The very best in dance including LAVA’s TIDES; Urban Bush Women at The Joyce Theater; and Ragamala Music and Dance Theater.

LAVA, the all-female Brooklyn-based company led by lesbian choreographer Sarah East Johnson, marks its 7th year of earth-moving performance this spring with TIDES, at The Flea Theater now through May 27. Beloved by audiences of all ages for their awe-inspiring acrobatics, progressive wit, and intriguing scientific metaphors, the company’s latest creation delivers on all three. TIDES incorporates features ranging from time-capture video of the Rockaway shoreline to original live music and song, karaoke-dance, and double trapeze work, all connected by an underlying architecture based on ocean wave patterns and the movement of the sea.

Urban Bush Women takes the stage of The Joyce Theater, May 8–13, transforming it with singular fierce beauty and defiant wit. For the company’s return to The Joyce, Urban Bush Women will present a mixed program featuring the restaging of Blondell Cummings’ seminal solo Chicken Soup, deemed an American Masterpiece by the National Endowment for the Arts; a hot ensemble piece by emerging choreographer Camille A. Brown; and Zollar’s own Bessie award-winning tribute to Pearl Primus, Walking With Pearl… Southern Diaries.

With a flash of the hand, the stomp of a foot, and the dart of an eye, Ragamala Music and Dance Theater, now through May 13 at the New Victory Theatre, builds bridges between ancient and modern cultures. The company performs a 2,500-year-old Indian dance form and uses it as a springboard for innovative choreography. Complex rhythmic patterns blend with expressive gestures as brilliantly costumed dancers break into percussive footwork, while their limbs transform into swimming fish, soaring birds and cascading waterfalls. Accompanied by classical Carnatic music, live Japanese taiko drums and modern a capella vocalizations, Ragamala spans culture and time in swirls of visual poetry.

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