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8 Dance Performances to See in N.Y.C. This Weekend

[Read about the events that our other critics have chosen for the week ahead.]

KAYLA FARRISH/DECENT STRUCTURES ARTS at Danspace Project (Oct. 17-19, 8 p.m.). When Farrish talks of a new frontier, she’s confronting the past and imagining a future in which people of color, women and minorities are pioneers leading the way to new possibilities in society. Her evening at Danspace, “The New Frontier (My Dear America) Pt. 1,” grew out of earlier, recently expanded pieces and a recent film that give compelling shape and forceful energy to her vision. The two works that will be performed live, “With Grit From, Grace” and “Black Bodies Sonata,” include exciting moments of dancers devouring space and quiet ones filled with a charged intimacy, indicating a scope both broad and personal.
866-811-4111, danspaceproject.org

WILLIAM FORSYTHE at the Shed (Oct. 11-12, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 13, 3 p.m.; Oct. 15-16, 7:30 p.m.; through Oct. 25). In the 1980s and ’90s, Forsythe changed ballet as we knew it, stripping it of grandeur and giving it a thrilling, starkly modern, almost dangerous edge. A generation of choreographers followed suit. But Forsythe moved on, continuously experimenting in artful ways with the capabilities of the body and the limits of theatrical structure. “A Quiet Evening of Dance,” comprising a mixture of new and reworked pieces, recalls this journey. The performance by seven of Forsythe’s longtime dancers evolves from a distillation of ballet’s earliest steps into a stirring example of his ability to awe with inventive virtuosity.
646-455-3494, theshed.org

JOHN KELLY at N.Y.U. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (Oct. 11-12, 7:30 p.m.). Some knew Samuel Steward, who died in 1993, as a literature professor; others knew him (under different names) as a sought-after tattoo artist, an author of gay erotica and a contributor to Alfred Kinsey’s midcentury studies on sexuality. In “Underneath the Skin,” Kelly, a choreographer and visual artist, pays tribute to Steward’s brave, colorful life through movement sequences that include stylized ballet and references to modern dance pioneers like Isadora Duncan and José Limón, as well as through detailed chronicles of Steward’s sexual adventures and animated renderings of his tattoo designs.
212-998-4941, nyuskirball.org

NEW YORK BUTOH INSTITUTE FESTIVAL at Theater for the New City (Oct. 17, 8 p.m.; through Oct. 26). In 1959, Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno pioneered Butoh, a hard-to-define performance art that grew from the shock of World War II and is often distinguished by its embodiment of the grotesque and the snail-paced movements that make it feel like both a meditation and a cry of despair. The New York-based Butoh artist Vangeline presents a 10-day festival that commemorates the 60th anniversary of the form and focuses on the work of female Butoh artists around the world, including from Japan, Norway, Colombia and the United States.
212-254-1109, theaterforthenewcity.net

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