Dance Festivals & Presenters

You likely know or have seen the New York City Ballet. What about modern dance, the styles of Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, and José Limón who rebelled against classical ballet? What about contemporary dance? What about dance theatre?

Dance festivals are a great place to explore a wide variety of dance styles.

Fall for Dance

At the Fall for Dance Festival that takes place in late September and early October at New York City Center, you can experience works by world-renowned dance companies and many of today’s leading choreographers. Designed to introduce dance to new audiences, tickets kept at only $15 despite its high-profile lineup.

The Joyce Theater

While not strictly a festival, the Joyce Theater is a leading presenter of dance in New York City and nationally in the United States.

The Joyce brings amazing performances to its Chelsea location throughout the year and sometimes to other venues in the city. Its programming includes works by both established and mid-career artists. The organization also supports and fosters dance makers by commissioning new works.

You see not only different dance styles, but also experience how dancers and choreographers develop throughout their career. Other unique qualities about the Joyce: You are never far from the stage in its intimate 472-seat theater. Go on a curtain chat evening to learn more about the artists.

Other Festivals and Events

Depending on your preferences, you might also be interested in seeing works by mid-career and emerging artists. The format, style, and quality of presentation can vary at such performances. Here are some that I personally enjoyed.

The Dance Now at Joe’s Pub festival is organized around short formats where emerging artists have five minutes to present an excerpt of their work. You get to see 10 dance companies over the course of a dinner.

Look for events at Gibney Dance or the Peridance Capezio Center. Many professional dancers train, teach, or rehearse at these locations. You can find creative work by up-and-coming choreographers, resident artists, or their faculty members.

SynthesisDANCE presenting “What We May Become” at New York Moves
Choreographed by Tracie Stanfield
Photographed by Jason Chuang