Who: National Dance Institute, Ronald K. Brown / EVIDENCE, Wendy Whelan and Brian Brooks, Complexions Contemporary Ballet
What: Hudson River Dance Festival
Where: Pier 61 at Chelsea Piers, Hudson River Park
When: Thursday, June 8, and Friday, June 9, free, 6:30
Why: On June 8 and 9, SHS Foundation and the Joyce are presenting the 2017 installment of the annual Hudson River Dance Festival, featuring an impressive lineup of four terrific acts. Former New York City Ballet principal dancer Wendy Whelan has turned toward contemporary dance for her “Restless Creature” project, which includes Brian Brooks; the two recently performed Some of a Thousand Words at the Joyce. Founded in 1976 by New York City Ballet principal dancer Jacques d’Amboise, the National Dance Institute focuses on programs for children; their appearance at the Hudson River Dance Festival will be followed June 17-19 by “Harlem Night Song” at the Skirball Center. The award-winning Complexions Contemporary Ballet has been promoting dance and unity since 1994; next week, Complexions, led by founders Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, will be off to Detroit for Star Dust: A David Bowie Tribute. And Brooklyn-based Ronald K. Brown / EVIDENCE has been incorporating West African movement into its choreography for decades; choreographer and dancer Brown will bring his immensely talented company to the Fire Island Dance Festival July 14-16 and to the New Victory Theater July 27 and August 3. The free Hudson River Dance Festival takes place on Pier 61 at Chelsea Piers; blankets are allowed, but chairs are not.