Headed to The Big Apple? The endless number of studios, shops, shows and restaurants can seem overwhelming. Let Dance Spirit and a few NYC dance insiders be your guides.

Clockwise from top left: Alex Lopez/NYC & Company, Clayton Cotterell/NYC & Company, Alex Lopez/NYC & Company, Joe Buglewicz/NYC & Company, Marley White/NYC & Company, Joe Buglewicz/NYC & Company

 

(Photo by Peter Hurley, courtesy Paloma Garcia-Lee)

Paloma Garcia-Lee: Broadway dancer Garcia-Lee has performed in Phantom of the Opera and Nice Work If You Can Get It. She says: “Follow your workouts with sweaty Yin yoga classes at Modo Yoga NYC. Some of the instructors are also dancers, so you might end up taking with someone you’ll see onstage.”

 

 

 

(Photo by Paul B Goode, courtesy Kaitlyn Gilliland)

Kaitlyn Gilliland: A former New York City Ballet corps member, Gilliland dances with Ballet Next. Her food picks: “Kefi is a great Greek restaurant on the Upper West Side, and Good Enough to Eat is a brunch favorite.”

 

 

 

 

 

(Photo courtesy Paul Taylor Dance Company)

Laura Halzack: Halzack is a member of Paul Taylor DanceCompany. Her cure for a sweet tooth: “You have to go to Doughnut Plant near the Taylor Studios at least once. I could eat one of their doughnuts every day—they have unique flavors.”

 

 

 

 

 

(Photo by Mathieu Young/FOX, courtesy Alex Wong)

Alex Wong: A “So You Think You Can Dance” All-Star, Wong is a former Newsies dancer. His training tip: “Broadway Dance Center has an ever-changing list of guest teachers. It’s a great way to take class from working choreographers who aren’t always in town.

 

 

 

 

 

Are you a ballet dancer? Start your uptown adventure here.

You wake up in the morning craving…

…something hearty. Head to one of NYC’s top bagel joints, ABSOLUTE BAGELS (Broadway, btwn W 107th and W 108th Sts)…something light and nutritious. Grab a cold-pressed juice and a yogurt parfait from JUICE PRESS (W 82nd St, btwn Columbus Ave and Central Park West).

(Logo courtesy Steps on Broadway)

You’re ready for your first class of the day. You head…

…right to the barre. “Take advanced ballet with Wilhelm Burmann or Nancy Bielski at STEPS ON BROADWAY,” Gilliland says (W 74th St and Broadway)…to Pilates first. Take a mat class at UPTOWN PILATES (W 72nd St, btwn Amsterdam and Columbus Aves). Now I’m ready for ballet...Take Kathryn Sullivan’s class at STEPS ON BROADWAY. She stresses proper placement and quick footwork.

 

How’s the weather today?

The sun is shining. Catch some rays in RIVERSIDE PARK on Manhattan’s West Side (Along Riverside Dr, from W 72nd to W 158th Sts). It’s raining. Head to PINKY’S SALON, Gilliland’s favorite spot for a manicure (Columbus Ave, btwn W 74th and W 75th Sts). Hot! But it’s perfect in the shade. Walk to CENTRAL PARK. Stroll through John Lennon’s memorial, Strawberry Fields, for a break from NYC’s hustle and bustle (Near W 72nd St and Central Park West).

Metropolitan Museum of Art (photo by Joe Buglewicz/NYC & Company)

Is that your stomach grumbling?

Let’s stay in the neighborhood. “ ’WICHCRAFT, across from the David H. Koch Theater, serves indulgent sandwiches and tasty cookies,” Gilliland says (W 62nd St and Broadway). I want to explore the East Side. Grab a falafel from a street vendor and have lunch on the stairs of THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART—then head inside to see some of the exhibits (5th Ave and E 82nd St).

