As we head into August, here are seven outdoor festivals, series and shows bringing summer to a close with a bang.
VIPs in the Valley
American Ballet Theatre's Calvin Royal III
Erin Baiano, Courtesy Vail Dance Festival
VAIL, CO Vail Dance Festival returns, headlined by a comfortingly familiar cast of characters. As the festival's artist in residence, American Ballet Theatre principal Calvin Royal III will dance in new works created for him by Tiler Peck and Jamar Roberts. Other premieres on the docket include choreography by Michelle Dorrance, Lil Buck with Lauren Lovette, Justin Peck (for Tiler Peck and Herman Cornejo), Cleo Parker Robinson (danced by her eponymous company, celebrating its 50th season) and James Whiteside. BalletX performs as company in residence, while New York City Ballet MOVES makes its first Vail appearance since the touring company's debut there in 2011, opening the festival with Jerome Robbins' Dances at a Gathering. July 30–Aug. 9. vaildance.org.
Scott Simock, Courtesy Long Beach Opera
LOS ANGELES Danielle Agami directs and choreographs Arnold Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire, a dreamy operatic melodrama written to be sung by a single female soloist. Singer Peabody Southwell will be joined by the dancers of Agami's Ate9 for the work on a double bill presented by Long Beach Opera at The Ford. Aug. 14–15. theford.com.
Chicago Comes Together
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's Jessica Tong
Todd Rosenberg, Courtesy JAC Communications
CHICAGO Dance for Life, Chicago Dancers United's annual fundraiser for The Dancers' Fund, plans to make its return to live, in-person performance at Millennium Park with, for the first time in its history, free admission. The 30th-anniversary performance will feature DanceWorks Chicago, Giordano Dance Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The Joffrey Ballet, Movement Revolution Dance Crew, PARA.MAR Dance Theatre, South Chicago Dance Theatre, Trinity Irish Dance Company and Visceral Dance Chicago, plus a film by Winifred Haun and a special finale choreographed by Randy Duncan. Aug. 26. chicagodancersunited.org.
Empire State of Mind
New York City closes out the summer with a spate of outdoor performances.
Macarena De Noia, Courtesy Janet Stapleton
Open Air, a summer performance series from four/four presents pairing choreographers and composers, continues at the Bushwick Playground Basketball Courts in Brooklyn. Dancer-choreographer Kayla Farrish and experimental-jazz musician Melanie Charles will debut a site-specific collaborative work after a 30-minute set from Charles and a 15-minute excerpt of Farrish's choreography. The performance is free to attend (though ticket reservation is required) and will be livestreamed on Instagram. Aug. 8. fourfourpresents.com.
Courtesy GreenHouse Publicity
Picnic Performances is back in midtown Manhattan's Bryant Park. The dance programming includes double bills pairing Limón Dance Company with Leonardo Sandoval and Gregory Richardson's Music from the Sole; Paul Taylor Dance Company with EMERGE125 (formerly Elisa Monte Dance); and Ballet Hispánico with Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet. Events are free to attend, though advance registration may be required; livestreams of most performances will also be available online. Aug. 16, 20, 27. bryantpark.org.
BAAND Together Dance Festival
American Ballet Theatre's Hee Seo and Cory Stearns
Patrick Fraser, Courtesy Michelle Tabnick Public Relations
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Hispánico, Dance Theatre of Harlem and New York City Ballet will team up for the first time for the BAAND Together Dance Festival. Held on Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts' transformed outdoor campus as part of the Restart Stages initiative, a different mixed bill, collaboratively curated by the companies' directors, will be presented nightly Aug. 17–21. Performances are free, but tickets raffled through the TodayTix Lottery will be required for entry. lincolncenter.org.
Madeline Hollander's Arena at Beach Sessions in 2018
Elena Mudd, Courtesy Beach Sessions Dance Series
After pivoting to TikTok last summer, the annual Beach Sessions Dance Series plans to return to Queens' Rockaway Beach with Moriah Evans' REPOSE. Twenty dancers will travel along 1.4 miles of beach in the course of a six-hour performance, drawing attention to the behaviors typical of beachgoing while being influenced by chance encounters. Aug. 29. beachsessionsdanceseries.com.