Theater & art

family entertainment

Dance picks for family entertainment

RIVERDANCE Last chance! After 16 years, the internationally acclaimed phenomenon is winding up its final US tour, and this run is its last appearance in Boston. A rousing celebration of Irish dance and music, this show put step dance on the global map, inspiring countless young dancers to don their velvet and kick up their heels. April 13-15. $25-$95. Broadway in Boston at Boston Opera House. 800-982-2787,

JOSÉ MATEO BALLET THEATRE The company’s intimate space gives performances an up-close immediacy that can be especially engaging for kids. The “Absurdus” program features one of Mateo’s most colorfully accessible works, the whimsical “House of Ballet,” as well as the choreographer’s only premiere of the season. April 20-May 6. $38. Sanctuary Theatre, Cambridge. 617-354-7467,

GWENDOLYN, THE GRACEFUL PIG For school vacation week, younger children might want to catch David Ira Rottenberg reading his book about aspiring young dancer Gwendolyn and her pal Omar — both pigs, by the way. In a bonus tale, “Gwendolyn Goes Hollywood,” the two friends head for Tinseltown. Both stories unfold with choreography by Denise Pons, danced by students from the Boston Conservatory. April 20, 10:30 a.m. Free. Rabb Lecture Hall, Boston Public Library, Copley Square. 617-536-5400,


INDIA JAZZ SUITES: KATHAK MEETS TAP Creating complex rhythms that pop and groove, this exhilarating, informative show brilliantly illuminates how American jazz tap and the ancient classical Indian Kathak tradition bridge the centuries with the irresistible impulse to make music with the feet. The last time they were here, performers Pandit Chitresh Das and Jason Samuels Smith were as charming and funny as they were virtuosic. April 20-22. $40. World Music/CRASHarts at Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-876-4275,

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PROMETHEUS DANCE ELDERS ENSEMBLE Thinking of family as a multigenerational dynamic, consider an outing with these lively ladies: eight talented post-professional dancers ranging in age from 60-88. “Escape Artists” promises original dance-theater pieces from the abstract to the humorous by guest choreographer Christine Fricker and co-artistic directors Diane Arvanites and Tommy Neblett. April 27 and 29. $20, $15 seniors. Dance Complex, Cambridge. 617-576-5336,

ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER The company’s annual return to Boston is always a welcome sign of spring, promising dazzling performances and rousing programs, all of which end with Ailey’s most beloved masterpiece, “Revelations.” Kids and adults alike will leave the theater with those gospel tunes still ringing. April 26-29. $35-$85. Celebrity Series at Citi Wang Theatre. 617-482-6661,

BOSTON BALLET Young ballet enthusiasts hit the jackpot this spring with three different programs by the company that promise to be as accessible as they are substantive. Rudolf Nureyev’s grand version of “Don Quixote” (April 26-May 6, $25-$137) focuses not on Cervantes’s aging hero but on the story’s young lovers. “Fancy Free” (May 10-20, $25-$137) is anchored by Jerome Robbins’s delightful, ever-popular masterwork of the same name about sailors on shore leave (along with Peter Martins’s “Barber Violin Concerto” and Harald Lander’s “Études”). “Next Generation” (May 16, 7 p.m., $25-$100) showcases Boston Ballet’s pre-professional students and features original faculty choreography, as well as a world premiere by Yury Yanowsky. Guest performers include members of Boston Ballet II and the New England Conservatory Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. Boston Opera House. 617-695-6955,

DEAR OLIVIA Inspired by a letter written to a young girl on the eve of her bat mitzvah, this evening of modern dance by choreographer Joanie Block addresses how we can manage to keep our inner child alive and well through life’s many transformations. April 27-28. $20, $18 seniors and students. Green Street Studios, Cambridge. 617-864-3191,


BRIDGES NOT WALLS Performed not only for but by kids, this production by the pre-professional students of Cambridge Youth Dance Program tackles some of the troubling issues adolescents face every day, especially bullying. Recommended for ages 10 and up. April 28-29. $25, $20 seniors and children under 12. Boston University Dance Theater. 617-497-1448,

DORRANCE DANCE At Dance Inn Productions’ celebration of National Tap Dance Day, young tap enthusiasts can get a feel for the genre’s new directions as innovative Bessie Award winner Michelle Dorrance assembles a crew of talented young New York hoofers and local favorite Sean Fielder for tap on the wild side. May 4, 8 p.m. $30, $25 seniors and students. Regent Theatre, Arlington. 781-646-4849,