New York City Center will resume live, in-person performances in October with the Fall for Dance Festival, one of its signature events. The dance showcase will kick off the theater’s 2021-2022 season, which is also set to include a Twyla Tharp birthday celebration, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s annual holiday season engagement and two new dance series.
“We really wanted to reaffirm our commitment to New York audiences, as a very New York institution, and to New York artists,” Arlene Shuler, City Center’s president and chief executive, said of the ambitious season.
“It’s such a huge opportunity for artists,” added Stanford Makishi, the vice president and artistic director of dance programs. “The ones with whom I’ve been speaking over the last 16 months, they’ve all been really dying to not only to get back on the stage, but also to actually have the interaction with the audiences.”
City Center announced four commissions for this year’s Fall for Dance on Tuesday. Ayodele Casel, Lar Lubovitch and Justin Peck will create new pieces that will be sprinkled throughout the festival’s five programs; and the Verdon Fosse Legacy, an organization dedicated to preserving the work of Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon, will reconstruct three dances for the festival. The full lineup and schedule will be released at the beginning of September.
In November, Twyla Tharp will celebrate her 80th birthday with “Twyla Now,” a program featuring two world premieres as well as signature works. A host of stars, Sara Mearns and Robert Fairchild among them, will perform, supported by an ensemble of young dancers.
City Center’s new dance programming will begin in 2022. Tiler Peck, a principal at New York City Ballet, will inaugurate Artists at the Center, which gives an accomplished dancer the opportunity to craft a program; Peck’s program, March 3-6, will feature works by William Forsythe, Alonzo King and others. City Center Dance Festival, a spring counterpart to Fall for Dance, will follow, March 24 to April 10. It will showcase several New York companies, including Martha Graham Dance Company, Dance Theater of Harlem and Paul Taylor Dance Company.
The Encores! series, which revives rarely produced Broadway musicals, will also return in 2022. The three shows, “The Tap Dance Kid” (Feb. 2-6), “The Life” (March 16-20) and “Into the Woods” (May 4-15), were announced last year. The coming Encores! season will be the first under the artistic leadership of Lear deBessonet, who was announced as Jack Viertel’s successor in 2019.
More information is available at nycitycenter.org.