9 Performances to Catch This May and June

May 1, 2024

An American company crossing the pond for the first time, festivals centering Asian dancemakers, premieres responding to colonization, transgender identity, audience relationships, and more—the performance landscape over the next two months is overflowing with possibility. Here’s what’s at the top of our lists.

New to NYCB

Amy Hall Garner smiles brightly on the camera from where she sits on the floor. Her legs are tucked beside her, arms long as they trail to the floor.
Amy Hall Garner. Photo by Ruvén Afanador, courtesy NYCB.

NEW YORK CITY  In-demand choreographer Amy Hall Garner continues to gain momentum, with her latest commission premiering at New York City Ballet’s Spring Gala on May 2 alongside a new work from resident choreographer Justin Peck and George Balanchine’s “Rubies.” All three pieces repeat alongside Balanchine’s Le Tombeau de Couperin May 3, 4, 7, and 16 for the Classic NYCB I program. nycballet.com. —Courtney Escoyne

Rituals and Relationships

Kyle Abraham poses against a blue backdrop. He crouches, balancing on the toes of his shoes, arms wrapping around his head.
Kyle Abraham. Photo by Tatiana Wills, courtesy Danspace Project.

NEW YORK CITY  Kyle Abraham curates this year’s iteration of Danspace Project’s signature Platform program. Subtitled “A Delicate Ritual,” this year’s platform centers questions about the participating artists’ relationships with nature, ritual, prayer, love, and change. Sharing performance evenings are Shamel Pitts and Nicholas Ryan Gant (May 2–4), David Roussève and taisha paggett (May 23–25), and Vinson Fraley and Bebe Miller (June 6–8), while additional activities will include a memorial for the late Kevin Wynn, classes, conversations, and more. danspaceproject.org. —CE

Editor’s note: This item has been updated to reflect programming changes made after this story went to print.

Atlanta Gets Jazzy

Claudia Schreier demonstrates a pose with a beveled foot and flexed hands to pointe shoe wearing dancers behind her.
Claudia Schreier in rehearsal with Atlanta Ballet. Photo by Kim Kenney, courtesy Atlanta Ballet.

ATLANTA  Claudia Schreier teams up with legendary jazz musician Wynton Marsalis for her latest premiere for Atlanta Ballet, where she’s choreographer in residence. The work will be set to “The Jungle” (Symphony No. 4). And sought-after dancemaker Juliano Nuñes returns to the company for another new work to round out the Liquid Motion program. May 10–12. atlantaballet.com. —CE

Sounding Off

Caleb Teicher seems to shout as they extend a leg to the side, same arm raised with an open palm, opposite arm on their hip. They wear denim overalls over a white-sleeved shirt.
Caleb Teicher. Photo by Richard Termine, courtesy Michelle Tabnick Public Relations.

NEW YORK CITY  In the “performance-presentation” This Is The Part When You Go Woo, Caleb Teicher and their collaborators play with the various relationships that might exist between artists and their audiences. Guest performers take Michael Benjamin Washington’s script and fill in the blanks, accompanied by visuals from interdisciplinary artist Ameya Marie Okamoto, for the new work, premiering at Works & Process May 12–13. worksandprocess.org. —CE

Crossing the Pond

A female dancer is lifted horizontal to the floor, legs extended behind her and upper back arching up so she can look to the sky. She is supported by five male dancers, two kneeling downstage and three just upstage of her. All are dressed in white tights, matching long-sleeved tunics, and head coverings that have a futuristic feel.
The Sarasota Ballet in Sir Frederick Ashton’s Sinfonietta. Photo by Frank Atura, courtesy The Sarasota Ballet.

