Three out-of-the-ordinary dance/performance events are descending on NYC right now, and they’re all worth checking out. (Two are even free!) Read on to find out where you can see some smooth moves this summer!

photo: Charles Azzopardi

Momix: “Opus Cactus”
This fantastical celebration of the landscape of the American Southwest will be on view at the Joyce Theater for three weeks. A work created under the artistic direction of Moses Pendleton, “Opus Cactus” has not been performed in New York for more than a decade. Expect athletic dancing, high-energy music form the likes of Swingle Sisters and Brian Eno, outrageous costumes and inventive props. Performers morph into desert inhabitants ranging from Saguaros, tumbleweeds and wrens, to fire dancers and a slithering Gila monster.

June 27 – July 16, various times
Tickets: $10 – $66
178 8th Ave.


PILOBOLUS at Celebrate Brooklyn!
Another dance troupe known for pushing the boundaries of the artform with inventive, gymnastic stunts, visually arresting scenery and large-scale shadow puppetry, PILOBOLUS swings by the summer party that is Celebrate Brooklyn for a free show. The company promises a “playful, topsy-turvy evening-length program” during which “limbs will tangle and bodies will morph.”

The evening’s program will feature two untitled New York premieres: one commissioned by the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, and the other commissioned by The American Dance Festival. The latter was created with Abigail Washburn and 16-time Grammy-winning banjo legend  Béla Fleck.

July 6, 7 p.m. (show starts at 8 p.m.)
Tickets: free
Prospect Park Bandshell
9th Street and Prospect Park West
Park Slope

photo: Svea Schneider 

KINEMATIK Dance Theater’s INSITU Site-Specific Dance Festival
Wow. Presenting what might be the biggest accessible dance event of the season. Over the course of two days, from noon to 7 p.m., 24 NYC-based dance companies will perform original works along the West Queens waterfront at four Long Island City parks.

The site-specific pieces are inspired by natural and urban landscapes will take place at various locations within Hunter’s Point South Park, Gantry Plaza State Park, Queensbridge Park and Socrates Sculpture Park. Expect dancers to maneuver through playgrounds, partner with benches, appear in hidden corners and dance on piers, staircases and shorelines.

Other locales within the parks  include a ferry landing, railways, picnic tables, walkways, promenades, an old school bus, a sand field and more.

Audiences will be led through continuous dance performances several times throughout the day, setting up a chain of dynamic and immersive performances throughout the four parks. For the truly hard-core, audience members can experience seven hours of uninterrupted dance performances by all companies in one day. Get more info on performers, times, and more, here.

July 8 & 9, Noon – 7 p.m.
Tickets: Free
Hunter’s Point South Park, Gantry Plaza State Park, Queensbridge Park and Socrates Sculpture Park

What dance shows are you seeing this summer? Tell us in the comments below! 

— Mimi O’Connor