Our guide to dance performances happening this weekend and in the week ahead.
BALLET HISPANICO at the Apollo Theater (Dec. 7-8, 8 p.m.). This popular New York troupe is back at the Apollo for a quick winter engagement with the return of “CARMEN.maquia,” a stylish retelling of Bizet’s “Carmen” by the Spanish choreographer Gustavo Ramírez Sansano. The usual (read: clichéd) visual signifiers of the flouncy red dress and fan have been replaced by a sleek, modernist, abstract aesthetic in which the gypsy seducer’s tragic tale unfolds through an alluring mix of contemporary ballet with notes of flamenco and pasodoble.
LES BALLETS TROCKADERO DE MONTE CARLO at the Joyce Theater (Dec. 11-12, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 13, 8 p.m.; through Dec. 30). This all-male troupe, dancing in point shoes and drag, has been honoring and skewering ballet since 1974. Now the formidable fellas in tutus return to the Joyce for a nearly three-week engagement with two programs. Program A includes their slapstick version of “Swan Lake, Act II” paired with a cheeky take on the 19th-century Petipa ballet “The Little Humpbacked Horse.” Program B features “ChopEniana,” a wink at Fokine, and “Stars and Stripes Forever,” an air kiss to Balanchine, set to the music of John Philip Sousa. Sure, it’s silly, but the dancing is impressively skillful, too.
AMANDA CASTRO, BRINDA GUHA AND ARIELLE ROSALES at Dixon Place (Dec. 7-8, 7:30 p.m.; weekends through Dec. 21). Though the title of their show, “Can We Dance Here?,” is posed as a question, the three artists behind it are not asking permission. Rather Castro, Guha and Rosales are asserting their right to make noise, each through her own form of dance. Castro, an alumna of Urban Bush Women, dons tap shoes, Guha adds her decades-long immersion in classical Indian Kathak dance to the mix, and Rosales brings her brand of fiery flamenco. These three styles may speak in different tones, but the resulting rhythms make for a fascinating conversation.
DANCENOISE at New York Live Arts (Dec. 12-15, 7:30 p.m.). It’s been 35 years since Anne Iobst and Lucy Sexton teamed up as Dancenoise to wreak creative havoc on the New York performance art scene, using their maximalist mash-up of dance, theater and searing political commentary with a side of punk. This smart, fearless duo returns with “Lock ’Em Up,” their first full new work since their Whitney Museum retrospective three years ago. A half-dozen other performers join them in this raucous look at the state of the world today, with videos by Charles Atlas.
FRESH TRACKS 2018-19: AUDITIONED WORKS at New York Live Arts (Dec. 7-8, 7:30 p.m.). This annual showcase of new choreographic voices is the culmination of a monthslong residency. This year’s participants are Emma Rose Brown, who contemplates the differences between things such as siblings and lovers, limps and catwalks; J. Bouey, who spotlights two queer black men negotiating their identities; Liana Conyers, who tries to peel away our digital layers; Collin Ranf, with a solo satirizing New Age spirituality and consumer culture; and Dolores Sanchez, with “The Work,” which she describes as “a journey of self-love via a shaman circle.”
GRAHAM 2 at Martha Graham Studio Theater (Dec. 8, 1 and 6 p.m.; Dec. 9, 2 p.m.). Reflecting on “Appalachian Spring,” one of his most famous compositions, Aaron Copland once said that his inspiration was not the region of the title, but the woman who commissioned the work: “I was putting Martha Graham to music,” he said. The accompanying 1944 ballet of the same name is one of Graham’s most celebrated and enduring works. This weekend it receives three performances by Graham 2, the company’s pre-professional wing, as part of the Graham Company’s studio series at its West Village home.
MOSCOW BALLET at Kings Theater (Dec. 8, 2 and 7 p.m.). The Moscow Ballet began as a pickup touring company composed of Bolshoi dancers, and it now makes frequent visits across the United States with its colorful, diplomatic “Great Russian Nutcracker.” The diplomacy manifests in Act II wherein the Land of Sweets is renamed the Land of Peace and Harmony and the Sugar Plum Fairy becomes the Dove of Peace. The company’s Dance With Us program invites local children to participate in the production, and Sasha Obama is one such alumna.
SUNDAYS ON BROADWAY at WeisAcres (Dec. 9, 6 p.m.; Sundays through Dec. 16). This series of intimate experimental dance continues with an evening curated by the dancer-choreographer Mina Nishimura. The participants are Oren Barnoy, who evokes a sense of ritual with a performance that doubles as prayer; Sarah Lifson, who uses the fashion phenomenon of athleisure to explore gender and consumerism; and Melanie Maar, who is keenly sensitive to the vibes of a performance space and responds to the environs of this SoHo loft.
DOUG VARONE at the New Ohio Theater (Dec. 12, 7:45 p.m.; Dec. 13-14, 7 and 9:30 p.m.; through Dec. 16). The former United States poet laureate Billy Collins serves as muse in Varone’s new work, “Everything Is Fine.” Drawing from Collins’s witty, profound poems, the piece is woven from eight overlapping stories that explore the complexity of relationships through dialogue and Varone’s robust choreography, as performed by 16 multigenerational dancers. Often an illustrator of intimacy, Varone notes that this work covers “a darker and more disturbing range of emotions than has generally characterized my work.”
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