 

When it comes to afternoon adventures, you prefer to…

…stay outdoors. Walk to the BOAT BASIN CAFE and enjoy a lemonade while looking

out over the Hudson River (W 79th St, in Riverside Park)…find the nearest museum. Visit the Hayden Planetarium at the AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY (Central Park West and W 79th St)…get sweaty! Sign up for a “Figure 4 Barre” conditioning class at PURE YOGA, where many of the instructors are former dancers (E 86th St, btwn 2nd and 3rd Aves).

Let’s stop for an afternoon pick-me-up.

Indulge my sweet tooth! Stop by TREAT HOUSE and grab some gourmet crispy treats (Amsterdam Ave, btwn W 81st and W 82nd Sts). I’m thirsty. Sip an iced tea at CAFE LALO (W 83rd St, btwn Broadway and Amsterdam Aves).

Ready for an early dinner before a show?

I want lots of options. Head to ZABAR’S CAFE for some tasty deli specialties (Broadway and W 81st St). I’m on a tight budget. Grab a $1 hot dog (or two!) at GRAY’S PAPAYA (Broadway and W 72 St).

On clear summer nights, enjoy a free LINCOLN CENTER OUT OF DOORS show with music and dance from around the globe (Columbus Ave at W 63rd St).

 

Do you dream of Broadway? Start your midtown tour here.

What’s your preferred morning meal?

I’m a full-breakfast kind of girl. Try a savory breakfast pie from PIE FACE (Broadway and W 53rd St). Something small and to-go. Order a croissant from GREGORYS COFFEE—one of Garcia-Lee’s favorite spots for a morning fix (W 44th St and 6th Ave).

Whether I’ll be tapping, strutting or popping…

…I need a soothing warm-up. Wake up your senses in a Gyrotonic session at CIRCULAR POWER INC (7th Ave, btwn W 54th and W 55th Sts)…my day starts with an intense workout. Sweat, tone and feel the burn in a dance-inspired PHYSIQUE 57 class (W 57th St, btwn 5th and 6th Aves)…nothing gets me centered like a ballet class. Take Deborah Wingert’s class at MANHATTAN MOVEMENT & ARTS CENTER. “I always take ballet at MMAC,” Wong says. “The studios are beautiful” (W 60th St, btwn Amsterdam and 11th Aves).

Now I’m warm!

(Logo courtesy Broadway Dance Center)

I want to really let go. Learn a detailed contemporary jazz combo in Slam’s mid-morning class at BROADWAY DANCE CENTER (W 45th St, btwn 8th and 9th Aves). I want a technical challenge. Take Sue Samuels’ Broadway jazz class at BROADWAY DANCE CENTER.

 

 

 

Famished?

Yes! Let’s get lunch. “GREEN SYMPHONY is my favorite quick stop,” says Garcia-Lee. Try a veggie wrap or a kale salad (W 43rd St, btwn 7th and 8th Aves). I could go for a small snack. Head to the signature NYC grocery store DEAN & DELUCA (W 56th St, btwn 6th and 7th Aves).

Time for some sightseeing. 

Let’s stay outside. Tour the CENTRAL PARK ZOO and visit the two super-cute snow leopard cubs (E 64th St and 5th Ave). Let’s go to a museum. Soak in the bizarre and the beautiful at THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART (W 53rd St, btwn 5th and 6th Aves).

What’s on your afternoon agenda? 

I can’t leave NYC without doing a little window shopping. Stroll down 5TH AVE for the best displays in town (5th Ave, btwn E 59th and E 42nd Sts). I’m ready for some fun cardio. While THE AILEY SCHOOL is known as a mecca for modern dance, its ZUMBA FITNESS classes are some of the most popular in NYC (W 55th St and 9th Ave). I want to get cheap Broadway tickets. Head to the TKTS BOOTH in Times Square. Garcia-Lee’s advice: “Get in line early!” (Broadway and 47th St).

I’m starving! Before a night on the town, I want…

…a trendy dinner. “Get the Adobe Salad from EATERY,” says Garcia-Lee. “It’s my favorite salad in Hell’s Kitchen” (W 53rd and 9th Ave)…a classic pastrami sandwich. Go to CARNEGIE DELI for sandwiches big enough to split with a friend (W 55th St and 7th Ave).

