You could hardly see the 80 dancers performing around (and in) the reflecting pool at Lincoln Center during Mark Dendy's site-specific work last Wednesday -- the crowds were so thick, you practically needed an aerial view just to catch a glimpse of the event.
Such intense interest in a midweek dance show at 6 pm is a testament not just to Lincoln Center's promotion of the event but also to the desert of dance options in the summer. Most companies leave the city for July and August on vacation or to perform at summer festivals. The New York City Ballet dances at the Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center in upstate New York, for instance, and the Martha Graham Dance Company is at Jacob's Pillow in Massachussetts.
But there are shimmering oases. The Joyce Theater, on 18th street in Chelsea, has performances through most of August. Pilobolus, for instance, a critically celebrated modern dance company, performs at the Joyce through August 4th. There are also companies performing in the Joyce's Ballet V6.0 dance festival, from the 6th through the 19th.
Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival, the organization that brought the Dendy piece to the reflecting pool, has a series of other performances lined up. There's the Vau de Vire Society, a San Francisco circus/dance acrobatic troupe, on August 9th. For something a bit more traditional, the festival is hosting the Dance Higenbotham company the day before.
Dixon Place, the scrappy downtown venue known for its occasionally esoteric and countercultural perfomances, is hosting NYC10on August 21, where 10 up-and-coming dance companies perform new work. The Paul Taylor 2 Dance Company is set to perform, too.
If you're really jazzed about dance, why not take a class yourself? Steps, on 74th and Broadway, offers beginner classes all summer, as does Alvin Ailey's dance studio, at the dance center on 55th and 9th.
It isn't City Ballet at the Koch or ABT at the Met, but it's talented performers in interesting venues. And, after all, it's summer.
James Tarmy reports on arts and culture for Bloomberg Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News.