4 Summer Performances Happening Outside the Festival Umbrella

June 25, 2024

While much of the dance world converges on summer festivals throughout July and August, there’s still noteworthy programming happening outside those hubs. Here are four shows you ought to have on your radar.

Dream a Little Bigger

Half a dozen dancers are shown from the waist-up in a tight, chaotic cluster as they are bathed in pale blue light. One appears to be screaming, while others look seriously in a different direction.
Hofesh Shechter’s Theatre of Dreams. Photo by Ulrich Geischë, courtesy Hofesh Shechter Company.

PARIS  Hofesh Shechter plunges into the subconscious with Theatre of Dreams. The choreographer’s latest evening-length unearths the fantasies and emotions that permeate both dreams and the waking mind. Performed by Hofesh Shechter Company and a small band of live musicians, the new work premieres in Paris at Théâtre de la Ville June 27–July 17 ahead of a European tour this fall. hofesh.co.uk.

Ballet Is Black

Two Black dancers perform a pas de deux on a dark stage. A woman in pointe shoes tips into a penché on flat, her front arm grasping her partner's, who lunges to the side, away from her.
Claudia Monja and Gian Carlo Perez in Donald Byrd’s From Other Suns. Photo by Shoccara Marcus, courtesy Kennedy Center.

WASHINGTON, DC  Following its weeklong celebration of Black ballet dancers in 2022, Kennedy Center hosts Pathways to Performance: Exercises in Reframing the Narrative for a two-show engagement showcasing works by Black choreographers, danced by Black artists. Guest curated by Theresa Ruth Howard (who will bring Pathways to Jacob’s Pillow the following weekend), the program includes the first full staging of a recent work by Portia Adams and a premiere from Meredith Rainey alongside new commissions by Jennifer Archibald and Kiyon Ross, the latter a pas de deux created for Ashton Edwards and Zsilas Michael Hughes. Donald Byrd’s From Other Suns, which was commissioned for the 2022 edition of the program, also returns. July 2–3. kennedy-center.org.

Dorrance Dances

Michelle Dorrance is a blur of motion, multiple blurred images of her overlapping in one shot as she taps on a wooden floor.
Michelle Dorrance. Photo by ioulex, courtesy Richard Kornberg & Associates.

NEW YORK CITY  Michelle Dorrance and her dream team of percussive dance collaborators return to The Joyce Theater with a brand-new work. July 16–21. joyce.org.

Who’s On Pointe?

Two dancers in pointe shoes dance side by side, clasping each other's hands. One pair of arms is raised overhead, the other at waist height. The downstage dancer is in fondu tendu back. The other stands with slightly bent knees, as though preparing to move.
Duane Gosa and Zsilas Michael Hughes in Thang Dao’s Etudes. Photo by Maximillian Tortoriello, courtesy Ballet22.

SAN FRANCISCO  Ballet22 (one of our 2022 “25 to Watch”) brings works by Houston Thomas, William Forsythe, and Christian Denice, and an excerpt from Giselle—all danced by men, mxn, and nonbinary dancers on pointe—to ODC Theater for its summer season. Aug. 9–11. ballet22.com.