New York City Center (photo by Aislinn Weidele/Ennead Architects)

Head to THE GREAT WHITE WAY. Check out our “Broadway Show Guide” to see what’s playing. See what musicals may be Broadway-bound at “Encores! Off-Center” at NEW YORK CITY CENTER (W 55th St, btwn 6th and 7th Aves).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you a downtown diva? Modern or contemporary dancers, start here.

I always start the day with…

…fruits and veggies. Try a PB Açai Bowl and a green juice from JUICE GENERATION (Prince and Crosby Sts, in the Equinox Gym)…a protein-filled punch. Head to DAVID’S BAGELS for one of the city’s best egg-and-cheese sandwiches (1st Ave, btwn E 15th and E 16th Sts).

Let’s get moving!

A modern class starts my day on a positive note. Take class from Paul Taylor Dance Company members at THE TAYLOR SCHOOL (Grand St, btwn Jackson and Lewis Sts). I’m craving a full-body workout. Hop into a conditioning session with Rachel Piskin at CHAISEFITNESS (E 23rd St, btwn Madison and Park Aves). I want to sweat before dance class. Try a spin class at SOULCYCLE (SoHo location: Crosby St, btwn Spring and Broome Sts).

(Logo courtesy Gibney Dance)

Now I’m ready for class. 

I want to explore a postmodern style. See who’s leading a contemporary workshop at the new downtown GIBNEY DANCE CENTER (Broadway and Chambers St).

 

(Photo courtesy Peridance Capezio Center)

I want something classic. Get a lesson in Limón Technique at THE PERIDANCE CAPEZIO CENTER (E 13th St, btwn 3rd and 4th Aves).

Time for lunch!

Let’s get a burger. Head to SHAKE SHACK—and try a custard, too. “My favorite is the Urban Lumber-Shack,” says Wong. “It’s vanilla custard with Belgian waffles, bananas, bacon and peanut brittle” (Madison Square Park, E 23rd St and Madison Ave). I love PB & Js. Try a crazy concoction from PEANUT BUTTER & CO., like The Heat Is On Sandwich: spicy peanut butter with grilled chicken and pineapple jam (Sullivan St, btwn Bleecker and W 3rd Sts).

Let’s get lunch outside.

I want to head downtown. Take the subway to the newly renovated SOUTH STREET SEAPORT (Pier 17, at Fulton and Front Sts). I want something fresh. Taste locally sourced produce and baked goods as you stroll through the UNION SQUARE GREENMARKET (E 14th St and Broadway). OK, but let’s go for a ride first. Pedal a CitiBike across the BROOKLYN BRIDGE and get a pizza from GRIMALDI’S (Front

and Old Fulton Sts).

Next, I’d like to...

…take a moment to reflect. Visit the new WORLD TRADE CENTER and The National September 11 Memorial & Museum (Albany and Greenwich Sts)… see the sights. You can take the free ferry to Staten Island and enjoy incredible views of THE STATUE OF LIBERTY (Hop the 1 train to South Ferry station).

For an afternoon break, I want to…

Washington Square Park (photo by LittleNY/Thinkstock)

…hang out with friends. Listen to street musicians in WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK (5th Ave, btwn W 4th St and Waverly Pl)…get something sweet. Visit the home of the original cronut—a croissant and doughnut hybrid—DOMINIQUE ANSEL BAKERY (Spring St, btwn Sullivan and Thompson Sts).

Before a show, I want…

…something hearty. “THE MEATBALL SHOP is fun, and not crazy-expensive,” says Halzack. “I love the traditional Bolognese Ball” (Greenwich Ave, btwn W 11th and Perry Sts)…dessert for dinner! “CHIKALICIOUS DESSERT BAR in the East Village has the best desserts in the world,” says Wong. “And the owners are big dance supporters” (E 10th St, btwn 1st and 2nd Aves).

