Theater & art

family entertainment

Critic’s picks for family-oriented dance performances

Belen Pereyra and Antonio Douthit in Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s “Another Night.”
Belen Pereyra and Antonio Douthit in Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s “Another Night.”


JOSÉ MATEO BALLET THEATRE Dance is often a feast for the eyes, but José Mateo is looking to engage your brain with “In the Mind’s Eye,” which has just opened at the Sanctuary Theatre. Both pieces on the program are set to contemporary music by minimalist masters. Terry Riley’s 2006 “The Cusp of Magic,” for string quartet and pipa, was the inspiration for Mateo’s “Streams” (2009), in which couples deal with the usual problems of staying together. John Adams’s 1988 “Fearful Symmetries,” with its pounding beat and William Blake title, has been used in works performed by the Royal Ballet and New York City Ballet. Mateo’s “Fearless Symmetries” (2008) follows a young woman as she deals with the attractions of urban life. Through April 21. $40. Sanctuary Theatre, Cambridge. 617-354-7467,

REFLECTIONS: LOVE, LOSS AND LIVING This offering from Boston Conservatory’s dance, music, and theater divisions aims to “explore the human experience of loss and grief.” The dance component will include a world premiere choreographed by former Liz Lerman company member Peter DiMuro and inspired by Alzheimer’s caregivers. There will also be a performance of Bill T. Jones’s 1989 “D-Man in the Waters,” which was inspired by Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane company member Demian Acquavella, who died of AIDS in 1990, and is set to Felix Mendelssohn’s Octet. April 18-20. $15-$30. Boston Conservatory Theater. 617-912-9222,


KATE WEARE COMPANY World Music/CRASHarts brings this eight-year-old New York-based company to town for the first time with three pieces choreographed by Weare. “Garden” (2011) is a 35-minute work for two men and two women whose set includes an upside-down tree, with foliage. “Drop Down” (2006) is a 12-minute tango for a man and a woman. The program will close with another work from 2006, “The Light Has Not the Arms to Carry Us.” April 19-20. $40. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-876-4275,

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CHROMA  Royal Ballet resident choreographer Wayne McGregor’s “Chroma” has pride of place on Boston Ballet’s spring repertory program — which is saying something, since it’s sandwiched by two works from the greatest choreographer of the 20th century, George Balanchine’s “Serenade” and his “Symphony in C.” The 2006 “Chroma,” however, is set to music by
Joby Talbot and the White Stripes, and danced on a set by architect John Pawson that’s inspired by the church of the Cistercian monastery he designed in the Czech Republic in 2004. “Serenade,” to Tchai­kovsky’s “Serenade for Strings,” is Balanchine’s first American classic; “Symphony in C” is set to Georges Bizet’s Symphony in C, which sounds as if it had been written for dancing, especially the moto perpetuo fourth movement. May 2-12. $29-$137. Boston Opera House. 617-695-6955,

NEXT GENERATION  For the past three years, Boston Ballet has presented a one-night event showcasing the students of the largest ballet school in North America. There are always a lot of students in the audience as well. This year’s program, which is still being finalized, will include Jorma Elo’s “Lost by Last,” to music by Bernard Herr­mann, the grand pas deux from “The Sleeping Beauty,” and Jerome Robbins’s “Fanfare.” Live accompaniment by the New England Conservatory Youth Philharmonic, which will also play Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide” Overture. May 8. $25-$100. Boston Opera House. 617-695-6955,

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY  If you missed the Boston Ballet production of the Tchaikovsky-Petipa classic that’s closing Sunday — or even if you didn’t — you might want to catch the Festival Ballet Providence version, since Boston Ballet does it only every four years or so, and you might not want to wait that long to see the Rose Adagio again, or nasty Carabosse, or fairy-tale characters like Puss in Boots and the White Cat and Red Riding Hood and the Wolf. May 10-12. $20-$65. Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Providence. 401-353-1129,

TAPPIN’ THRU LIFE: AN EVENING WITH MAURICE HINES  He isn’t just a tap-dance great. Hines appeared in the 1984 Francis Ford Coppola film “The Cotton Club” with his younger brother, Gregory. He’s played Nathan Detroit in “Guys and Dolls.” He created and choreographed the 1986 musical “Uptown . . . It’s Hot!” and received a Tony nomination for his performance in it. And he’s a jazz singer, with a pair of solo albums to his credit. So he has plenty of material for this show, which pays tribute to Gregory, who died in 2003, as well as to singers such as Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and Lena Horne. Live accompaniment by the Berklee College of Music Jazz Ensemble. Presented by ArtsEmerson. May 14-19. $25-$89. Cutler Majestic Theatre. 617-824-8000, www.arts


ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER  What would spring in Boston be without the annual Celebrity Series-sponsored visit from the Alvin Ailey company? One highlight of this year’s program is Jirí Kylián’s Baroque battle of the sexes, “Petite Mort,” which Boston Ballet presented in 2009-10. It’ll share a program (Thursday and Saturday evening) with Robert Battle’s “In/Side,” Kyle Abraham’s “Another Night,” and Ohad Naharin’s “Minus 16.” Friday will be devoted to “Ailey Classics” and retiring dancer Renee Robinson; the Saturday and Sunday matinees will offer Ronald K. Brown’s “Grace,” Garth Fagan’s “From Before,” Ailey artistic director Battle’s “Strange Humors,” and the company’s signature piece, Ailey’s “Revelations.” May 16-19. $20-$90. Citi Wang Theatre. 617-482-6661,

COPPÉLIA  E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story of a man who falls in love with a beautiful automaton is familiar from Jacques Offenbach’s opera “The Tales of Hoffmann,” but it also inspired a lighthearted ballet, with music by Léo Delibes, that premiered in 1870. Franz is engaged to Swanhilde, but he also has his eye on Coppélia, the pretty mechanical “daughter” of his neighbor Coppélius, and before it’s all over, Swanhilde has to imitate Coppélia and dance like a doll. As it did in 2010, Boston Ballet is presenting the 1974 Balanchine version of the ballet. May 16-26. $29-$137. Boston Opera House. 617-695-6955,

PROMETHEUS DANCE In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Prometheus Dance’s artistic directors, Diane Arvanites and Tommy Neblett, have created the company’s fifth evening-length work, “The Heart of the Matter,” which explores the heart of being human as its 11 dancers — three men and eight women — strip away the illusions of youth and the expectations of society to find themselves.
May 17-18. $35. Boston Conservatory Theater. 617-876-4275,