7 Shows Marked on Our Calendars This May
There’s much to celebrate in May’s packed performance calendar, from previously postponed premieres to big anniversaries to collaborations pulling artists out of their usual haunts. Here’s what we’re most excited to see.
Forsythe + Blake, Redux
BOSTON William Forsythe delves back into the music of James Blake with the premiere of Blake Works II at Boston Ballet. It’s joined on the MINDscapes triple bill by (naturally) Forsythe’s Blake Works I, which the company first tackled in 2019 with aplomb, as well as a new work by resident choreographer Jorma Elo. May 5–15. bostonballet.org.
A Bold Finish
CINCINNATI The inaugural Bold Moves Festival closes Cincinnati Ballet’s season with six rotating productions, including Ohad Naharin’s Minus 16, a premiere by company member David Morse, and works by Helen Pickett, Twyla Tharp and departing artistic director Victoria Morgan. Guest appearances from AXIS Dance Company and Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, as well as supplemental activities, talkbacks and classes, are also on tap. May 12–22. cballet.org.
NEW YORK CITY How does history live in the body? In the allegorical solo performance VITRUVIAN, premiering at Abrons Arts Center May 19–21, Jerron Herman traces the life cycle of the Vitruvian man as he traverses hemispheres. Video of the work will be available to stream on demand July 6–30. abronsartscenter.org.
On the Come-Up
CHICAGO The Harris Theater debut of South Chicago Dance Theatre features a panoply of premieres from executive artistic director Kia Smith, longtime local mainstay Ron De Jesus, PARA.MAR Dance Theatre founder Stephanie Martinez, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company associate artistic director Crystal Michelle Perkins and Chicago Repertory Ballet founder Wade Schaaf. May 20. southchicagodancetheatre.com.
Oh! You Pretty Things
HOUSTON More than two years after the pandemic forced its postponement on the day it was meant to premiere, Trey McIntyre’s Pretty Things is set to finally debut at Houston Ballet. Performed by an all-male cast to the music of David Bowie, the ballet will close a playful program that also includes Jorma Elo’s ONE|end|ONE and Christopher Bruce’s Hush. May 20–29. houstonballet.org.
BAY AREA ODC/Dance’s contribution to Island City Waterways: Uprooted is deeply personal for Kimi Okada. The ODC associate choreographer drew from letters written by her mother in the 1940s while living in an internment camp for Japanese Americans. Co-created with Brenda Way, the site-responsive piece will unfold at a former naval air station in Alameda, California, as part of a performance experience also featuring 13th Floor Dance Theater, Akira Tana Trio and Maze Daiko. This year’s iteration of the series, produced by Rhythmix Cultural Works and the City of Alameda, places the World War II–era heroism and injustices that occurred in Alameda—and elsewhere—side by side. May 21–22. islandcitywaterways.org.
50 Years of Trisha
NEW YORK CITY At The Joyce Theater, Trisha Brown Dance Company celebrates its 50th anniversary with a pair of works for which its founder collaborated with Robert Rauschenberg: Foray Forêt and Astral Converted. May 24–29. joyce.org.