See companies including Pilobolus and RIOULT Dance NY this summer at THE JOYCE THEATER (8th Ave, btwn W 18th and W 19th Sts). For the latest postmodern and contemporary work, head to DANSPACE PROJECT (E 10th St and 2nd Ave).

 

 

The only thing I dislike about gorgeous ballerina Carla Körbes is that she doesn't live in NYC, where I could see her all the time. Yes, fine, the Pacific Northwest Ballet principal will be visiting the Big Apple next week, when PNB comes to New York City Center. But I think getting that little taste of her onstage is only going to make me miss her more once she heads back to Seattle.

That's why I was especially happy to stumble upon PASSAGE: Carla Körbes, Portrait of a Ballerina this morning. Directed by photographer Patrick Fraser, it's a glorious five-minute montage of slow-motion dance footage, showing off Carla's perfect technique in exquisite detail. Saut de chats, tour jetés and chaînes have never looked so poetic. (Also, her flowing locks are to die [dye?] for.)

Take a look!

20 companies, 12 performances, $15 a ticket: By the numbers, New York City Center's Fall for Dance festival looks pretty impressive. When you add in the fact that the annual event often features troupes rarely seen in NYC, and that it seems to ignite the city's passion for dance—hordes of people line up every year to snag FFD tickets—the picture gets even better.

The festival opens tonight with a program featuring Jared Grimes, Martha Graham alum Fang-Yi Sheu, Nederlands Dans Theater and the BalletBoyz. (Enough bold-faced names for you?) But even if you weren't able to get tickets, swing by City Center this evening to hang out at Lounge FFD. Every night of the festival it'll offer great food, fun music—and, if you arrive at the right time, maybe even a chance to dance with some of the evening's performers.

Miraculously, there are still a few tickets available to the October performances—but we're guessing they won't last long. Get 'em while you can!

Dance News

How'd it get to be August? Curse you, Summer, and your incessant need to fly by! Don't get us wrong: We know it ain't over yet (despite the recent influx of back-to-school commercials). Nevertheless, August always seems to bring a sense of nostalgia—anticipation of the end, reflection on memories made...

But today, on this second day of August, we're nipping the sentimental melancholia in the bud, because we're seriously excited for Fall. Fall for Dance, that is.

Here's a quick overview for FFD newbs: Fall for Dance is an annual NYC festival that brings together renowned dance companies from across the globe. It's basically a goodie bag of dance: Each program is so varied—ballet, modern, tap, hip hop, you name it—that there's truly something for everyone. Plus, with tickets at only $15, it's kind of the perfect opportunity to get a sense of which styles and companies you love, and which aren't so much your faves.

The festival kicks off with two free (yes, free!) performances at The Public Theater's Delacorte Theater in Central Park, September 13 and 14 at 8 pm. Then, tickets for the remainder of the festival, which will take place at New York City Center from October 8–18, will go on sale the following Monday, September 14, at 11 am. Check out the program lineup below, featuring 27 (!) different companies and artists.

Delacorte Theater Performances

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company: D-Man in the Waters (Part 1) by Bill T. Jones

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago: Gnawa by Nacho Duato

Lil Buck: Bend in the Road (world premiere)

*Additional Company TBA

Program 1 (October 8 and 9 at 8 pm)

Black Grace: Minoi and Pati Pati by Neil leremia

San Francisco Ballet: Variations for Two Couples by Hans van Manen

Russell Maliphant/Sadler's Wells London: Two x Two by Russell Maliphant

Mark Morris Dance Group and Music Ensemble: Words (festival commission) by Mark Morris

Program 2 (October 10 and 11 at 8 pm)

Lucinda Childs Dance Company: Concerto by Lucinda Childs

Semperoper Ballett Dresden: Neue Suite by William Forsythe

Sara Mearns & Company: Stairway to Paradise by Joshua Bergasse

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Minus 16 by Ohad Naharin

Program 3 (October 14 and 15 at 8 pm)

