The Fall/Winter Dance Roundup

As a follow-up to last month’s Culture Guide, we went a little deeper into dance, which is a particularly great holiday break option for little ones. And speaking of kids, there’s a Nutcracker production in each of the cities below—though the Parisian interpretation is best suited for adults.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

The Joan Weill Center for Dance, 405 W. 55th St., Hell's Kitchen | 212.405.9000

Alvin Ailey has choreographed 79 ballets over his lifetime, each one a better example of his beautifully fluid modern style than the next. The company that bears his name isn't just tasked with keeping his legacy alive, but also with bringing new works from up-and-coming choreographers to the stage. The new season starts in December.

Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance

20 Lincoln Center, Midtown | 212.496.0600

Helmed by its namesake—who's been redefining American modern dance since the '50s— the Paul Taylor Dance Company gets to call Lincoln Center home base when not on tour, which clout-wise pretty much says it all. The 2016 season begins in March and is said to include several classics in addition to two new works by Paul Taylor himself.

Thomas Adès: Concentric Paths—Movements in Music

131 W. 55th St., Midtown | 212.581.1212

Arguably one of the most revered composers of our time, Thomas Adès' melodic, lively works are a choreographer's dream. For this performance, four different ones choreographed distinctly unique dance numbers around four of his compositions. The best part: Adès himself will be performing or conducting each piece live.


651 Fulton St., Brooklyn | 718.636.4100

The Brooklyn Academy of Music is famous for its avant-garde, genre-blending performances. This season's highlight is Hagoromo, an interpretation of a classic Japanese play that's grounded in modern dance. It's the story of a fisherman who comes upon a Hagoromo (a cape-like dress belonging to an angel). The angel demands its return, but the fisherman refuses to acquiesce until she performs a dance for him. Two live vocalists (the Fisherman and the Angel) perform the original score alongside a girls' choir and a five-piece chamber ensemble, with New York City Ballet principals Wendy Whelan and Jock Soto performing the dance. Dries Van Noten designed the costumes—we're dying to see his interpretation of the Hagoromo itself. November 3 to 8.

The Nutcracker

20 Lincoln Center | 212.496.0600

This quintessential holiday show doesn't get more classic than New York City Ballet's staging at City Center, using George Balanchine's traditional choreography—big jumps, dramatic lifts, and elaborate group numbers. Perhaps most impressive is the sheer magnitude of the performance, which includes more than 90 dancers (plus a cast of 50 adorable kids), fantastically opulent costumes, and a 40-foot tall Christmas tree. Every little dancer should go at least once. November 27 to January 3.

Dance Theater of Harlem

466 W. 152 St., Harlem | 212.690.2800

Founded in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook, (Mitchell was the first African-American ballet dancer to dance with the New York City Ballet), Dance Theater of Harlem also offers dance classes and scholarships for kids. While their formal New York season doesn't start until April, you can catch them a few weekends this fall for afternoon matinees—ideal for little ones who can't handle a full evening of dance. What's more, the dancers meet with audience members after the show. December 12 to 13.