“The Nutcracker” at the Philadelphia Academy of Music and more dance for fall 2021
This fall is the long-awaited rendezvous for dancers and the public.
BalletX kicked off the season with a recreation of the troupe’s 2014 production Sunset, o639 hours, which ended last week. They’ll be on tour for the rest of the year but are planning local pop-ups, so check balletx.org for updates.
Two of the city’s longtime favorite businesses have missed birthdays due to the pandemic and will finally see their milestone seasons later this fall. Koresh Dance Company will celebrate its 30th anniversary with the premiere of TikVAH, and Philadanco will look beyond its 50 years of history by highlighting a new generation of choreographers in Fast forward.
The Annenberg Center, now Penn Live Arts, will also begin celebrating its 50th anniversary. The first dance performance of the season will be presented by innovative New York tap dance company Dorrance Dance.
For those not ready for big theaters, several local companies organize more intimate outdoor events and in smaller venues, including Kun-Yang Lin / Dancers at Rail Park and their South Philly studio, and Pasión y Arte in their West Philly studio and Downtown Asian Arts Initiative.
The season ends with the return of the Philadelphia Ballet, formerly Pennsylvania Ballet, bringing back The Nutcracker by George Balanchine.
Here are the dance shows to look forward to all season long. Check the websites for current COVID-19 protocols.
In Being / With: Living, two spectators in two different locations are guided by a live stream to converse and dance with each other. Tickets are required to participate, but galleries outside each performance space feature interviews with nearby residents and works by local artists that can be viewed for free. (Until October 2, $ 35, Pearlstein Gallery at Drexel University and Trinity Church in South Philly, 3401 Filbert Street Where 2300 S. 18th St., 215-413-1318, fringearts.com) 🎟️ To buy tickets
This multidisciplinary, story-driven performing arts ensemble features a semi-autobiographical solo work by aerial artist Mae West. The comprehensive show, suitable for ages 18 and over, highlights under-represented voices in the sex industry. (Until September 25, $ 10 to $ 50, MAAS Building Studio, 1325 N. Randolph St., 215-413-1318, fringearts.com) 🎟️ To buy tickets
The all-female flamenco ensemble of Philly opens its creative jam sessions to the public, welcoming artists from all walks of life to share their creative energy. The event also includes performances by artistic director Elba Hevia y Vaca and artist in residence Amanda Pena. This is the first session in a four-part series that runs until next spring. (Sep 24, free, Overbrook Garage Studio, 6411 Overbrook Avenue, pasionyarteflamenco.org)
Contemporary Asian American company Kun-Yang Lin / Dancers presents an in situ work with simultaneous performances along the completed part of the park. (Sep 24, free, Rail Park, 1300 Noble Street, pre-registration required at therailpark.org) 🎟️ Register now
Two works that appeared earlier this year in New York are coming here as part of the Philly Fringe. STELLAR, commissioned by the Baryshnikov Arts Center, is an Afro-futuristic fictional film mixing jazz, improvised dance and the cosmos. To augment is a live show centered on the joys of dance and drawing inspiration from various contexts, from churches to clubs. (Sep 24-25, $ 35, FringeArts, 140 N. boul. Christopher Colombus., 215-413-1318, fringearts.com) 🎟️ To buy tickets
Wanting to perform as a mature dancer after eight years of retirement, Philly choreographer Kun-Yang Lin collaborated with Swarthmore College dance director Pallabi Chakravorty and acclaimed postmodern dancer Gus Solomons Jr. to design methods allowing to recover dance skills which tend to decline with age. In this event, the three will discuss and present the practices they have developed during their 10 month project. (Sep 25, free, CHI Movement Arts Center, 1316 S. Ninth Street, reservation required by email [email protected])
Almanac welcomes audiences of all ages to the Keeper’s Zoological Institute for a fun and interactive show. Aimed at school-aged children, the participatory show features a cast of acrobatic monsters who have been captured and need help breaking free. (Sep 25-26, $ 10, MAAS Building Garden, 1320 N. 5th Street., 856-441-2837, cannonballfestival.org) 🎟️ To buy tickets
After pandemic delays, Koresh’s 30th anniversary season finally arrives with new work from art director Ronen Koresh, TikVAH, which means “openness to hope” in Hebrew. The first will be accompanied by previous works that highlight the company’s heritage. (Oct 21-24, $ 45, Suzanne Roberts Theater, 480 S. Broad St., 215-985-0420, koreshdance.org) 🎟️ To buy tickets
This Philly-based dance company mixes the East Asian notion of universal energy flow, or chi, with contemporary movement to create transcendent pieces. Their Fall Studio Series features choreography by art director Kun-Yang Lin, as well as original work by dance artist Evalina “Wally” Carbonell. (November 4-5, CHI Movement Arts Center, 1316 S. Ninth Street, kyld.org)
Tablaos are evenings of improvised flamenco shows in an intimate setting similar to a jazz club or a poetry reading. The all-female flamenco ensemble Pasión y Arte first hosted the event in Philly in 2015 and continues the tradition this year. (November 19-21, Asian Arts Initiative, 1219 rue de la vigne, pasionyarteflamenco.org)
The award-winning New York City valve company is known for advancing the art form while remaining steeped in tradition. Founded by acclaimed tap dancer and MacArthur Fellow Michelle Dorrance, the company brings together dancers and musicians in exhilarating performances of improvisation and choreography. (December 9-11, Penn Live Arts at Annenberg Center, 215-898-3900, pennlivearts.org) 🎟️ To buy tickets
Joan Myers Brown’s world-famous company celebrates its 50th anniversary with Fast forward, highlighting new works by emerging international choreographers Bakari Lindsay, Thang Dao, Ray Mercer and Kathy Smith. (December 10-12, $ 29- $ 49, Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St., 215-893-1999, kimmelculturalcampus.org) 🎟️ To buy tickets
The Philadelphia Ballet, formerly Pennsylvania Ballet, returns to the stage with its centuries-old tradition: The Nutcracker by George Balanchine. The production marks the start of the company’s long-awaited 2021-2022 season, marking its first theatrical performance in over a year. (December 10-31, from $ 25, Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St., 215-893-1999, philadelphiaballet.org) 🎟️ To buy tickets
»READ MORE: For more information, check out our Complete Guide to the Fall Arts