Downtown New York City will be teeming with dance festivals in January. It’s a good way to ease back into viewing dance after the holiday funk.

New York Live Arts’ Live Artery confirms NYLA position on the cutting edge with reprisals of 2014’s best works: John Jasperse’s Within Between, Beth Gill’s New Work for the Desert and Cynthia Oliver’s BOOM! Beside these known hits, Live Artery takes a chance with works-in-progress by Rashaun Mitchell, Okwui Okpokwasili and RoseAnne Spradlin.

American Realness specializes in the brash and provocative. Last year the brashness swung out of control, igniting a lovely controversy about the limits of rule-breaking in performance. (See Siobhan Burke’s commentary on the Performance Club’s site.)  This year’s lineup includes Miguel Gutierrez, Keith Hennessy, Ivo Dimchev, Jack Ferver and Tere O’Connor. Jan. 8–18, Abrons Arts.

 

P.S. 122’s Coil Festival, inhabiting various venues, includes, among others, Faye Driscoll’s (literally) ground-breaking Thank You for Coming Jan. 6–10, and Seattle renegade Zoe|Juniper Jan. 14–16.

As always, there are plenty of APAP showings around the city. If you’re performing in one or more, good luck. It can be an unnatural situation to  perform for potential presenters. Let's face it, APAP is an audition to get bookings. But if you’re an audience person wandering around, it can be fun to sample different wares.

 

Above: Age & Beauty, Part I, by Miguel Gutierrez. Photo by Ian Douglas.

 

Peridance has lined up two programs of lesser known groups Jan. 10 and 11. They include Ate9 dANCE cOMPANY, Bellydance Evolution and Peridance Contemporary Dance Company.

From Jan. 9–13, the 14th Street Y showcases Lee Saar Company, Bennyroyce Dance, Eva Dean, Yin Yue and some out-of-town companies like Missouri Contemporary Ballet.

If you’re a denizen of New York City, it will be easy to sample some of these dance offerings. Pick a time when you can see both familiar and unfamiliar dance artists. Let yourself be surprised.

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Studio Bleu students Jaxon Keller, Samantha Halker and Alia Wiggins. Photos by Chris Stark

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When it comes to equipment, dancers don't need much—just shoes and whatever can fit in their dance bag. But between rehearsals in the studio and performances on stage, one major piece of equipment often goes overlooked—the floor.

Dancers too often find themselves warming up on the concrete or carpet backstage, or wanting to practice in a location without a proper floor. For years, Harlequin Floors has offered a solution to this problem with its innovative turning board, offering a portable and personal floor that can be flipped between marley and wood. Now, they've revolutionized portability again with their practice mat, offering dancers the option to roll up their own personal floor and sling it over their shoulders like a yoga mat.

We spoke with experts from every corner of the dance industry to see how Harlequin's products have become their everyday essentials:

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