Theater & art

Family entertainment

Critic’s picks: Dance

Performers in “Riverdance: The 20th Anniversary Tour.”

Jack Hartin

Performers in “Riverdance: The 20th Anniversary Tour.”

SHOES ON, SHOES OFFShakespeare & Company resident choreographer Susan Dibble explores our fascination with footwear in this intriguing work, which follows a shoe salesman and his clients as they search for energy in pair after pair of shoes. April 17, 2 p.m. Free. Brandeis University’s Spingold Theater Mainstage, Waltham. 781-736-2000, www.brandeis.edu

A JOOKIN’ JAM SESSION WITH LIL BUCK, CRISTINA PATO & FRIENDSWhile parents may not know what jookin’ is, dance-savvy kids will, and Lil Buck is the master. Ballet star turned director Damian Woetzel brings together the extraordinary mover with gaita player Cristina Pato and an adventurous cast of other dancers and musicians for what promises to be a high-spirited jam.
April 29. Free. College of Holy Cross’s Hogan Oval, Worcester. 503-793-2011, www.holycross.edu

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EVOLUTIONJoe Gonzalez and May-Lisa Chandler’s Jo-Mé Dance Theatre celebrates its fifth anniversary with accessible repertory favorites as well as new works by Gonzalez and Diaman Wood. April 30, $15-$25. Boston University Dance Theater. 617-219-3506, www.jo-medance.com

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAMTo commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Dance Prism offers a ballet version of the Bard’s magical fantasy, which intermingles mortals with mischievous fairies. Co-choreographed by company principal Miranda Bailey and artistic director Mary Demaso, this new production should appeal to all ages. May 1, $20-$26. Littleton Performing Arts Center, Littleton. 978-371-1038, www.danceprism.com

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MAYFAIRThe annual Harvard Square event features activities for all ages, and for dance fans, there is a continuous series of performances on a special stage at Brattle and Eliot streets from 12:30 through 6 p.m. Performers include dancers from José Mateo Ballet Theatre’s youth program, Rainbow Tribe, BoSoma Dance Company, Boston Tap Company, and Triveni Dance. May 1, Free. www.harvardsquare.com

CHOREOLAB 2016The Boston University dance community offers a free hourlong presentation of original work that should be engaging for the whole family. It features choreography in a wide range of styles, including aerial dances using silks, trapeze, lyra hoop, and sling, capped by a big jazz/hip-hop closer. May 1, 4 p.m. Free. Boston University Dance Theater. 617-353-1597, www.bu.edu/fitrec/2016/04/12/choreolab-5-1/

CAMBRIDGE YOUTH DANCE PROGRAMOne of the best ways to interest kids in dance is through performances by other kids. Deborah Mason’s “The American Dream: Expressions of Hope and Struggle in the Pursuit of Happiness” challenges young dancers and viewers with a program that explores the trials and triumphs of American culture. May 6-7. $25-$30. Boston University Dance Theater. 617-616-5124, www.cydp.org

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LIGHT TO DARKJosé Mateo Ballet Theatre’s season finale may be a little austere conceptually for the youngest viewers, but the company’s cabaret-style seating gets viewers up close and personal, which can be a captivating experience. The music includes Bach and Beethoven. May 6-13. $42. Sanctuary Theatre, Cambridge. 617-354-7467, www.ballettheatre.org

RIVERDANCE: THE 2OTH ANNIVERSARY WORLD TOURRiverdance has been around so long, there’s a whole generation of kids who could have the thrill of seeing this spectacular Irish dance extravaganza for the first time. Lucky them. May 10-15. $35-$110. Citi Wang Theatre. 800-982-2787, www.citicenter.org

MALPASO DANCE COMPANYWho of any age can resist the lively music and dance of Cuba? This performance by one of the country’s top troupes promises a vivid look at Cuban contemporary dance with a live music bonus, by Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble. May 14-15. $60-$75. Citi Shubert Theatre. 617-482-6661, www.celebrityseries.org

KAREN CAMPBELL

Karen Campbell can be reached at karencampbell4@rcn.com.
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