District News

Dance Abounds this Month in Lincoln Square

Jan 25, 2024
Dance Abounds this Month in Lincoln Square

On any given afternoon, you’re likely to spot a dancer floating through Lincoln Square on the way to class or work. Over the next few weeks, however, the neighborhood’s ties to the dance community are taking center stage. When it comes to dance—learning about it, watching it, or practicing it—there’s no better place than Lincoln Square.

The NYPL for the Performing Arts will be hosting The Jerome Robbins Dance Division Annual Symposium on Friday, January 26. The division’s Dance Research Fellows will present projects on Martha Graham and her legacy as one of the most transformative artists of the 20th century. Her dance technique reshaped American dance, and her dance company continues to train and perform in New York today.

The history of dance and its formative figures unfolds at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center (entrance at 111 Amsterdam Ave between W 64th and W 65th). For those who have not yet visited, the library is celebrating dance through its exhibition, Border Crossings: Exile and American Modern Dance, 1900-1955, through March 16. Photographs, costumes, short clips, archival objects, and interviews with contemporary choreographers all bring to life the birth of modern dance in the U.S. while specifically focusing on the immense contributions of artists of color and artists from immigrant or Indigenous communities. For an even more in-depth exploration of the exhibit, join a free gallery tour on Wednesday, January 31 at 11:00am.

Cinematography meets choreography next month at Film at Lincoln Center (W 65th between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave). The film center will be hosting the Dance on Camera Festival 2024 from February 9 - 12. The festival kicks off with Swan Song, a documentary directed by ballet icon Karen Kain that follows the National Ballet of Canada as they prepare to perform a new production of Swan Lake. The festival continues with thirteen more programs featuring short films, a conversation with directors, and more. It all culminates with Obsessed with Light, a film about Loïe Fuller, who transformed the world of dance and theatrical lighting in the early 1900s.

While the screen can dazzle, bringing history alive or transporting you to performances around the world, there’s nothing quite like seeing dance in person. From January 23 through March 3, the NYC Ballet (NYCB) performs several evenings each week at David H. Koch Theater (20 Lincoln Center Plaza). This winter season is all about NYCB’s evolution during its 75-year run, with performances ranging from Classic NYCB to New Combinations and showcasing works from several influential choreographers.

The NYCB's shoe-themed annual luncheon may not be within everyone's budget, but a different type of shoe experience awaits you at Bloch (51 Columbus Ave between W 61st and W 62nd). This iconic brand has been selling high quality dance shoes and dance apparel since 1932. From ballet shoes to tap shoes, the store specializes in comfortable shoes that equip dancers to perform their absolute best.

Once outfitted, there are several opportunities for adults and children alike to scuff up their dance shoes in Lincoln Square. NYCB dancers lead 75-minute Ballet Essentials classes that are open to teens and adults of all levels, even complete beginners. Workshops fill up quickly, but there are still spots available for Monday, February 26 at 6:30pm and more classes in May. For children’s classes, consider children’s workshops at the NYCB, the School of American Ballet’s Little Dancers Classes for children ages 4 and 5 (70 Lincoln Center Plaza), or classes at Broadway Dance Center’s Children & Teens location (37 W 65th between Columbus Ave and Central Park West). 

Whether you’re a former professional prima ballerina or you’re not quite sure how to relevé, there’s an opportunity for everyone to explore dance in the coming weeks in Lincoln Square. 

Photo: New York City Ballet in Justin Peck’s Copland Dance Episodes. Photo credit: Erin Baiano