Al fresco romp
It wouldn't be summer without Dusk Dances. Every year, the beautifully curated, family-friendly festival transforms the hills and valleys of Withrow Park into an evocative backdrop for movement magic. Now in its 20th year, the fest has just announced a stellar lineup that includes choreography by Sylvie Bouchard, Peter Chin, Julia Aplin, Milan Gervais, Sis Robin Hibbert, Kate Franklin and Meredith Thompson. August 4 to 10. duskdances.ca, 416-504-6429 ext 89.
In one of last season's most moving moments, dancer Aleksandar Antonijevic took his final bow in the demanding dramatic role of Onegin. Now, after 23 years, he retires from the National Ballet for good, dancing every performance in William Forsythe's contemporary classic the second detail. There won't be a dry eye in the house. On the same bill are Jerome Robbins's Opus 19/The Dreamer, originally created for Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Le Spectre De La Rose, Marco Goecke's reimagining of the classic Fokine ballet. Until Sunday (June 1) at the Four Seasons Centre. 416-345-9595.
Lecavalier at Luminato
Louise Lecavalier has blazed a brilliant trail through the contemporary dance scene, first as the leading lady in La La La Human Steps and then for indie choreographers like Crystal Pite and Benoît Lachambre. Her raw, high-energy 2011 performances - Children and A Few Minutes Of Lock - made local critics' best-of lists, including mine. Now she's bringing her own choreography, So Blue, to Luminato. And if the buzz from its North American premiere last year at Montreal's Festival TransAmérique is any indication, dance lovers are in for a treat. June 13 to 15 at the Fleck Dance Theatre. luminatofestival.com.
Yo! Street dance is the new kid on the block, and it's not just happening in cheesy Hollywood movies. On Canada Day, check out the Common Steps Dance Battle, which presents movement from all over Canada, from jingle dress and hoop dancing to B-boying. It's followed by the ever-popular street dance competition. July 1 at Harbourfront's WestJet Stage. 416-973-4000.