Our guide to dance performances happening this weekend and in the week ahead.
AMERICAN DANCE PLATFORM at the Joyce Theater (Jan. 4 and 5, 8 p.m.; Jan. 6, 2 and 7:30 p.m.). This eclectic display of both young and established American dance artists continues with a Philly double-header by pairing the engaging, enterprising BalletX — performing works by Matthew Neenan and Trey McIntyre — with choreographer Raphael Xavier, who brings his b-boy background to the stage (Friday at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 7:30 p.m.). The New York-based artist Ephrat Asherie also draws on breaking in her unique mix of styles, here presenting two works. She’s joined on the program by fellow New Yorker Ronald K. Brown, who is celebrated for his inspired fusion of modern and African dance (Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 2 p.m.).
AMERICAN REALNESS at various locations (Jan. 4–13). Fans of unexpected dance know to rest up over the holidays in preparation for the new year sprint that is American Realness, the genre-busting performance festival now celebrating its 10th anniversary. Venues in four of the five boroughs play host to dozens of shows that subvert conventions, challenge systems (artistic, social, political) and reject, dissect and/or embrace every kind of identity. Among the many participants are Gillian Walsh, Marjani Forté-Saunders at New York Live Arts, Juliana May at Abrons Arts Center and Jumatatu M. Poe at the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance.
NORA CHIPAUMIRE at Jack (Jan. 4-5, 10 p.m.; Jan. 6, 8 p.m.; Jan. 10-12, 10 p.m.). Last year, Chipaumire presented a characteristically raw and nervy work reflecting on her development in her native Zimbabwe in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s as represented by punk, pop and rumba music. In a fresh sampling of that work, called “100% POP | Shabeen Remix,” Chipaumire dives deeper into the place of pop in a global society and the regionally specific African ingredients — like underground beer halls and all-night rituals — that nurtured artists like her.
CONTEMPORARY DANCE FESTIVAL: JAPAN + EAST ASIA at Japan Society (Jan. 4 and 5, 7:30 p.m.). The three offerings at this always revelatory showcase of artists from Asia include “Pollen Revolution,” a work by Butoh master Akira Kasai that is performed by his son, Mitsutake Kasai and draws from conventions of kabuki theater to explore representations of gender; “Kids,” a tribute to the Taiwanese choreographer Kuan-Hsiang Liu’s mother, who died of cancer; and “Silver Knife,” a critical dissection of the cultural expectations of women, created by Jin ho Lim and Kyung min Ji, co-directors of the Korean performing artist group known as Goblin Party.
CUBA FESTIVAL at the Joyce Theater (Jan. 9, 7:30 p.m.; Jan. 10-11, 8 p.m.; through Jan. 20). Our country’s relationship with Cuba may still be in flux but the Joyce Theater’s commitment to Cuban artists remains steadfast. Starting Jan. 9, the space presents the Cuba Festival. First up is the frequent visitor Malpaso Dance Company, a skilled and earnest troupe that will present a diverse program of works by Merce Cunningham, Abel Rojo and Beatriz Garcia Diaz, plus Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin’s haunting “Tabula Rasa” (through Jan. 13). The festival continues with the company Los Hijos del Director (Jan. 15-16) and the feisty contemporary Flamenco dancer Irene Rodríguez and her self-named company (Jan. 18-20).
JACK FERVER at New York Lives Arts (Jan. 7, 10 p.m.; Jan. 8-12, 8 p.m.). After an acclaimed debut last spring, Ferver’s “Everything Is Imaginable” receives a weeklong encore, as part of both the American Realness festival and the Live Artery showcase. Ferver is joined here by accomplished colleagues Lloyd Knight (Martha Graham Dance Company), Garen Scribner (Broadway’s “An American in Paris”), James Whiteside (American Ballet Theater) and dancer and costume designer Reid Bartelme. In the work’s first half, they individually and collectively pay tribute to childhood idols and reflect on their queer identities. In the second half, things get dark. 212-691,6500, newyorklivearts.org
MIGUEL GUTIERREZ at the Chocolate Factory (Jan. 9-12, 8 p.m.; through Jan. 19). In the seminal 1981 feminist anthology “This Bridge Called My Back,” women of color argued that the intersection of race and gender required a rethinking of identity and politics. In 2019, Gutierrez, a choreographer, has chosen a different, nearby body part to make a similar and, um, cheekier point. Part of American Realness, “This Bridge Called My Ass” is his first New York premiere in four years. With five other Latinx performers, Gutierrez uses the heightened emotions of telenovelas and tangled, sometimes chaotic, sometimes euphoric movement to reflect on the threads of his own identity as a queer Latino artist.
LIVE ARTERY at New York Live Arts (Jan. 4-7). As arts presenters from around the country and the world flock to New York to discover artists and fill their performance spaces, audiences also get to revisit favorite works from the past year or catch critically lauded shows they might have missed. Over several days, and at uncommon times, like 2 p.m. on Monday, New York Live Arts will present a nearly nonstop parade of performances by artists like Joanna Kotze, Sean Dorsey, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, Kyle Marshall and Roseanne Spradlin, among many others.
NOCHE FLAMENCA at Joe’s Pub (Jan. 6, 3 and 7 p.m.; Jan. 8, 7 p.m.; Jan. 9, 9:30 p.m., Jan. 10, 8 and 10 p.m.; through Jan. 11). To watch a flamenco show at Joe’s Pub is to harken back a century or so to the Café Cantantes in Seville, where song, dance, music and libations were enjoyed in intimate, immersive environs. Here, the New York-based Noche Flamenca presents “Rondan Los Deseos” (Circle of Desire), which was created by the troupe’s co-founders Martin Santangelo and Soledad Barrio, who are also its star performers. After a previous engagement at the Pub and an appearance on the Joyce stage last year, the work returns with new duets and trios.
JOSHUA PETHER at Performance Space New York (Jan. 5, 7 p.m.; Jan. 6, 3 p.m.). “Jupiter Orbiting,” the latest work from Pether, exists in a dystopian sci-fi milieu populated by many colorful toys that he examines as if artifacts from a strange, happier world. Pether, who is of Kalkadoon heritage (a people indigenous to present-day Australia), performs as part of both the American Realness festival and First Nations Dialog: KIN, a series of conversations, workshops and performances at Performance Space New York from Saturday to Thursday that is led by indigenous artists and explores indigenous experiences.
CALEB TEICHER AND CONRAD TAO at the Guggenheim Museum (Jan. 6, 3 and 7:30 p.m.; Jan. 7, 7:30 p.m.). Teicher is a disruptor of dance, particularly tap, and Tao is an inventive pianist and composer. Together they have collaborated on a new evening-length work called “More Forever,” premiering as part of the Guggenheim’s Works & Process performance series. Against Tao’s score for piano and electronics — at times calm, at times frenetic — Teicher and his team of dancers traverse a stage covered in a thin layer of sand, using dance styles like Lindy Hop and tap to create thrillingly textured sound.
REGGIE WILSON/FIST & HEEL at St. Marks Church (Jan. 7-8 and 10-12, 8 p.m.). Dance and devotion have met frequently in Wilson’s works over the decades, from the ring shouts practiced by enslaved Africans to the dancing of Spiritual Baptists in Trinidad and Tabago. Recently, he’s been researching Black Shakers — members of the insular and diminishing Christian sect known for ecstatic trembling and sleek, minimalist furniture. In “… They Stood Shaking While Others Began to Shout,” which was first seen last spring in New York and returns courtesy of Danspace Project, Gibney and American Realness, eight dancers and two singers enact a modern folk dance of faith that is in conversation with the past.