Come out and play? (June 30 newsletter)

Salsa and King Lear, live music and new work … We’re coming to the part of the summer when the music and the photos and the movement can tell the story better than I can. Every theater and dance stage in the county is opening. Summer is underway.

Dorrance Dance is bringing tap and percussion to Jacob’s Pillow this week, and on July 6 Contra-Tiempo will be here, performing joyUS justUS, an evening-length work with live music, rooted in salsa, Afro-Cuban, hip-hop, and contemporary dance.

“The work centers joy as a critical part of building a more just and loving world,” the Pillow says, with original music by East Los Angeles Chicano band Las Cafeteras and d. sabela grimes. It sounds warmly alive and direct — dance to live music is vital and rare.

At Williamstown Theatre Festival, the first week of nine solo plays are opening on July 6 — Celebrating Black Radical Imagination brings together three new performances, three playwrights and actors each week.

As they begin, Michel, a warmly charismatic Haitian-American, has lived in Brooklyn for many years … and news from home re-ignites memories of the home he has had to leave and will always miss.

His companions on stage this week will range across the world, in their stories — Yoruban folklore weaves through Hip Hop and ideas of freedom. An American woman who comes to the Dominican Republic, to an event every year held to commemorate the people who died and suffered in the 1937 Haitian Massacre.

The festival is opening with Border of Lights by Guadalís Del Carmen, Freaky Dee, Baby by NSangou Njikam and Ghosts of the Diaspora by France-Luce Benson, directed by Colette Robert. And they are powerful in the sheer breadth of their imagination and their courage, and the human warmth in their stories.

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