Latin dance theater in NYC includes Ballet, Modern, and Contemporary; with Latin Flamenco, Folkloric and Tango.
NYC also has lively Reggaeton, Salsa, Merengue & Bachata, Tango and House Latin Dancing scenes.
Latin Dance NYC News
Dance Theatre of Harlem does pop-up performances inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s sculptures in the Kusama garden at the NY Botanical Garden in The Bronx, Sat-Sun, Oct 16-17 from 2-5pm. From $25. 🇧🇷🇨🇺🇭🇹🇺🇸
Caleb Teicher presents “Swing Out” a lindy hop dance show with live music at The Joyce in Chelsea Oct 5-17. From $26. 🇺🇸
The NY City Ballet Fall 2021 Season is at the David H Koch Theater in Lincoln Center, Tue-Sun, Sep 21 – Oct 17.
The Flamenco Vivo Gala is at the Hotel Chantelle Rooftop in the Lower East Side on Thu, Oct 21 at 7:30pm. From $150. flamenco-vivo.org 🇪🇸
The Fall for Dance Festival is at New York City Center from Oct 13-24. $15. 🇦🇷🇮🇹🇵🇭🇵🇷
The Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular is at Radio City Music Hall in Midtown, Manhattan almost daily from Fri, Nov 5 through Sun, Jan 2, 2022.
NY City Ballet presents George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at the David H Koch Theater in Lincoln Center from Fri, Nov 26 through Jan 2, 2022.
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- Dzul Dance 🇲🇽
- Menkes Flamenco 🇪🇸
- Worldtone Dance
Tue-Sun, November 9-14, 2021
Sep 26, 2021 – Feb 27, 2022
DAVID H. KOCH THEATER
Friday, November 26, 2021 to Jan 2, 2022
Tuesday-Saturday, August 17-21, 2021
Workshops 4pm, Shows 7:30pm
August 11, 2021
NY City Ballet’s Winter 2022 Season at the David H Koch Theater in Lincoln Center, is Tuesday-Sunday, January 18 to February 27, 2022. Season tickets on sale now. Single tickets on sale August 1 at nycballet.com
NY City Ballet’s Spring 2022 Season at the David H Koch Theater in Lincoln Center, is Tuesday-Sunday, April 19 to May 29, 2022. Season tickets on sale now. Single tickets on sale August 1 at nycballet.com
The 20th Flamenco Festival is at New York City Center Apr 22-24, 2022. 🇪🇸
Previously in Dance NYC
The Flamenco Certamen USA 2021 Finals are at the NY Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center on Fri, Oct 15 at 7pm. $35. flamenco-vivo.org 🇪🇸
Sonia Olla & Ismael Fernández and other Spanish immigrants celebrate Indigenous People Day at Columbus Circle in Midtown on Mon, Oct 11 at 4:30pm. FREE. instagram.com 🇪🇸
Alejandro Cerrudo presents ballet at The Joyce in Chelsea, Tue-Sun, Sep 28 – Oct 3. From $26. 🇪🇸
Movement Without Borders, a day of performance about humanizing our immigration system, is at Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village, Sat, Oct 2 from 11am – 6:30pm. Suggested $20. 🇦🇫🇦🇷🇨🇦🇨🇴🇩🇴🇬🇹🇭🇹🇭🇳🇮🇹🇲🇽🇵🇷🇸🇻🇺🇸
Ragamala Dance Company dances South Asian Bharatanatyam at The Joyce in Chelsea, Wed-Sun, Sep 22-26, 2021. From $26 🇮🇳.
Country Dance, Contredanse, Contradanza, Danzón, Habanera, Tango, Salsa, Bachata, Reggaeton
Latin dance, both ballet and social dances, derives from a blend of English country dance and Italian court dance in the court of French King Louie XIV. This is not an academic summary, but is our best understanding of the origins of our dance traditions for the moment.
We tend not to think of ballet, the science of dance, as a Latin dance, but it is. Ballet began as an Italian court dance brought to France by Catherine de’ Medici (1519-1589), when she was queen consort and then Queen mother of France (1547-1589).
French King Louis XIV (1643-1715), the “Sun King” loved to party. Ballet developed in his court, but in a way, so did the social dances of the Americas.
English country dancing began influencing dancing in the court (1558-1603) of Queen Elizabeth 1 of England. It was later introduced to the court of Louis XIV where it became the French contredanse.
The Spanish brought “contradanza,” flamenco and Africans to the Americas. The French brought contredanse and the English brought country dance.
Africa has diverse song and dance traditions. African dances can be spiritual, healing or purely social for fun. Like many social dances, African dance is both an expression of belonging to a group and of one’s own individuality within that group. That probably became even more important during the time of human enslavement because family separation was a standard slaver’s tactic. Separated from family, we create our own families and that is still true in New York City today.
In Cuba Spanish contradanza and flamenco began mixing with West African movement into the “habanera,” the way they dance in Havana. Nobody claims Indigenous origins in the dances, but the music has some, so the dances must too. Colonizers didn’t control everything. If you got free, you fled to the mountains where free Africans and remaining Indigenous mixed together. Anyway, from all this we get danzón, the national dance of Cuba.
French Saint-Domingue was the richest Caribbean sugar colony so it influenced the entire region including Puerto Rico and Trinidad. The Haitian Revolution (1791-1804) caused a French and African (Creole) diaspora which influenced the habanera and even New Orleans.
Out of the Caribbean we get cumbia, merengue, salsa, bachata and reggaeton. The habanera is the root of tango, the national dance of Argentina with origins in Uruguay. Cuban flamenco traditions even made the round trip back to Spain (flamenco ida y vuelta) and influenced flamenco there. Dictator Trujillo (ruled 1930-1961) liked his island’s country dance, merengue, and made it the national dance of the Dominican Republic. Swing was created by African-Americans in Harlem.
Ballet almost died when the French Revolution (1789-1799) ended the French court. It survived in the courts of Russia and Denmark and was reintroduced to the world by Ballets Russes of Paris on tours of the Americas (1909-1929).
Choreographer George Balanchine started his rise at Ballets Russes and in New York founded New York City Ballet. His first prima ballerina and the first New York City ballet star was Native American dancer Maria Tallchief. As the Sugarplum Fairy she helped make “The Nutcracker” the iconic ballet.
In New York Broadway dancing mixed together African-American, Jewish and other theater traditions. Modern dance pioneers include Alvin Ailey (African-American) and José Limón (Mexican-American). Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater popularized modern dance around the world. Contemporary dance follows.
In dance, as in most other things, to say this is mine and that is yours is usually ignorant and foolish. We are all mixes of each other.