4 Shows Warming Up Winter’s Chilliest Month

February 1, 2022

It may be winter, but there are plenty of premieres sizzling onstage, from ballet to Broadway, Miami to San Francisco. Here are four shows we have on our radar.

New Ballets in the Bay

In a sunny studio, Nikisha Fogo, wearing pointe shoes, pink tights and shorts, and a colorful leotard, poses in profile to the camera. Her right shoe is dug into the ground in forced arch, opposite arm flying up by her head while the other splays behind.
San Francisco Ballet’s Nikisha Fogo rehearsing Forsythe’s Blake Works I. Photo by Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB

SAN FRANCISCO  San Francisco Ballet kicks off its 2022 repertory season—the last with artistic director Helgi Tomasson at the helm—with a pair of triple bills. The first is headlined by the long-awaited premiere of Mrs. Robinson, Cathy Marston’s reimagining of The Graduate, which was originally scheduled for the 2020 season. It joins Balanchine’s Symphony in C and Tomasson’s Trio beginning Feb. 1. The second program, opening Feb. 3, boasts the company premiere of William Forsythe’s Blake Works I, set to the music of James Blake and originally created for Paris Opéra Ballet in 2016, alongside Tomasson’s Caprice and Jerome Robbins’ In the Night. Feb. 1–13. sfballet.org. —Courtney Escoyne

Bill T. Off-Broadway

Bill T. Jones leans back in his chair, gesturing with one hand as he turns to speak with a person whose back is to the camera. Various bags and rehearsal detritus line the space. A masked Black woman sits on the floor in the background, writing notes.
Bill T. Jones, in rehearsal for Black No More. Photo by Marc J. Franklin, Courtesy Seven17 Public Relations

NEW YORK CITY  Inspired by an Afro-futurist novel by George S. Schuyler, Black No More follows a young man during the Harlem Renaissance seeking out a scientist who claims to have created a solution to America’s race problem—a machine that will turn Black people white. Choreographer Bill T. Jones joins a wildly accomplished cast and crew to make moves for The New Group’s latest musical, which plans to officially open Feb. 8 at Pershing Square Signature Center for a limited initial run through Feb. 27. thenewgroup.org. —CE

Love Lifts Us Up

In a soaring, purple-lit cathedral dotted with stained glass windows, an aerialist arches back, parallel to the ground as she flies away from a wooden swing; both are suspended at least 20 feet over the ground. In the background, another aerialist climbs a precarious looking ladder.
Zaccho Dance Theatre’s Helen Wicks at Grace Cathedral. Photo courtesy Zaccho Dance Theatre

SAN FRANCISCO  Zaccho Dance Theatre’s Love, a state of grace features a half-dozen aerial artists performing in the cavernous interior of San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral. Performed in one-hour cycles, the work allows audience members to move through the space below at will, and to engage with a series of rituals and meditations, designed by artist-theologians Yohana Junkar and Claudío Cavalhaes. Directed and choreographed by Joanna Haigood, the performance installation encourages attendees to contemplate and celebrate our shared humanity, and the importance love holds across various spiritual practices. Feb. 11–12, 17–18. zaccho.org. —CE

Swan of a Different Feather

In masks and ballet rehearsal wear, two dancers strike a pose recognizable from the Black Swan Pas de Deux. The ballerina hits a 90 degree third arabesque, shifted forward off of her center by the male dancer supporting her at the waist.
Miami City Ballet’s Katia Carranza and Carlos Quenedit rehearsing Alexei Ratmansky’s Swan Lake. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy MCB

MIAMI With the North American premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Swan Lake, Miami City Ballet unveils artistry previously lost in time. Ratmansky dug into Stepanov notation of the 1895 Petipa–Ivanov choreography and other sources, coming up with a ballet both truer to its roots and revelatory. Dance and mime, costumes and coiffure, honor the first Mariinsky Theatre production, but this brings surprises: Odette gains a more human presence, and Odile discards the Black Swan label, nary a feather on her knee-length, multitoned tutu. After debuting it in Miami, Feb. 11–13, MCB takes the work to West Palm Beach, Feb. 19–20, and Ft. Lauderdale, Feb. 26–27. miamicityballet.org. —Guillermo Perez