Boston’s Best Summer Dance Events and Performances

May 30, 2011 4:20 AM

Keigwin + Company (credit: Jacob’s Pillow website)

Strut and glide your way into the season and enjoy Boston’s best summer dance events. From jazz and ballet to contemporary (and even aerial acrobatics), dance can inspire and entrance even the least graceful among us. Check out our picks for the season’s best dance performances and your feet will be moving to the beat in no time.
danceworksbostonproject danceworks Boston’s Best Summer Dance Events and Performances

DanceWorks Boston Project (credit: DanceWorks)

DanceWorks Boston Project

Thursday, 8:00pm, June 2
Friday, 8:00pm, June 3
Boston University Dance Theater
915 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA

Need a refresher on all things dance? The 2nd Annual DanceWorks Boston Project is a good place to start. An hour-long dance production featuring 12 original choreographed works, over 50 dancers will be performing hip-hop, jazz and contemporary styles. Based on the rehearsals, it’s safe to say that the production will be one high-energy dance-a-thon. You’ll be seeing the sweat drip as the dancers jump, twirl and twist to the music.

davidparkerbanggroup nicholasburnham Boston’s Best Summer Dance Events and Performances

David Parker and The Bang Group (credit: Nicholas Burnham/The Bang Group website)

David Parker and The Bang Group: Backward and in Heels

Saturday, July 20
Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theater
100 Northern Avenue
Boston, MA
Free for families

There are few dance companies that can truly express the sheer joy of dancing as effectively as choreographer David Parker and the Bang Group can. In this free family event, Parker and his dancers will demonstrate their signature improvisational rhythm and humor, using such innovative tools as Velcro costumes, bubble-wrap, Chinese take-out, elbow grease, and even their voices. It’s a style that can only be described as “kinetic wit.” A touchstone for the performance will be Slapstuck, Parker’s award-winning dance for two men in Velcro costumes which has earned an iconic place in The Bang Group’s repertory and will be danced by its original cast: Parker and Jeffrey Kazin.

untamed suspendedcirque website Boston’s Best Summer Dance Events and Performances

UnTamed, Suspended Cirque (credit:

UnTamed Presented by Boston Center for the Arts

Thursday, June 2
539 Tremont Street
Boston, MA

In its Boston debut, aerial acrobatics theater troupe Suspended Cirque will blend music, dance and aerial acrobatics in the world premiere of UnTamed: The Wild Underground, a spectacular performance that will surely elicit “oohs” and “ahhs” from the audience. After the event, guests are invited to linger in the “untamed” world for more spontaneous performances, up-close interaction with the artists, and time to mingle with Boston’s cultural community.

massdancefestival website Boston’s Best Summer Dance Events and Performances

Massachusetts Dance Festival (credit:

Massachusetts Dance Festival

August 13 – 14
Boston University Dance Theater
915 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA

Only on its second year, the Massachusetts Dance Festival is already known as the premier showcase for the area’s most dynamic, most eclectic dance companies, representing genres of ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, aerial, multimedia, East Indian, and hip hop/jazz. Last year’s inaugural performance garnered rave reviews for creating an invigorating evening of dance in one venue. The festival will also offer numerous classes of dance instruction for adults and children in Boston. The dance classes are taught by Massachusetts master dancers and teachers, K-12 educators, and industry specialists, covering genres of ballet, jazz, tap, modern, contemporary, African, Cuban Salsa, hip hop, inclusive dance for physically disabled dancers, and a diverse range of innovative children’s dance classes.

keigwincompany jacobspillowwebsite Boston’s Best Summer Dance Events and Performances

Keigwin + Company (credit: Jacob’s Pillow website)

Keigwin + Company

Jacob’s Pillow Festival
Jacob’s Pillow Dance
Doris Duke Theatre
358 George Carter Road
Becket, MA

You have to drive to western Mass., but this one is worth it. Artistic director Larry Keigwin’s work stretches from contemporary dance and cabaret to New York Fashion Week and MTV. Pop culture references flow gracefully in dances performed by his knockout company. This program, part of Jacob’s Pillow Festival, includes Megalopolis, danced to “World Town” and “XR2” by MIA and “Sextet-Six Marimbas” by Steve Reich; the fashion-inspired dance Runaway and Love Songs, comprised of three sets of romantic, witty, and real duets danced to the songs of Nina Simone, Roy Orbison, and Aretha Franklin. And while you’re at Jacob’s Pillow, take advantage of the free talks and tour of the school.