When someone talks about a live dance performance, a ballet is usually what first springs to mind. Connecticut is home to a number of top notch ballet schools and companies, and some of them put on galas and other presentations to show off their talent and to entertain ballet lovers. There are other forms of dance, as well, which can be seen in performances around the state. Connecticut has all of those and more to offer this summer. Here are just five of the top live dance performances coming to the Nutmeg State this summer.

Connecticut Ballet: Summer Dance Caravan
20 Acosta St.
Stamford, CT 06902
(203) 964-1211

Dates: July 14,16,17,23 and 30 at assorted venues, most begin at 7:30 or 8 p.m.

The Connecticut Ballet has a long lineup of live performances this summer. Its “Summer Dance Caravan” kicks off at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 14 at the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts, which is located at 40 Jessup Road in Westport. On July 16, the company will appear at Untermeyer Park in Yonkers, New York, and then return to Connecticut the next evening for a performance at Ives Concert Park in Danbury. On July 23 they travel to West Hartford, to headline the Annual Marge Wilder Memorial Tribute Performance. The “caravan” comes to a halt at Middlesex College in Middletown on July 30. The performances include a mix of solos, duets and trios, including both old classics and new world premieres. For more information on the programs, locations, ticket prices and opportunities to “Picnic with the Dancers” and other associated events, consult the web site.

The Nutmeg Conservatory For The Arts: Summer Dance Festival
58 Main St.
Torrington, CT 06790
(860) 482-4413

Dates: July 29 at 8 p.m., July 30 and August 13 at noon

The Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts is one of Connecticut’s top ballet schools, and its students and graduates will demonstrate what they have learned during their 47th annual Summer Dance Festival in late July and mid-August. On July 29 and 30, the conservatory appears at the Warner Theatre’s Nancy Marine Studio Theatre in Torrington. Students, graduates and guest dancers will perform a mixed selection of classical and contemporary pieces. Tickets can be purchased through the Warner Theater box office. The students will also present a demonstration and performance at the Nutmeg’s premiere studio on August 13.

The Russian Grand Ballet Presents Swan Lake
The Bushnell
166 Capitol Ave.
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 987-5900

Dates: September 21, 7:30 p.m.

Swan Lake is the ballet by which all other classical ballets are measured, and who better to perform it for Connecticut audiences than a troop from the homeland of its composer, Pyotr Illich Tchaikovsky? On September 21, just as summer is coming to its end, the Russian Grand Ballet will present the ballet in its entirety, with two intermissions between its three acts. The company is composed of graduates of the top ballet schools in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kiev (which although in the Ukraine was once part of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union).

RelatedTop Spots To See Ballet In Connecticut

Bye, Bye Birdie At The Goodspeed Opera House
Goodspeed Opera House
6 Main St.
East Haddam, CT 06423
(860) 873-8668

Dates: June 4 – September 4, (Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.; Wednesdays and Thursdays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Fridays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.)

Broadway musicals are as much about the dancing as they are about the singing, and from late June through September 4, the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam presents one of the classic musicals of the last century: Bye, Bye, Birdie. Built around the pandemonium that ensues when a famous Elvis-like pop star visits a small town in Ohio in the 1960s, the musical is packed with great songs and big dance numbers.

Michael Jackson Tribute With Joby Rogers
69 Main St.
New Britain, CT 06051
(860) 229-2072

Date: September 24, 8 p.m.

Michael Jackson moved so much on stage that his performances were almost as much about his dancing as his singing. Joby Rogers is the performer whom Jackson himself selected as his “Official Substitute.” Rodgers’s uncanny resemblance to the legendary singer/dancer/songwriter both in looks and art earned him a cover of Rolling Stone. Now Rodgers brings his company to New Britain to close out the summer season on September 24. The three hour performance includes Rogers performing many of Jackson’s best-loved songs and presenting many of his signature moves, including the Moonwalk and other dances. A troop of professional back-up dancers helps Joby make this an evening of song, spectacle and dance that fans of the late legend will remember for many years to come.

Related: Top Spots For Tap Dancing Lessons In Connecticut

Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience. His work can be found at Examiner.com.