Dance Nation
Closed 1h 45m
Dance Nation

Dance Nation NYC Reviews and Tickets

(115 Reviews)
Members say
Ambitious, Edgy, Quirky, Clever, Great acting

About the Show

Somewhere in America, an army of pre-teen competitive dancers plots to take over the world. And if their new routine is good enough, they’ll claw their way to the top at the Boogie Down Grand Prix in Tampa Bay.

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Member Reviews (115)

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928 Reviews | 379 Followers
Great writing, Edgy, Relevant, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if You want to see a raw edgy look at what it’s like to be a teen age girl. Sweet. Shocking. Insightful. Sad. Honest. Beautiful.

Don't see it if You’re a misogynist or have no empathy.

677 Reviews | 186 Followers
Clever, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if you liked The Wolves & want a daring, shrewd, original, poignant story of preadolescence played by the most earnest & fearless cast anywhere

Don't see it if you'll be uncomfortable w/a stark, unrelenting portrayal of pre-teen girls, w/all the angst, awkwardness, blood & unfiltered feelings intact

677 Reviews | 150 Followers
Banal, Cliched, Great acting, Odd, Disappointing

See it if you enjoy new plays and support new female writers, interested in concerns of young teens, enjoy innovative casting & unusual digressions

Don't see it if you don't like female nudity on stage, young teens played by much older women, linear plots interspersed with odd musical numbers

612 Reviews | 269 Followers
Do you want to know what 13 year olds talk about when you're not in the room?

See it if no holds barred/hilarious view of girls on competitive dance team dealing w/ adolescent changes & suffocating pressures

Don't see it if some of the over-the-top monologues simply don't work; feminist message by end hits you over the head Read more

506 Reviews | 1001 Followers
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Overrated

See it if see more

Don't see it if see more Read more

594 Reviews | 223 Followers
Confusing, Disappointing, Edgy, Quirky, Slow

See it if You like new plays that are somewhat experimental and try to combine different styles of playwriting and performance.

Don't see it if You dislike plays that are “all over the place” and seem to be hunting for a style that they never really find.

474 Reviews | 714 Followers
Funny, Quirky, Slow, Introspective

See it if you enjoy feminist works that aren’t too heavy handed and also have some laughs mixed in.

Don't see it if you’re expecting quality dance. That’s now what this show is.

465 Reviews | 256 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if you want to see a highly original play with a stellar cast and innovative staging. Claire Barron is a writer to keep your eye on!

Don't see it if you have no interest in adolescent girls slowly discovering their sexuality.

Critic Reviews (25)

The New York Times
May 8th, 2018

“Conjures the passionate ambivalence of early adolescence with such being-there sharpness and poignancy that you’re not sure whether to cringe, cry or roar with happiness...Blazingly original and unsettlingly familiar...Cuts to the bone...A fearless cast, directed and choreographed with gloriously rough magic...The fact that the actresses playing these girls are adults...makes this latest work a memory play — and a reminder of how impossible it is to escape the way we were.”
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Time Out New York
May 8th, 2018

"Ferociously funny...Barron’s riotous, rattling, sensational new play...The kids are played by adults of varying ages...They sometimes break out of their time frame to share perspectives they will have years later. The effect of this doubleness is often hilarious—the actors’ dance skills also vary—but also poignant...Wondrous ensemble cast...Sharp direction...Has a pussy-power message, it is anything but fearless. It embraces fear, hugs it tight, and channels it into a queasy kind of triumph.”
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New York Magazine / Vulture
May 8th, 2018

“If you were ever a 13-year-old girl, Clare Barron’s daring, raw ‘Dance Nation' will probably hit you hard. If you weren’t, the play might feel like strange, even somewhat disturbing terrain, but I’d urge you to venture in all the same...A brave, visceral, excitingly off-kilter barbaric yawp of a play. It’s angry and it’s sad. It’s brash and it’s funny. And it gets at something excruciatingly tender: the burden of modesty on young American women.”
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New York Daily News
May 8th, 2018

“Fearless and funny but frustrating...Avoids the typical pitfalls when adult actors play pre-teens...The work is bold, with ample profanity and flashes of nudity. But it trips up because it's too freewheeling for its own good...Subjects are raised and quickly abandoned. The tone shifts willy nilly...It's okay for a play to be messy, but Barron's work self-sabotages...Despite flaws, the show is uniformly terrifically acted...Most effective and eloquent when it's silent.”
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May 9th, 2018

“The seriousness with which each battle is approached is one of the things that makes playwright Barron’s exhilarating ‘Dance Nation’ so good, especially in director/choreographer Evans' spot-on production. The point isn't to watch the play hoping they win. You just want to see them all get out of it alive...The young girls - and one boy...are all played by adults...thus we see the parallels between the issues they face as children and those that await them in adulthood.”
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Lighting & Sound America
May 10th, 2018

"What seems at first like a cutesy affectation soon comes across as the only sensible way of presenting a play about young people that includes nudity and frank discussions of puberty and sexuality...The director's skill with the material is especially fortunate, since the script has it ragged moments and dead ends, as well bits of humor that don't quite land...The cast is totally on their playwright's wavelength."
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Talkin' Broadway
May 8th, 2018

“Zuzu forgets her steps and freezes at a competition, setting up all kinds of trust and self-image conflicts that lack payoff. It's that kind of sloppiness that bothers me, along with the too-in-your-face sexuality...That said, Barron and Evans do conjure up some convincing moments...Barron has provocative things to say about how society turns many kids' formative years into nightmares...But teen bonding, peer shaming, and authority-figure bullying? You'll have a better time at 'Mean Girls.'"
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New York Stage Review
May 8th, 2018

“The playwright interweaves her very funny play with topics that some might find out of bounds...Be prepared to be challenged...By presenting us with a wildly non-realistic dance team, Barron can slather on layers of fun, satire and incisive social commentary. The wildly nontraditional casting works well, with director Lee Sunday Evans perfectly illuminating the lives of the characters and providing the amusingly artless choreography as well. The cast is universally fine."
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