If you’re looking into New York nightlife, look no further. Here are the hottest dance shows of the coldest season. New York City has a vast range of styles to meet any interest, so you can stick with classics or go out on a limb and see something revolutionary. While some of these shows have come and gone, these dance troupes regularly perform in New York City and also take their performances on the road.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
As a diverse dance troupe, one of Alvin Ailey’s goals is to reflect society and culture through dance. You’ll find exactly this in Untitled America, choreographed by Kyle Abraham, a MacArthur Genius grant recipient. This is a three-part suite, and only the first movement has been revealed so far, a ballet delving into the prison system’s impact on the prisoners and their families. Heavy stuff? Definitely. But thought-provoking and beautiful. This is only one of the 23 dance shows performed in their winter-season schedule, four of which are world premieres and two of which are company premieres. Don’t miss Piazzola Caldera, combining tango and modern dance in a sultry nightclub-type setting. Alvin Ailey’s winter season ended in New York, but is now touring nationally.
Leave Clara and the dancing bears behind, as you enter a fantasy world in Nutcracker Rouge. Put this performance on your radar for next holiday season. This is a date-night New York nightlife experience, definitely not for kids, nor the faint at heart. It’s set to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker score, but you’ll feel like you’re in someone else’s fantasy. The music is tweaked in tone, and with some songs sung with lyrics. It’s like going to Paris’ Moulin Rouge, watching a burlesque dance show that’s part opera, part circus, and part ballet. You’ll be talking about this show for weeks.
Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games
Michael Flatley had danced everywhere but Broadway. But now he’s done that too in a limited eight-week run. Lord of the Dance fans got to see the Irish step-dancing they expected this winter season, with high-tech staging and holographic projections. With 30 high-energy numbers, the story line of good versus evil snakes through the performance, pitting the Dark Lord and the hero—the Lord of the Dance—against each other. The fights, of course, take place through Irish dancing. You’ll be thrilled hearing and feeling the pounding fast footwork, matched mostly to Irish tunes which rise in excitement as the dancing reaches crescendos. Flatley annouced his retirement in March 2015, but his Lord of the Dance shows will continue.
Noche Flamenca’s Antigona
Greek tragedy meshes with Spanish flamenco dancing in this dance-show interpretation of Sophocles’ Antigone. Even more unique, the audience doesn’t enter the halls of a traditional grand dance space. The performance was staged at the West Side Presbyterian Church, an interesting spot for New York nightlife. The 18-piece troupe includes musicians playing kazoo and guitar, a juxtaposition to Soledad Barrio’s passion and intensity in the title role. While there’s music sung in Spanish (with English supertitles), at times the loud and percussive flamenco dancing and clapping is jarring and emotional, keeping the audience’s eyes glued to the performers.
For a less traditional ballet dance show, check out the constantly changing schedule at The Joyce in Chelsea. The theater spotlights different kinds of performances from all around the world, including the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Choreographed by Benjamin Millepied, the troupe’s dances offered bits of humor and emotion, while 10 ballet dancers taking turns in pairs, trios, and other groupings; a classic set to a New York City backdrop in an upbeat, happy performance; and a surprising piece that mixed hip hop and ballet dancing in a way that could only be described as pulsating and romantic. The Joyce’s lineup is diverse each month, so you never know what you might find, and you will never be disappointed by the results.