DM Editors Pick November's Can't-Miss Shows

November 1, 2019

Our editors’ performance picks this month are all about taking what’s expected and turning it on its head.

Life After Romeo

A black woman with short hair, wearing a blue crop top, ripped jeans and sneakers, rises from a crouch, arms raised to her sides with bent elbows and energetically upraised palms. A group of dancers in rehearsal clothes cluster around her but face the edges of the space, moving through pliu00e9 with shoulders hunched.

The cast of & Juliet in rehearsal

Johan Persson, Courtesy Dewynters

What if, instead of reaching for a dagger after finding Romeo dead beside her, Juliet got a life? & Juliet, a new pop musical hitting the West End this month, turns Shakespeare’s tale of woe on its head. To get over Romeo, the titular heroine takes off to Paris for an adventure with her friends and trusty Nurse. Jennifer Weber’s choreography animates a soundtrack spanning ’90s chart toppers by Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys to more recent hits by Ellie Goulding and The Weeknd. Previews begin Nov. 2. —Courtney Escoyne

A Homegrown Triple Bill

Eva Stone, a blonde woman, sits in a chair at the front of a studio, back to the mirror; she has one foot tucked underneath her, and is holding one hand to her chin. In the mirror, a group of dancers lift a woman reclining on her side overhead.Stone watches the dancers intently.
Eva Stone rehearses PNB dancers.

Lindsay Thomas, Courtesy PNB

For Locally Sourced, Pacific Northwest Ballet presents three premieres by Seattle-area artists. Donald Byrd, artistic director of Spectrum Dance Theater, creates a piece set to music by Israeli composer Emmanuel Witzthum. The founder of Bellevue’s CHOP SHOP contemporary dance festival, Eva Stone collaborates with a female design team for FOIL, choreographed to the music of four women composers. And Seattle-born corps member Miles Pertl makes his first ballet for the main stage. Nov. 8–17. —Caroline Shadle

Dancing the Undanceable

An older man with graying black hair and beard looks intently at a record player on a small table in front of him. He stoops over it and seems about to stop the record spinning with a finger.

Colin Dunne in his Concert

Maurice Gunning, Courtesy Blake Zidell & Associates

Irish and contemporary dance aficionados alike are in for a treat: Colin Dunne is back in New York City. Eight years after co-presenting Dunne’s Olivier-nominated solo show Out of Time, Baryshnikov Arts Center and Irish Arts Center again join forces for the U.S. premiere of Dunne’s 2017 solo work Concert. Dunne uses fiddle player Tommie Potts’ infamously “undanceable” album The Liffey Banks (1972) as the starting point, placing his dance in conversation with Potts’ music, and, through the use of sonic and filmic elements, Dunne himself in conversation with Potts. Nov. 14–16. —CS

It’s All Greek to Me

A woman in a gray, Grecian dress sits with her feet dangling off a small ledge. She watches as a group of dark-clothed men stoop to pick up what appear to be individual pieces of wheat from an incline formed by overlapping squares of dark flooring..

Dimitris Papanioannou’s The Great Tamer

Julian Mommert, Courtesy BAM

Avant-garde dancemaker Dimitris Papaioannou has been pushing and evading boundaries for decades, but his name (not to mention his work) is not well known stateside. Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival will give audiences a crash course with The Great Tamer, his 2017 macabre commentary on existence. Featuring nudity, Apollo-era space suits, stilts, illusions, Strauss’ “Blue Danube” waltz and a shape-shifting floor, it hovers in the gray area between nightmare and farce. Nov. 14–17. —CE

Saluting Service

Four young men in army fatigues face the left, arms by their sides. Two are lunging; the other two are caught mid-step behind them.

Bruce Wood’s Follow Me

Sharen Bradford, Courtesy Bruce Wood Dance

Bruce Wood Dance’s Harvest program is bound to be a poignant one. In honor of Veterans Day, the company will restage Wood’s 2004 Follow Me, which features servicemen and women performing alongside the company. Also on tap: the premiere of artistic director Joy Bollinger’s In My Your Head, an exploration of how American youth are reacting to today’s political climate, set to the music of Radiohead, plus a new work by Bryan Arias. Nov. 15–16. —CE

No Lousy Chickens

A line of male and female dancers in matching high-waisted brown trousers and bright pink and yellow sombreros stretches upstage. (The women wear lacy white halter tops.) The six closest to the camera face right, the rest left, all with arms linked around each other's waists as they step onto their right foot.

Michelle Manzanales’ Con Brazos Abiertos

Paula Lobo, Courtesy Michelle Tabnick PR

Is West Side Story fever contagious? It spreads to the Apollo Theater this month with the premiere of Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s latest work for Ballet Hispánico. Tiburones chips away at the stereotypes surrounding the Sharks to look at the fictional Puerto Rican street gang through a Latinx and gender-fluid lens. The cross-cultural reckonings with identity continue with a restaging of Andrea Miller’s Nací and a reprisal of Michelle Manzanales’ Con Brazos Abiertos. Nov. 22–23. —CE