May 2012 dance calendar (39461)

May just would not be the same without the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT) at NJPAC (May 11-13) for their annual Mother’s Day weekend performance and DanceAfrica and their annual Memorial Day weekend performance at BAM (May 25-28).

The AAADT, under the direction of new Artistic Director Robert Battle, brings NJPAC premieres “Home” by Rennie Harris, “Arden Court” by Paul Taylor, “Minus 16” by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin and “Takademe” by Battle, plus classic Ailey works “Streams” (1970) and “Revelations” (1960). If you missed their annual City Center holiday season, don’t miss this one! For more information, visit

DanceAfrica returns for its 35th season under the artistic direction of founding elder Baba Chuck Davis with the largest gathering of dance companies in its history. This year’s theme is “One Africa/Many Rhythms,” and, appropriately, there will be 15 companies, including Ghana’s Ammamere Mma Dance Theatre in its DanceAfrica debut, the return of many favorite performers and reunions of companies from the earliest DanceAfrica festivals for a special opening celebration on Sunday, May 20.

During the weekend of main stage performances (May 25-28), each evening will be completely different. As always, the weeklong celebration includes the DanceAfrica outdoor bazaar, FilmAfrica and master classes for all. This year’s “Late-Night Dance Party” in the BAMcafe will be hosted by the Black Rock Coalition Orchestra as they salute Don Cornelius and “Soul Train,” plus there will be an “Iconic Artist Talk” with Davis interacting with DanceAfrica footage from the BAM archives. The DanceAfrica experience is not to be missed! For more information, go to

Still running

  • April 27-28: EMoves 13 at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse in two repeating programs showcasing 10 choreographers “that define the future of dance in the critically acclaimed dance series.” For more information, visit
  • April 25-29: Ailey II at their home theater, the Ailey Citigroup Theater, celebrates a bittersweet season as they say goodbye to their 38-year artistic director, Sylvia Waters, with two programs, “Modern Moves” and “Contemporary Choices.” For more information, visit
  • April 24-29: In three programs, Ballet Hispanico returns to the Joyce Theater with the world premiere of Ronald K. Brown’s “Espiritu Vivo,” set to music by Afro-Peruvian Latin Grammy Award winner Susana Baca, who performs live, Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro’s “Asuka” and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s “Nube Blanco,” plus much more. For more information, visit

Also this month:

  • May 8: The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the young dancers of Ailey II and students from the Ailey School come together for one night only at the Apollo for a spring gala benefit performance. For more information, visit
  • May 4-19: The Bronx Academy of Arts & Dance (BAAD) presents its annual “Boogie Down Dance Series” with dance, film and lots of classes. Slated for this season are Toni Renee Johnson’s “Maverick Dance Experience,” Full Circle Dance Company, Maria Bauman, Marjani Forte, Paloma McGregor and Samantha Speis and so much more. For more information, go to
  • May 8-13: Alonzo King LINES Ballet returns to the Joyce with two works by King, “Scheherazade,” set to a new score by tabla master Zakir Hussain, and “Resin,” which “explores…Sephardic music [and] draws on songs and field recordings from Yemen, Turkey, Morocco and Spain.” For more information, visit
  • May 10, 17 & 18: Stephanie Batten Bland, in a shared program with John Heginbotham, will premiere “A Place of Sun” and “Twin.” For more information, visit
  • May 15-27: Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, under the direction of Artistic Director Benoit-Swan Pouffer, returns to the Joyce for two weeks in two programs of New York premieres. Slated for this season is “Violet Kid” by U.K.-based choreographer Hofesh Shechter, “Grace Engine” by Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite and more. For more information, visit
  • May 25: Hip-hop artist Brian Green performs as part of the 92nd Street Y’s “Free Fridays at Noon” series. For more information, visit

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