Trisha Brown Dance Company: Son of Gone Fishin' by Trisha Brown

Company Sébastien Ramirez & Honji Wang: AP15 by Sébastien Ramirez and Honji Wang

Vuyani Dance Theatre: Umnikelo by Luyanda Sidiya

*Additional Company TBA

Program 4 (October 16 and 17 at 8 pm)

Brian Brooks Moving Company with Juilliard Dance: Torrent by Brian Brooks

The Australian Ballet: Ostinato (world premiere) by Tim Harbour

BJM - Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal: Closer by Benjamin Millepied

Rennie Harris Puremovement: Students of the Asphalt Jungle by Dr. Rennie Harris

Program 5 (October 18 at 8 pm)

Wayne McGregor|Random Dance: FAR by Wayne McGregor in collaboration with the dancers

Pontus Lidberg Dance: New Lidberg (festival commission) by Pontus Lidberg

Aakash Odedra Company: Nritta by Aakash Odedra

The Sarasota Ballet: Les Patineurs by Sir Frederick Ashton

 

One of the best perks of being a DS editor is going to the annual Career Transition for Dancers gala. What could be better than a super-glittery event for a great organization, featuring performances by top dancers from all over?

The 2013 gala, themed "Broadway and Beyond" and honoring the inimitable Ann-Margret (who makes me want to rethink the way I spell my name), was held last night at New York City Center. As usual, it didn't disappoint. Here are my top 5 moments from the evening:

1) Kelly Bishop sang "At the Ballet." You probably know Bishop as Emily Gilmore from "Gilmore Girls," or tough teacher Fanny Flowers from "Bunheads" (RIP!). But before she became a Hollywood star, she was a true Broadway baby. She originated the part of Sheila in A Chorus Line, and if there's anything that gives me more goosebumps than listening to "At the Ballet," it's listening to Kelly Bishop tear her way through "At the Ballet." Her voice may not be what it once was, but she still packs a powerful dramatic punch.

2) Randy Skinner and Sara Brians channeled Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell. I love a good old-fashioned tap number. An elegant lady and a dashing gentleman breezing their way through a classic Broadway tune? Yes please. These two talented tappers performed an impressive routine set to Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine," and if you're wondering what it looked like, watch this.

3) Dulé Hill, Jason Samuels Smith and Jimmy Tate kicked things up a notch. After all that about loving classic tap, let's be honest: I'm also a sucker for a good hoofer—or three. This top-notch trio's tribute to Broadway tap veteran Danny Daniels (who choreographed) kept things classy, but still gave each dancer a few opportunities to get down.

4) Lynn Cohen played Agnes de Mille. (Don't know who Lynn Cohen is? Yes you do: She's Magda from "Sex and the City." Eee!) Though Agnes de Mille was one of the original brains behind CTFD, it's still a little unclear why Cohen was around to do her best de Mille for a few minutes between some of the dance acts. In the end, though, who cares? She was fabulous.

5) Liza Minnelli presented Ann-Margret with the Rolex Dance Award—and everyone in the audience died of happiness. Nothing compares to watching those two song-and-dance queens onstage together. Especially when they're dressed in the world's most sparkly confections and cracking jokes like, "Can you believe we're both still alive?" Amazing.

Speaking of amazing: I'll leave you with Ann-Margret doing her thing (with Elvis!) in 1964's Viva Las Vegas. Enjoy!

Soooo pretty. (photo by Luciano Romano)

International ballet star Roberto Bolle is one beautiful, talented guy. And since beautiful, talented people tend to attract other beautiful, talented people, the lineup for his upcoming Roberto Bolle and Friends gala is, unsurprisingly, really impressive.

Bolle himself put together the program for the one-night-only event, which you can catch Tuesday, September 17 at New York City Center. It includes classic favorites like Dying Swan and a pas de deux from John Cranko's Romeo and Juliet, as well as edgier pieces by Russell Maliphant and Mauro Bigonzetti.

