7 Performance Picks We Don’t Want to Miss This June
Summer is heating up, with major premieres, triumphant returns and exciting mixed-company lineups happening from coast-to-coast and across the pond. Here’s what caught our eye.
SAN FRANCISCO ODC Theater’s annual summer festival is back with a new name: State of Play. Co-curated by Amara Tabor-Smith and Charles Slender-White with a focus on queer and BIPOC artists, the performance lineup (live and later via livestream) includes works by Riley Watts and Heather Stewart, MK Abadoo, SAMMAY Peñaflor Dizon, Rosanna Tavarez, Megan Lowe Dances, Erin Yen | Dragons Dance, Nicole Peisl, Kim Ip and Bianca Cabrera. Works-in-progress showings and discussions, debates, and panels are also on offer. June 2–11. odc.dance. —Courtney Escoyne
Update: Rosanna Tavarez’s performances have been postponed to Nov. 11–13.
Book to Ballet
LONDON Laura Esquivel’s novel Like Water for Chocolate tells the story of a young woman with the power to magically infuse her emotions into her cooking, and the drama that ensues when she is unable to be with the man she loves. Christopher Wheeldon collaborated with the author to bring a full-length ballet adaptation to life, set to premiere at The Royal Ballet this month. A co-production with American Ballet Theatre, the ballet reunites the choreographer with composer Joby Talbot and designer Bob Crowley, the team behind literary blockbusters Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Winter’s Tale. June 2–17. roh.org.uk. —Julia Mary Register
ON TOUR Dancers with and without disabilities come together in the three-company, three-city National Physically Integrated Dance Festival: Beyond Barriers, Boundaries & Belief! On offer are premieres by Donald Byrd, Mark Tomasic and Brian Murphy for Cleveland’s Dancing Wheels Company, a new work by Heidi Latsky for her eponymous, New York City–based troupe, and Miami’s Karen Peterson and Dancers in an excerpt from founder Karen Peterson Corash’s 2021 Lost and Found. The festival was conceived by Dancing Wheels founding artistic director Mary Verdi-Fletcher, who says, “I felt it was important that our nation recognize the distinct talents of artists that participate in physically integrated dance.” The tour begins in Cleveland, June 10, followed by New York City, June 14, and Miami, June 25. dancingwheels.org. —Steve Sucato
ABT Comes Home
NEW YORK CITY American Ballet Theatre returns to the Metropolitan Opera House for the first time since 2019, kicking off the season with a Don Quixote featuring a starry triple cast of leads on June 13. In addition to its usual panoply of full-lengths, the company will present the New York premieres of Alexei Ratmansky’s evening-length Of Love and Rage (postponed from 2020) and Alonzo King’s recent Single Eye, and celebrate the 75th anniversary of George Balanchine’s seminal Theme and Variations. June 13–July 16. abt.org. —CE
Closer to Taylor
NEW YORK CITY Paul Taylor Dance Company takes a break from the grandiosity of Lincoln Center to moonlight at the more intimate Joyce Theater. Curated by artistic director Michael Novak, the programming for the company’s Joyce debut demonstrates the connection between its origins and future, pairing early Taylor pieces, like Events II (1957), Fibers(1961) and Tracer (1962), with a new work from Michelle Manzanales and the New York premiere of Peter Chu’s A Call for Softer Landings. June 14–19. joyce.org. —JMR
Ballet Is Black
WASHINGTON, DC Black ballet dancers and choreographers are front and center during the Kennedy Center’s Reframing the Narrative week. Dance Theatre of Harlem, Ballethnic Dance Company and Collage Dance Collective perform in two programs curated by Denise Saunders Thompson and Theresa Ruth Howard, showcasing classical excerpts alongside works from the company’s leaders and commissions from recent years by Amy Hall Garner and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. The centerpiece of both programs is a Kennedy Center commission by Donald Byrd, featuring a dozen Black dancers from companies worldwide (including Precious Adams, Katlyn Addison, Jenelle Figgins and Ashley Murphy-Wilson) and a new score by Carlos Simon. June 14–19. kennedy-center.org. —CE
NEW YORK CITY As part of The Flea Theater’s Juneteenth programming, Urban Bush Women artistic director Chanon Judson has crafted Time’s Up! A Liberation Ritual, a public performance meditation undertaken by Judson and community participants. June 19. theflea.org. —CE