Spring is the season for frolicking in all of its forms, and New York City captures that spirit with a lineup of performances ranging from classic ballet to modern movement, as well as ambitious gallery shows. Here are a few highlights.

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic
Through May 24​
Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn

The exhibition of the season. The singular African-American artist gets major retrospective, featuring his stereotype-busting Old Master-style portraits of contemporary black men and women done in sumptuous colors. 

Laurie Simmons: How We See
Through Aug. 9​
The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fif th Ave.

Legendary Pictures Generation artist — and mother of Lena Dunham — is back with her signature twisted portraits. This time, she takes her inspiration from the “Doll Girls” subculture, who use makeup, dress and cosmetic surgery to look like “Barbie, baby dolls and anime characters.” Should be interesting!

China: Through The Looking Glass
May 7-Aug. 16​
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave.

The Costume Institute's big spring exhibition will look at how the Far East has influenced high fashion throughout the centuries. Expect haute couture piece to mingle with Chinese costumes, paintings, porcelains and film in this glamorous show.

Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance

In an exciting departure, Paul Taylor Dance Company debuts its new face as Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance at Lincoln Center’s Koch Theater in 2015. The revised mission statement includes bringing the best of modern dance to the widest possible audiences. Programming in March features two original works and 17 pieces from Taylor’s 60-plus-year career. Performances for the inaugural season run from through March 29.


While the Joyce Theater in Chelsea has been a reliable home for both traditional and innovative dance since 1982, Joyce UNLEASHED is the second installment of an important initiative to bring dance to new spaces and reach untapped fan bases throughout NYC. Audiences have the opportunity to see first-rate artists perform in intimate venues in their own neighborhoods. On the docket this spring are Seattle’s Zoe-Juniper with “BEGINAGAIN,” Minneapolis’ SuperGroup with “The Tent Has Been Pulled Down” and Brooklyn’s Laurie Berg with “The AfterLife.” The festival runs March 17-21, with tickets set at an inclusive $20.

American Ballet Theater

The American Ballet Theater celebrates 75 years in 2015. The anniversary season involves a tour through California and Washington, D.C. But starting in mid-May, the company will engage in a two-month residency at the Metropolitan Opera House, performing a classic homage to “Sleeping Beauty” from Alexei Ratmansky along with more visionary takes on “Cinderella,” “Giselle,” “Swan Lake” and other famous works.