relationships to mothers and homes; Jordan Demetrius Lloyd’s “Neighbors,” in which five dancers try to avoid collision; Kayla Hamilton’s “Nearly Sighted/Unearthing the Dark,” an exercise in contact improvisation with light; and Stuart B. Meyers’s “KOPFKINO: head cinema,” a dialogue with German Expressionism.
[Read about the events that our other critics have chosen for the week ahead.]
‘THE NUTCRACKER’ SIX WAYS at various locations. The Waltz of the Snowflakes becomes a nor’easter this week with a deluge of “Nutcracker” productions around town. Among them are Dances Patrelle’s “The Yorkville Nutcracker,” set in 19th-century New York (Friday to Sunday, the Kaye Playhouse, Hunter College); New York Theater Ballet’s hourlong “Keith Michael’s the Nutcracker” (Friday to Sunday, Florence Gould Hall); a hip-hop infused “The Brooklyn Nutcracker” by Brooklyn Ballet (Saturday, Kings Theater); the wacky “Nut/Cracked” by the Bang Group (Dec. 19-21, the Flea Theater); a traditional staging by National Ballet Theater of Odessa (Saturday, New Jersey Performing Arts Center); and, of course, the splendid “George Balanchine’s the Nutcracker” by New York City Ballet (David H. Koch Theater, through Jan. 5).
SUNDAYS ON BROADWAY at Weis Acres (Dec. 15, 6 p.m.). The final seasonal gathering of this casual, intimate performance series in SoHo features Ellen Fisher in “Simple,” which asks when mere movement becomes dance, and Carolyn Hall, a choreographer, dancer and historical marine ecologist who uses her research into the fish and fisheries of New York City to hold what she calls a “physical conversation” with the audience. Rounding out the program is the return of “Shorties,” a string of micro-dances (one or two minutes long) performed by 11 artists.
ZVIDANCE at New York Live Arts (Dec. 18-20, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 21, 2 and 7:30 p.m.). The Israeli choreographer Zvi Gotheiner hails from a kibbutz on Mount Gilboa, where (in the Bible) King David famously cursed the land to a future of drought. So Gotheiner has always appreciated, and worried about, water. He now sees scarcity spreading around the world, from South Africa to Mexico City. Gotheiner’s latest work, “Maim” (“water” in Hebrew), raises awareness of these impending shortages and reflects on his own relationship to this vital resource. He conveys his warning through effusive, abstract movement.
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