Exciting dance companies perform outdoors on summer evenings

Fresh and original, six esteemed New York City based dance companies showcase their work at Bryant Park.

Dance curator Tiffany Rea-Fisher says, “As a relatively new Artistic Director (EMERGE125, formerly Elisa Monte Dance), I wanted to honor that specific journey. This led me to reach out to Michael Novak (Paul Taylor Dance Company) and Dante Puleio (Limón Dance Company) to join me in celebrating the continued legacy of our three companies. In my own artistic practice I center joy, so I also wanted to highlight companies that bring me joy when I am in the audience. That’s where Ballet Hispánico, Music From The Sole, and Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet come in. This is the first time these companies will share a stage with each other and I can not wait for the art lovers of New York to experience this series.”

Check out the Picnic Performances page to see the full summer lineup and plan your visit!

Find this on the Bryant Park map

See all Bryant Park programs


Monday, August 16: Limón Dance Company + Music From The Sole

Friday, August 20: Paul Taylor Dance Company + EMERGE125

Friday, August 27: Ballet Hispánico + Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet


August 16

Limón Dance Company, founded in 1946 by José Limón and Doris Humphrey, has been at the vanguard of American Modern dance since its inception and is considered one of the world’s greatest dance companies. The acclaimed Company repertory, which includes classic works in addition to new commissions from contemporary choreographers, possesses an unparalleled breadth and creates unique experiences for audiences around the world. Numerous honors have been bestowed upon both Limón and the Company he founded seventy five years ago, including the White House’s 2008 National Medal of Arts for Lifetime Achievement. Additionally, the Company was the first modern dance group to tour under the auspices of the State Department and to perform at Lincoln Center

Music From The Sole is a tap dance and live music company that celebrates tap’s Afro-diasporic roots, particularly its connections to Afro-Brazilian dance and music, and its lineage to forms like house dance and samba. Led by Brazilian choreographer Leonardo Sandoval and composer Gregory Richardson, their work embraces tap’s unique nature as a blend of sound and movement, incorporating wide-ranging influences like samba, passinho (Brazilian street funk), Afro-Cuban, jazz, and house.

August 20

Paul Taylor Dance Company is one of the most famous and dynamic modern dance ensembles of our time, innovating and transforming the art form of modern dance since 1954. Founded by cultural icon and legendary dancemaker Paul Taylor, the Company houses 64 years of Taylor’s unrivaled creativity and over a dozen contemporary commissions. Known for multi-disciplinary collaborations, passionate expression, and thrilling athleticism, the Company has performed in more than 500 cities in 64 countries, representing the United States at arts festivals in more than 40 countries and touring extensively under the aegis of the U.S. Department of State, and continues boldly into the future under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Novak.

Founded in 1981, EMERGE125 – formerly known as Elisa Monte Dance – is a hub for dance performance, creation, and education. The organization operates dual homes in Harlem and Lake Placid, New York, while serving audiences both locally and around the world. Our rigorous dance education programs impact children, families, pre-professionals and professionals; and our movement and wellness programs engage multi-generational learners from the diverse communities we serve. EMERGE125 has established itself as a leader by setting new standards for dancer care; creating innovative, cross-disciplinary collaborations with leading artists; and using movement as a catalyst for community building: expanding the reach, purpose and impact of the art of dance.

August 27

Ballet Hispánico brings communities together to celebrate and explore Latino cultures through innovative dance productions, transformative dance training, and community engagement. For fifty years, Ballet Hispánico has been the leading voice intersecting artistic excellence and advocacy, and is now the largest Latinx cultural organization in the United States and one of America’s Cultural Treasures. National Medal of Arts recipient Tina Ramirez founded Ballet Hispánico in 1970, at the height of the post-war civil rights movements. From its inception Ballet Hispánico focused on providing a haven for Black and Brown Latinx youth and families seeking artistic place and cultural sanctuary. By providing the space for Latinx dance and dancers to flourish, Ballet Hispánico uplifted marginalized emerging and working artists, which combined with the training, authenticity of voice, and power of representation, fueled the organization’s roots and trajectory. In 2009, Ballet Hispánico welcomed Eduardo Vilaro as its Artistic Director, ushering in a new era by inserting fresh energy to the company’s founding values and leading Ballet Hispánico into an artistically vibrant future. Today, Ballet Hispánico’s New York City headquarters house a School of Dance and state-of-the-art dance studios for its programs and the arts community. As it looks to the next fifty years and beyond, Ballet Hispánico seeks to empower, and give agency to, the Latinx experience and those individuals within it.

Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet is a non-profit organization whose mission is to use the artistic expression of dance and other integrated art forms to uplift communities through education, performance and cultural programming. The soul of our work is rooted in social justice, and spiritually connecting to one another through the arts. Founder and Artistic Director, Jamel Gaines has dedicated his life to delivering artistic excellence and stirring, soaring performance to audiences everywhere. With more than 22 years of teaching and choreographing experience, Gaines seeks to inspire, motivate and nurture dancers and artists. Under his leadership, Creative Outlet has set itself apart as a highly acclaimed performing arts organization with a proven record in training the next generation of professional dancers and artists. Some of Jamel’s more recent choreography includes the crowd pleasing presentation live streamed across the internet during Spike Lee’s Annual Tribute Concert to Michael Jackson televised choreography, and dramatic performance by contestants on So You Think You Can Dance. In addition, Gaines has created and staged over 25 repertory and concert productions.

Livestream info

​New this year: Thanks to generous support from Bank of America, all Picnic Performances will be livestreamed and available to watch at no cost. We invite you to grab a blanket, get comfortable, and enjoy the show no matter where you are!

Stream all dance performances exclusively on Bryant Park’s website.

In-park attendance

Entry to Picnic Performances is open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis for all audience members. Advance ticket registration is no longer required. Please arrive no earlier than 5:30pm when doors open. There will be two seating areas:

1. Vaccinated and Tested: Attendees must present either digital or physical proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or an immediately recent negative COVID-19 test, along with government issued photo ID. In this area, attendees can bring a blanket or use a Bryant Park chair. Upon entry, attendees may distance and wear masks at their own discretion.

2. Distanced: In this area, audience may sit in pre-set, distanced chairs. Chairs may be moved only at staff discretion. Attendees may not enter the vaccinated and tested area.

If you have recently been in contact with a person with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home and join us on the livestream. Symptoms of COVID-19 include; fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

Past livestreams

The Limón Dance Company + Music From The Sole


Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet