The Performances We're Penciling Into Our Calendars Over the Next Month

September 23, 2021

Festivals, farewells, fresh works—the next month promises all that and more. Here’s a mix of online and in-person shows we’re trying to fit into our refreshingly busy calendars.

Hello, Goodbye

A barefoot dancer in a sleek black leotard moves through a parallel back attitude, arms clasped behind her back. She is viewed in profile. In the background, a dark pool of water and white columned building.
NYCB’s Emily Kikta in Sidra Bell’s pixelation in a wave (Within Wires) Jon Chema, Courtesy NYCB

Back onstage in its home theater at last, New York City Ballet premieres new works by contemporary dance darlings Sidra Bell and Andrea Miller at the Fall Fashion Gala Sept. 30, with repeat performances Oct. 1–3, 6 and 12. But it’s also a season of goodbyes: Abi Stafford gives her final bow Sept. 26, then fellow principals Lauren Lovette and Ask La Cour on Oct. 9. Veteran star Maria Kowroski—the last dancer currently in the company to have worked with Jerome Robbins—follows on Oct. 17. —Courtney Escoyne

Vivid Versatility

A quartet of grey-outfitted dancers pose against a white backdrop. One male dancer slides on the floor, a second falls towards the camera on one leg, mouth open in a shout. A hoodie-wearing woman leaps with both legs bent, looking intently at the camera, while another jumps, directing a shout off-camera
Versa-Style Dance Company Courtesy Los Angeles Philharmonic Association

Versa-Style Dance Company brings its high-octane blend of hip-hop and Afro-Latin styles to The Ford as the troupe premieres its latest work. Largely improvised, Freemind Freestyle draws inspiration from battling while exploring freedom—both what restricts it and what allows it to flourish. Oct. 1.—CE

Hear Them Roar

On a debris-strewn stage, two women lie on their backs, mirroring each other. Both arch or incline so their screaming faces are visible. The downstage woman's hands claw at her thighs, knees bent.
Yumiko Yoshioka and Minako Seki in Zero; Pietro Jorge, Courtesy Michelle Tabnick Public Relations

Women Defining Butoh, a series from New York Butoh Institute, pays homage to the women pioneers of the form Oct. 1–30. The series kicks off with virtual performances from early practitioners Natsu Nakajima, Saga Kobayashi, Hiroko Tamano, Yumiko Yoshioka, Minako Seki and Yuko Kaseki, continues with Eugenia Vargas, Cristal Sabbagh, Joan Laage/Kogut Butoh, DAIPANbutoh Collective and Anzu Furukawa, and builds to in-person shows from Vangeline at Brooklyn’s Triskelion Arts Oct. 27–30. Digital and in-person master classes will take place throughout the month.—CE

Beyond Borders

A Black dancer wearing a voluminous black skirt and face mask contracts his torso as he moves through a deep second pliu00e9, hands outstretched in front of him. Spectators behind barricades are visible in the background.
Edivaldo Ernesto Albert Vidal, Courtesy Movement Without Borders

Poets, filmmakers, musicians, visual artists and, yes, dancers come together at Judson Memorial Church for Movement Without Borders, a day of performance celebrating four organizations dedicated to humanizing the U.S. immigration system. Dance artists scheduled to perform include Ernesto Breton (in a work by Rudy Perez), Francisco Cordova, Edivaldo Ernesto, Francesca Harper, Horacio Macuacua, Jimena Paz, Shamel Pitts and Mariana Valencia. Oct. 2.—CE

Back At It In The Bay

A long-limbed woman in a black and cream leotard and ballet slippers balances in a side lunge, leaning towards her outstretched leg with fingers splayed and arms open wide.
Amy Siewert’s Imagery’s Shania Rasmussen; David DeSilva, Courtesy John Hill PR


ODC Theater welcomes back live audiences with a head-turning slate of shows. The season kicks off on Oct. 2 with the premiere of Funsch Dance Experience’s 12-hour EPOCH, a defiance of Doris Humphrey’s “all dances are too long” edict. Kathak troupe Chitresh Das Institute premieres Mantram, exploring resonance and connection, Oct. 15–17. Kinetech Arts debuts Passage, a multimedia, immersive performance work that explores the relationship between entropy and time, Oct. 23–24. Physical theater company inkBoat premieres Ann Carlson’s These Are the Ones We Fell Among, Nov. 5–7, taking audiences from circuses to alternate universes in a work inspired by the behavior, movement and mythology of elephants. Virtual productions from Amy Seiwert’s Imagery (SKETCH 11: Interrupted, featuring new works by Seiwert and Ben Needham-Wood, Oct. 22–24) and RAWdance (premiering a film version of Ryan T. Smith and Wendy Rein’s Shadow (part 1) alongside Katerina Wong’s The Healer, Oct. 29–30) will join simulcasts of many of the in-person performances online.—CE

Gwen Gets Her Due

Georgina Pazcoguin, outfitted in black rehearsal clothes and heeled jazz shoes, performs a layout on forced arch facing upstage. Her ponytailed hair flies wildly behind her. Three leaping dancers are visible around her in the studio.
Georgina Pazcoguin rehearsing Sweet Gwen Suite; Paula Lobo, Courtesy Verdon/Fosse Legacy


Fall for Dance, New York City Center’s annual grab bag of a dance festival, has a knack for piquing dance lovers’ curiosity. One titillating treat on the table: a trio of made-for-television dances originally performed by Gwen Verdon, now being taken on by New York City Ballet soloist and Broadway vet Georgina Pazcoguin, as reconstructed by Linda Haberman. While the dances were ori­ginally credited to Bob Fosse, Fosse’s and Verdon’s daughter, Nicole Fosse, believes them to have been actually choreographed by Verdon herself, with assistance from Fosse, and has dubbed the collection Sweet Gwen Suite, in her mother’s honor.—CE

The Politics of Dancing

A dancer with her back to the camera balances on forced arch as a white shoe, clearly just tossed over her head, falls toward a pile of its fellows on the floor behind her.
CorningWorks’ the other shoe; Frank Walsh, Courtesy CorningWorks

In the other shoe, veteran dancemaker Beth Corning and noted actor/director Kay Cummings take a deep dive into political and social commentary. “It is one of the most puzzle-pieced works I have ever done,” Corning says. Both deliver incisive monologues on the turbulent state of current events, paired with solos for Corning by award-winning choreographers Donald Byrd, Martha Clarke, Li Chiao-Ping and Max Stone, in this humor-tinged, thought-provoking dance theater work. Oct. 20–24.—Steve Sucato