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The season’s overflowing with dance of all types, from Jacob’s Pillow in Becket to a quarry in Vermont

Indigenous Enterprise will perform in a one-night-only performance at Jacob's Pillow on Aug. 4.Danny Upshaw

Even in the throes of summer’s “dog days,” a lot of high-quality dance still lies ahead all around New England — indoors and out. In Becket, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (through Aug. 28, www.jacobspillow.org) goes full throttle until the last weekend in August with enticing highlights every week. The centerpiece performances in the Ted Shawn Theatre include the pioneering Limón Dance Company (July 20-24) celebrating the 75th anniversary of its founding. The company’s program features a new Pillow commission by Olivier Taparga in honor of the festival’s 90th anniversary. Other returning favorites are the dynamic New Zealand company Black Grace (July 27-31), Alonzo King Lines Ballet (Aug. 3-7), Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (Aug. 10-14), Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble (Aug. 17-21), and Miami City Ballet (Aug. 24-28).


On outdoor stages, the festival is showcasing even more variety, with three or four different companies featured each week. Highlights range from the tap/live music company Music from the Sole (July 20-24) to Les Ballets Afrik (Aug. 3) and Indigenous Enterprise (Aug. 4), to Ladies of Hip Hop Dance Collective (Aug. 24). One of the more intriguing presentations promises to be Liz Lerman’s new dance theater piece “Wicked Bodies” (Aug. 10-13). Designed specifically for a unique tent setting at Jacob’s Pillow, the multidisciplinary piece trades in crones, shape-shifters, and imps to explore how our bodies can be sources of power and evil, from the magic of fairy tales to invasive government policies.

A little further west, PS 21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century in Chatham, N.Y. (https://ps21chatham.org) is active into September, with several high-profile offerings in the state-of-the-art open-air Pavilion Theater. Most notable are performances by Mark Morris Dance Group (Aug. 6) and Israel’s Vertigo Dance Company (July 28-29).

Out on Martha’s Vineyard, venerable dance organization The Yard (www.dancetheyard.org) is celebrating its 50th anniversary season. If you missed Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company here last month, now’s your chance (July 23), plus you can catch Brownbody (Aug. 11-12) and Ephrat Asherie Dance (Aug. 26-27). In Maine, Bates Dance Festival (www.batesdancefestival.org) offers the prospect of seeing Rennie Harris Puremovement’s celebrated “Rome & Jewels,” a retelling of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” (July 28-29) and David Dorfman Dance’s provocative “(A)Way Out of My Body” (Aug. 5-6).


Performers in the original run of "Rome & Jewels," which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Rennie Harris Puremovement will perform the piece at the Bates Dance Festival July 28-29.Rennie Harris Puremovement

Rockport’s multi-arts organization Windhover Center for the Performing Arts (windhover.org) has a number of dance events still to come, including the Saving Grace Arts Ensemble’s ARTFULNESS 2022 (July 25). In mid-August, New York City-based Cornfield Dance will be in residence at the center (Aug. 14-22), offering matinee performances, pop ups around Rockport, and a special gala fund-raiser performance.

A range of independent initiatives are also on the way. Boston Dance Theater (www.bostondancetheater.com) showcases its SURGE project designed for BIPOC movement artists who live in coastal communities vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise. During two free participatory dance and spoken-word performances in East Boston’s Piers Park on (July 30-31), audience members can mingle with performers and a local climate scientist, and talk about climate change. The Dance Complex Teaching Artist Concert at Cambridge’s Starlight Square (July 30-31, www.starlightsquare.org/events) showcases some of the work being created by the organization’s diverse array of teaching artists. The free showcase performance of Boston University’s teen dance program, “REACH” (July 20, www.bu.edu/fitrec/programs/dance/reach) is a fun family event that can be quite inspiring, especially for aspiring young dancers in the audience.


For dance fans bemoaning the demise of Julia Boynton’s fabulous Beantown Tap Fest three years ago, the inaugural Boston Tap Party (Aug. 4-7, www.bostontapparty.com) may be the most anticipated event of the summer. Presented by Deborah Mason Performing Arts Center, it aims to channel the spirit of the earlier fest and features many of the same dynamic teachers (Dianne Walker, Khalid Hill, among others), with a final night showcase at Arlington’s Regent Theatre that should be a blast.

Meanwhile in Rhode Island, Island Moving Company welcomes six stylistically and geographically diverse companies for mixed line-ups on the outdoor stage at Great Friends Meeting House during its Newport Dance Festival (July 19-24, islandmovingco.org/newportdancefestival). Also in Newport, indoors at the Jane Pickens Theater, the young arts collaborative REVOLVE Dance Project shares six world premiere works of original choreography featuring original live music (July 31, revolvedanceproject.com). In Jamestown, Ali Kenner Brodsky presents an evening of new work called “first look: moments” (Aug. 18, www.jamestownartcenter.org/events/moments)

The Quarry Project ensemble rehearses for the site-specific dance/theatre piece in the Wells Lamson granite quarry in Websterville, Vt.Julia Barstow

Up in Vermont, The Quarry Project (Aug. 5-21, thequarryproject2022.com) promises to be one of the summer’s most enchanting projects. Choreographer Hannah Dennison created the dance/theater performance for the Wells Lamson quarry in Websterville. Set to an original score by composer Andric Severance, it features an ensemble of 17 dancers and five musicians spread over a six-acre stage lit only by the natural light of the sun and reflections off the water. Credit summer itself for this striking backdrop.


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