Spring Dance Goes Marvelously Modern

Performances in Boston this May have a decidedly contemporary flair

Boston is alive with dance performances this month, from world-class local group Boston Ballet, to a national tour a la Alvin Ailey, to one big line dance in Le Grand Continental.

May 1-4

New York City’s legendary Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater makes its annual pilgrimage to the Hub. Depending on the day, audiences see two separate programs over five performances: The first features choreographer Aszure Barton’s “LIFT,” the innovative Bill T. Jones’ “D-Man in the Waters (Part 1)” and Wayne McGregor’s “Chroma”; the second sets its sights on two ballets created by founder Ailey that incorporate the music of Duke Ellington: “Night Creature, Pas de Duke” and “The River,” as well as Ailey classic “Revelations” set to traditional spirituals. Citi Wang Theater, 270 Tremont St., 866.348.9738, www.celebrityseries.org

May 8-18

Boston Ballet’s three-part spring repertory mixes classic with contemporary. On the Opera House stage, see two dynamic American premieres: Petr Zuska, of Czech Republic’s National Theatre, piece “D.M.J. 1953-1977” and the transformative Alexander Ekman’s compelling “Cacti.” Following, Harald Lander’s well-known “Études” offers a climactic end to a wonderful show. Boston Opera House, 539 Washington St., 617.695.6955, www.bostonballet.org

May 16-18

In the heart of Back Bay, Celebrity Series of Boston wraps up its 75th anniversary season with one zany, high-energy party of sorts. Le Grand Continental, the brainchild of Québécois choreographer Sylvain Émard, stars hundreds of ordinary people (read: not professional dancers) from the Boston community in line dance formation, performing choreographed, but carefree, moves to a techno-pop mash-up of contemporary music. Plus, it’s free to get in. Copley Square, Dartmouth Street at Boylston, 866.348.9738, www.celebrityseries.org

Leigh Harrington
About the author

Leigh formerly served as the Boston editor for Where and was the br...