But the real doozy is the cast list: Stuttgart Ballet principal Alicia Amatriain, American Ballet Theatre principal Herman Cornejo, San Francisco Ballet principal Maria Kochetkova, Mariinsky Ballet principal Alina Somova, Bayerisches Staatsballett principal Lucia Lacarra and more. Plus Bolle, of course. (If you don't know any of those names, please go have some fun on YouTube. Because trust me: A little quality time with these gorgeous dancers will be a lot of fun.)

The best part? Tickets start at just 25 bucks. Click here to get yours—then check out this kind of wild video featuring Bolle, which is actually a sneak peek at one of the gala program's works, Prototype, by Massimiliano Volpini.

If you have friends who aren't really sure about this whole dance thing, you take them to a Fall for Dance performance. The annual NYC festival—celebrating its 10th birthday this year!—puts together deliciously appetizing samplers of all different styles of dance, from hardcore ballet to hardcore tap. Everyone's pretty much guaranteed to find something they connect to. Oh—and tickets are just $15.

This year's Fall for Dance programs were just announced, and they're pretty spectacular. Kicking off with two free performances hosted by the Public Theater at Central Park's outdoor Delacorte Theater (September 16-17), the festival will then settle into New York City Center for two weeks of shows (September 25-October 5) featuring 20 companies from around the world. The popular Lounge FFD, which transforms the atrium next to City Center into a party-ready food/drink/dance venue, will also be back this year.

The complete lineup is below. Tickets go on sale Sunday, September 8 at 11 am. As usual, they're sure to sell out pretty much instantly, so mark your calendars!

Delacorte Theater Performances

New York City Ballet: Red Angels (1994) by Ulysses Dove

Paul Taylor Dance Company: Esplanade (1975) by Paul Taylor

Ronald K. Brown/Evidence: Upside Down (1998)  by Ronald K. Brown

Streb Extreme Action Company: Human Fountain (2011) by Elizabeth Streb

Program 1

Richard Alston Dance Company: The Devil in the Detail (2006) by Richard Alston

Gabriel Missé and Analía Centurión

Sara Mearns and Casey Herd: festival commission by Justin Peck

DanceBrazil: Fé do Sertão (2013) by Jelon Vieira

Program 2

Nrityagram: Vibhakta (2008) by Surupa Sen

605 Collective: Selected Play (2013) by various choreographers

HeadSpaceDance: Light Beings (2012) by Mats Ek

Dance Theatre of Harlem: Gloria (2012 by Robert Garland

Program 3

American Ballet Theatre: The Moor's Pavane (1949) by José Limón

Colin Dunne: The Turn (2013) by Colin Dunne

Ballet Hispanico: Sombrerisimo (festival commission) by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa

Introdans: Sinfonia India (1984) by Nacho Duato

Program 4

Dorrance Dance: SOUNDspace (2013) by Michelle Dorrance

Doug Elkins Choreography, Etc.: Mo(or)town/Redux (2012), Doug Elkins

The Royal Ballet: festival commission by Liam Scarlett

Program 5

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui/Sadler's Wells London: Faun (2009) by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui

BODYTRAFFIC: o2JOY (2012) by Richard Siegal

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo: Black Swan Pas de Deux

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Home (2011) by Rennie Harris

Pacific Northwest Ballet is performing in NYC this week, and I could. not. be. happier. Though I've loved this company (especially the amazingly amazing Carla Körbes) for ages, it's so rare that I actually get a chance to see them dance live.

But not this week. This week I get to see them twice.

The company's Wednesday night performance of three Balanchine classics—Concerto Barocco, Apollo and Agon—was nothing short of sublime (and you don't have to take my word for it). Tonight, I get to see the dancers in a totally different mode, in Jean-Christophe Maillot's cinematic Roméo et Juliette.

Not a PNB fan (yet)? These gorgeous photos from their Wednesday night show should make a convert out of you. Already a PNB die-hard? Well, you're welcome/happy Friday.

Enjoy!

(All photos by Lindsay Thomas)

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