9 Performances on Our Radar This March

February 29, 2024

March’s performance calendar is action-packed, with perspective-shifting premieres from women choreographers, ambitious works touring to the U.S., a pair of Broadway musicals inspired by popular novels, and more. Here’s what’s at the top of our lists.

A Lake of Nightmares and an Android Coppélia

A ballerina in a silver jumpsuit balances en pointe; she appears to be an android. A male dancer watches her with a look of fascination and excitement as he moves toward her.
Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Coppél-i.A. Photo by Alice Blangero, courtesy Les Ballets de Monte Carlo.

ON TOUR  Les Ballets de Monte Carlo brings two twists on ballet classics by artistic director Jean-Christophe Maillot stateside this month. Lac, which probes Swan Lake’s inherent dichotomies, lands at New Orleans’ Mahalia Jackson Theater March 1–2. Coppél-i.A., which updates the narrative so the lovers’ relationship is threatened not by a lifelike doll but, instead, an artificial intelligence, follows March 7–10 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, CA. balletsdemontecarlo.com.

Like Rabbits

Two dancers in mildly scary bunny masks rock onto their back feet as they stare forward.
Pontus Lidberg’s On the Nature of Rabbits. Photo by Andrea Avezzù, courtesy Le Biennale di Venezia/Richard Kornberg & Associates.

NEW YORK CITY   A surreal contemplation of childhood attachments and the nature of desire, Pontus Lidberg’s On the Nature of Rabbits makes its North American debut at The Joyce Theater March 6–10. joyce.org.

Dismantling Classic Cinema

A Black man cradles a Black woman to his chest as she hides her face against his. She brings her palm to the side of his face.
Kayla Farrish’s Put Away the Fire, dear. Photo by Elyse Mertz, courtesy John Hill PR.

SAN FRANCISCO  How do the archetypal roles in classic genre films—the romantic lead, the hard-boiled detective, the femme fatale—shift when embodied by BIPOC performers? Kayla Farrish is joined by five other dancers and musician Alex MacKinnon to explore the question, pushing back against the erasure and marginalization of non-white actors in Hollywood’s golden age, in Put Away the Fire, dear, which premieres at ODC Theater March 8–10. odc.dance.

Eating Its Own Tail

Nejla Yatkin arches back as she stretches her front heel forward. She twists toward the front, palms forming a triangle pressed to her pelvis. The white walled space is lit in shades of pink and yellow. Audience members, many wearing face masks, observe from seats on chairs and cushy pillows.
Nejla Yatkin in her Ouroboros. Photo by Enki Andrews, courtesy JAC Communications.

CHICAGO  Ouroboros, a new evening-length dance-theater solo from Nejla Yatkin, draws inspiration from Middle Eastern snake dances and the choreographer’s nomadic ancestry. Set in the round, the work invites audience participation as it incorporates multiple languages and movement styles, all connecting to, in Yatkin’s words, “heal the sacred thread of the feminine.” March 8–10. ny2dance.com.

Statement Begins

Micaela Taylor is intensely focused as she rests her hands at hip height, moving onto her right foot. To her left, a half dozen dancers in rehearsal gear imitate her movement in a vertical line.
Micaela Taylor in rehearsal. Photo by Michael Slobodian, courtesy Ballet BC.

VANCOUVER AND SURREY  Ballet BC’s NOW program features a pair of commissions—one from Micaela Taylor, the other by choreographic duo Out Innerspace (Tiffany Tregarthen and David Raymond)—alongside the return of Crystal Pite’s darkly political dance theater work The Statement. The program premieres in Vancouver March 7–9 and repeats in Surrey March 22–23. balletbc.com

Intimate and Explosive

Seven dancers pile and curl atop each other on the floor, heads resting on chests and hips. They wear knits and layers in shades of reds, greys, and blues.
Doug Varone’s To My Arms/Restore. Photo by Erin Baiano, courtesy Doug Varone and Dancers.

NEW YORK CITY  Doug Varone’s two-part To My Arms/Restore plays with contrasts. The first half, set to a suite of Handel arias, evokes intimacy, love, and loss, while the second focuses on visceral, explosive physicality to the beats of Nico Bentley’s “Handel Remixed.” With live music by MasterVoices and New York Baroque Incorporated, the new evening-length premieres at NYU Skirball March 22–23. nyuskirball.com.

New at NW

Joseph Hernandez is show from the waist up, facing the left as he reaches his arms forward and pulls back with his hips. A dancer immediately behind him does the same, facing the opposite direction.
Joseph Hernandez in rehearsal with NW Dance Project. Photo by Blaine Truitt Covert, courtesy NW Dance Project.

PORTLAND, OR  Associate choreographer Joseph Hernandez, former Luna Negra Dance Theater artistic director Gustavo Ramírez Sansano, and independent dance theater choreographer Nicole von Arx each contribute a premiere to NW Dance Project’s spring program, Secret Stories. March 29–30. nwdanceproject.org.

Books on Broadway

Two page-to-stage adaptations sing and dance to the Great White Way.

The Notebook

A man in jeans holds a barefoot woman in a dress up, his arms curved around her hips and waist. They smile at each other as rain splashes around them.
Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of The Notebook. Photo by Liz Lauren, courtesy Boneau/Bryan-Brown.

Based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks and the blockbuster movie it inspired, the musical adaptation follows Allie and Noah as their love repeatedly brings them back together in spite of the forces trying to keep them apart. Katie Spelman (associate choreographer on Moulin Rouge! The Musical) choreographs to music and lyrics by Ingrid Michaelson. Opens at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre March 14. notebookmusical.com.

Water for Elephants

A dancer flies high above the stage in a toe touch as a trio stands below waiting to catch her. Eight elaborately costumed circus performers form a circle around them, all facing in and up.
Alliance Theatre’s production of Water for Elephants. Photo by Matthew Murphy, courtesy Polk & Co.

A young man jumps on a train with no idea of its destination and finds himself swept away by a traveling circus. As in the novel by Sara Gruen, the adventure is recounted through the memories of the main character’s older self in the musical adaptation, which brings the circus to life through choreography by Jesse Robb and Shana Carroll (who also acts as circus designer). Opens March 21 at the Imperial Theatre. waterforelephantsthemusical.com.