Credit Julieta Cervantes
Our guide to dance performances.
ARMITAGE DANCE! GONE at La MaMa (Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.). Karole Armitage has long infused ballet with unconventional influences to give it a dark look, a wild defiance and a sharp edge. For her latest work, “Halloween Unleashed: Dancing Bones, Tasting Darkness and the Skeleton Within,” she has added to that brew the 1929 Disney cartoon “The Skeleton Dance” and the spirit of Haitian carnival. Set to a score ranging from Marilyn Manson to David Lang and original music by Terry Dame, the result is a toothy treat for a fun and ghoulish holiday.
XAVIER CHA at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, BAM Fisher (Nov. 1-4 at 7:30 p.m.). Xavier Cha has been a regular presence in New York galleries and museums for over a decade, with work that pushes physical and emotional borders. As artist-in-residence at BAM Fisher, and in association with Performa 17, she presents “Buffer,” a new work that considers today’s digital boundaries of romance and sex, challenging the public-private divide. “Buffer” unfolds through three interwoven scenes — one with spoken text, one comprising opera and athletic dance, and one featuring adult-film performers getting very intimate. Suggested for viewers 17 and older.
SOPHIA CLEARY AND NEAL MEDLYN at the Chocolate Factory (Nov 1-4 at 8 p.m.). In the past, Neal Medlyn has mined the universe of pop stars, like Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus, to comment on things like superficiality. Now in partnership with Sophia Cleary, he again finds inspiration in real-life figures in fictional scenarios. This time, it’s Anne Geddes, the photographer responsible for sticking babies in flowers, and G G Allin, the violent punk musician, who died in 1993. Ms. Cleary and Mr. Medlyn imagine a meeting of these opposites of sweetness and subversion to wonder if sentimentality can become transgressive.
DRESDEN SEMPEROPER BALLETT at the Joyce Theater (Oct. 31-Nov. 4 at various times). The English choreographer David Dawson is celebrated in Europe but rarely seen here. Luckily, several examples of his smart, elegant work come to the Joyce this week, performed by the Dresden Semperoper Ballett, where he has a long association. One is an excerpt from his full-length “Giselle”; another is set to music by Max Richter. They’re joined by a work to a Bach chaconne by the Belgian choreographer Stijn Celis, and the premiere of a new work by the young American company dancer Joseph Hernandez.
NEW YORK THEATRE BALLET at Danspace Project (Nov. 2-4 at 8 p.m.). In its “Legend and Visionaries” series, this appealing chamber troupe presents eclectic programs of old gems, modern classics and new creations by promising choreographers. The latest iteration includes “La Malinche,” the first work José Limón made for his company in 1949; a 2011 commissioned work by the veteran British choreographer Richard Alston; the company premiere of the postmodernist pioneer David Gordon’s “Beethoven/1999”; and a new work by Gemma Bond, an American Ballet Theater dancer with who has created a number of impressive works in recent years.
PREETI VASUDEVAN at New York Live Arts (Nov. 2-4 at 7:30 p.m.). Classical Indian dance tells stories of gods and goddesses, bringing ancient myths to life through intricate gestures. Preeti Vasudevan, a celebrated interpreter of the Bharatanatyam style, puts a provocative modern twist on tradition by telling a different tale — her own. In “Stories by Hand,” created during a two-year residency at New York Live Arts, Ms. Vasudevan uses her technique to contemplate marriage and motherhood, grapple with a family tragedy, reflect on performance and convey what it means to be an Indian woman in America today.