LONDON  The Sarasota Ballet’s first international engagement will be a particularly meaningful one as the company alights at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre for a weeklong residency. The occasion? Helping kick off Ashton Worldwide, a five-year celebration of Sir Frederick Ashton, whose works have become a specialty of the Florida-based company under Iain Webb’s leadership. They’ll perform Valses nobles et sentimentales, Dante Sonata, Sinfonietta, Varii Capricci, Façade, and a selection of divertissements across two programs and a gala, June 4–9, and will join The Royal Ballet on the main stage June 7–22 to perform The Walk to the Paradise Garden. The Royal’s own Ashton programming will include The Dream, Rhapsody, and Les Rendezvous. roh.org.uk—CE

Many Happy Returns

Ashley R.T. Yergens does a grand plié in first position facing the camera, one hand over his heart and the other over his crotch. He wears a long-sleeved red leotard, oversized white gloves, Mickey Mouse ears, and white sneakers. He looks questioningly at the camera. The wooden floor is sunlit.
Ashley R.T. Yergens. Photo by Fred Attenborough, courtesy New York Live Arts.

NEW YORK CITY  Ashley R.T. Yergens continues his work exploring transgender identity in American popular culture with SURROGATE, drawing on Thomas Beatie’s 2008 interview with Oprah Winfrey about his experiences being pregnant as a trans man. Yergens’ self-described “premature birthday celebration for a frozen embryo” premieres at New York Live Arts June 13–15. newyorklivearts.org. —CE

Then and Now

Four dancers in bright yellow cluster and connect with their backs to the camera as they perform on a public train.
MALACARNE’s someone in some future time will think of us. Photo by Christine Mitchell, courtesy MALACARNE.

SEATTLE  The site-responsive the sky is the same color everywhere or on the rapture of being alive sees Alice Gosti and her MALACARNE collaborators celebrating Seattle’s downtown while holding space for its colonized past. The free five-hour performance takes over the 2+U Urban Village on June 27. gostia.com. —CE

Asian Voices

Two ballet festivals center Asian creatives.

A dozen dancers in different colored dresses and shirt and pants combinations hide their faces behind their hands, leaning as one to the right. Branches sprout from their heads.
Houston Ballet in Disha Zhang’s Elapse. Photo by Amitava Sarkar, courtesy Houston Ballet/Kennedy Center.

Choreographic Festival VI at Ballet West

SALT LAKE CITY  Ballet West’s Choreographic Festival, returning this year for its sixth iteration, presents a program focused on highlighting Asian choreographers. The event will include two new works for Ballet West, one by former BalletX dancer Caili Quan and another by American Ballet Theatre soloist Zhongjing Fang. Phil Chan’s Amber Waves, an improvisation-based work inspired by “America the Beautiful” and set to music by Chinese American composer Huang Ruo, will also be performed by Ballet West. Among the guest companies are BalletMet, which will bring outgoing artistic director Edwaard Liang’s Seasons to the program. After the festival’s run in Salt Lake City, Ballet West will present both new works as part of the Kennedy Center’s 10,000 Dreams: A Celebration of Asian Choreography. June 5–8. balletwest.org. —Sophie Bress

10,000 Dreams: A Celebration of Asian Choreography

WASHINGTON, DC  Co-curated by Phil Chan and the Kennedy Center, 10,000 Dreams: A Celebration of Asian Choreography gets underway at dusk on June 14 with a free outdoor screening of a selection of short dance films by Asian choreographers and creatives as part of the Millennium Stage film series. The festival reaches a crescendo on June 21 with a one-night-only event: Alongside Chan’s Amber Waves, danced by Ballet West, planned performers include Final Bow for Yellowface co-founder Georgina Pazcoguin; Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company, in its artistic director’s A Tribute to Marian Anderson; and Singapore Ballet, Goh Ballet (with dancers from the National Ballet of China), and The Washington Ballet, each performing a work by Choo San Goh. A pioneering Singapore-born­ dancemaker, Goh was TWB’s resident choreographer for nearly a decade before dying of AIDS-related illness in 1987. Two other­ programs during the weeklong festival will feature performances by Pacific Northwest Ballet and Houston Ballet alongside Ballet West and TWB in ballets by Brett Ishida, Edwaard Liang, and Disha Zhang, among others. June 14 and 18–23. kennedy-center.org—CE