An impressive selection of dance shows is coming to Philadelphia this winter, and there are a few that you don’t want to miss. Whether you’re an expert, enthusiast, or a newcomer to these performances, you’ll enjoy these picks.


Combining dance with food and drink in a relaxed atmosphere seems like the epitome of cultural entertainment. Pasión y Arte, Philly’s premier all-female flamenco dance company, presents an ongoing contemporary tablao experience every few months that embraces this philosophy.

Tablaos of 19th-century Spain were comparable to the informal atmosphere of today’s poetry cafés or improv jazz clubs, where people converge to enjoy music and eat and drink. This modern show strives to recreate the same interactive café-like environment—the venue will be set up in tablao fashion, with traditional decorative styles (think Spanish artwork and earth tones), an intimate space, and fresh interpretations of the percussive and fluid flamenco style. Each performance, an intense blur of red and black as the dancers move across the stage, is 90 minutes long. Two ten-minute intermissions, when audiences can enjoy a selection of tapas and wine, break up the show.

This evening is perfect for a date night, or an evening of distinct cultural entertainment in Philly.

BALLETX WINTER SERIES 2016February 10 – 14

BalletX is Philadelphia’s leading contemporary ballet company, presenting a style of dance that combines classical training and modern technique. Its Winter Series continues the tradition of experimentation, athleticism, and grace that every one of the group’s productions upholds.

The main works for the series are part of the BalletX Choreographic Fellowship, pairing an emerging choreographer with award-winning dancer creator Trey McIntyre. Yin Yue, an NYU Tisch School of the Arts graduate, was selected this year. Born and raised in Shanghai, Yue’s dance designs often pull from her Chinese heritage, creating a unique multicultural performance. With both developing and established talents working together, the works are guaranteed to create a bold, artistic, and captivating production.

The Winter Series will also feature the East Coast premiere of Matthew Neenan’s work Show Me, a performance set to the string quintet Brooklyn Rider.

SHEN YUNJanuary 8 – 10

Shen Yun is an enchanting evening that spans 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture. The internationally-acclaimed classical Chinese dance and orchestral performance weaves dynasties and legends with classical, ethnic, and folk dances, creating a moving image of China’s culture. Operatic vocal pieces and a digital backdrop complement the dance and music that transport audiences to a different world. Precision and integrity is evident in every detailed movement—dozens of artists move together to create a seamless and elegant performance, while hundreds of handmade costumes display vibrant colors.

Header image via Flickr