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Critic's Picks: Dance

Boston Ballet's 'Night of Stars' features guest artists Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg of the Royal Ballet. Boston Ballet's "Night of Stars" features guest artists Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg of the Royal Ballet.
By Karen Campbell
Globe Correspondent / September 13, 2009

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BOSTON BALLET, “NIGHT OF STARS’’ The company opens its first full season at the Opera House with a gala evening showcasing the variety and depth of its talent and repertoire. This promises to be a dazzler, with works by Balanchine, Petipa, Nijinsky, Helen Pickett, and Jirí Kylián and performances by everyone from principals to rising stars and guest artists Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg of the Royal Ballet. Sept. 19. Opera House. $25-$132. 617-695-6955, www.bostonballet.org

NICOLE PIERCE’S “REQUIEM’’ Ego Art Inc.’s veteran choreographer has been germinating this multimedia dance installation to Mozart’s brilliant Requiem for roughly a decade. It’s her biggest undertaking yet, as she and eight dancers perform in a specially constructed white box using walls and ceiling for video projections of the natural world as it changes through the four seasons. Sept. 24-26. $25. Arts at the Armory, Somerville. 617-628-3175, www.egoartinc.com

PARSONS DANCE David Parsons’s talented troupe brings the Boston premiere of his evening-length “Remember Me,’’ a collaboration with the Grammy-nominated rock-opera group East Village Opera Company. The extravaganza combines contemporary dance, live and recorded rock/opera, and a multimedia design that features digital lighting, special effects, and projections. Sept. 25-27. $30-$50. Presented by World Music/CRASHarts and Emerson College. Cutler Majestic Theatre. 617-876-4275, www.worldmusic.org

BOSTON BALLET, “GISELLE’’ The epitome of 19th-century Romantic ballet, “Giselle’’ is the poetic story of a peasant girl who falls for a prince in disguise, dies of a broken heart, and takes up with a band of spirits, the Wilis. Boston Ballet’s production, staged by Maina Gielgud, is acclaimed for its passionate, cohesive blend of dance and drama. Oct. 1-11. $25-$132. Opera House. 617-695-6955, www.bostonballet.org

BOSTON UNIVERSITY DANCE SHOWCASE This annual event traditionally offers a lively and varied sampler of dance by BU faculty, alumni, and guests. This fall’s incarnation features a collaboration among longtime friends Ann Brown Allen, Lynn Modell, and Micki Taylor-Pinney, as well as choreography by Sun Ho Kim, Michael Jahoda, Dawn Kramer/Stephen Buck, Margot Parsons, and DeAnna Pellecchia/Ingrid Schatz. Oct. 2-3. $10-$16. Boston University Dance Theater. 617-358-2500, www.bu.edu/fitrec/programs

PACO PEÑA FLAMENCO COMPANY The masterful, imaginative flamenco guitarist with lightning fingers and a sense of spontaneous invention guides his musical quartet, three acclaimed dancers, and cantaor Miguel Ortega in the collaborative flamenco celebration “A Compás, In the Rhythm.’’ Oct. 4. $30-$42. Presented by World Music/CRASHarts. Berklee Performance Center. 617-876-4275, www.worldmusic.org

JOSÉ MATEO BALLET THEATRE The intrepid choreographer opens his company’s 24th season with a program pairing old and new: the darkly evocative “Isle of the Dead’’ from 1993, set to the brooding romanticism of Rachmaninoff, and the world premiere of “Lunar Effects,’’ set to Symphony No. 2 by American minimalist master Philip Glass. Oct. 8-25. $35. Sanctuary Theatre, Cambridge. 617-354-7467, www.ballettheatre.org

APARNA SINDHOOR DANCE THEATER, “THE ENCOUNTER’’ This evening of contemporary Indian dance by Sindhoor and her company features the US premiere of her work “The Encounter,’’ based on a short story by India’s renowned writer Mahasweta Devi about an unarmed woman’s fight against the military oppression of indigenous communities. Natraj’s Phil Scarff and Bertram Lehmann provide live music. Oct. 16-17. $15-$20. Dance Complex, Cambridge. 617-776-7939, www.navarasa.org

RONALD K. BROWN/EVIDENCE With blazing integrity, Ronald K. Brown seeds his works with a deep-seated spirituality and movement that blends African dance-inspired power and the elegance and control of ballet and modern dance. His talented company performs pieces including the Boston premiere of “Two-Year-Old Gentleman.’’ Oct. 16-18. $40. Presented by World Music/CRASHarts. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-876-4275, www.worldmusic.org

STREB EXTREME ACTION For more than two decades, firebrand choreographer Elizabeth Streb has been testing the boundaries of human movement with breathtaking imagination and daring, catapulting her courageous dancers through all manner of virtuosic action, often involving circus-like sets and contraptions. The new “STREB: BRAVE’’ explores the adventurous possibilities of the circle and perpetual motion. Oct. 22-25. $35-$40. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-478-3103, www.icaboston.org

BOSTON BALLET, “WORLD PASSIONS’’ This mixed repertory program features two world premieres: a commissioned pas de deux by Helen Pickett set to the music of Arvo Part, and a new version of the Spanish-flavored classic “Paquita’’ by Pino Alosa (after Marius Petipa). The program also includes Viktor Plotnikov’s “Rhyme’’ and Jorma Elo’s “Carmen/Illusions.’’ Oct. 22-Nov. 1. $25-$132. Opera House. 617-695-6955, www.bostonballet.org

BOSTON CONSERVATORY DANCE THEATRE Longtime José Limón dancer Jennifer Scanlon returns to the Conservatory to set on its talented students excerpts from the master’s “There Was a Time,’’ inspired by Ecclesiastes. The program also includes three premieres by Gianni Di Marco, Bonnie Mathis, and Mary Wolff. Nov. 5-7. $7-$22. Midway Studios. 617-912-9222, www.bostonconservatory.edu/tickets

DEBORAH ABEL’S “THE BEAUTY ROAD’’ For her evening-length exploration and celebration of family and the power of community, the choreographer has gathered seven dancers and eight musicians, all performing live under the direction of Lee Perlman. Nov. 14-15. $20-$25. Tsai Performance Center. 617-353-8725, www.deborahabeldance.com

BEAT TREE DANCE COMPANY This collaborative troupe of women celebrates personal expression arising from the culture of the African diaspora. The company’s choreographers draw from West African, hip-hop, Haitian folkloric, jazz, and modern dance styles, using live drumming as musical fuel. This showcase features choreography by Widmine Remy, Marianne Harkless, Dayenne Walters, and Terra Weaver. Nov. 20-22. $15-$20. Dance Complex, Cambridge. 617-894-6885, www.beattreedance.com

BOSTON BALLET, “THE NUTCRACKER’’ It’s the holiday season classic that never seems to get old, a beloved tradition for dance lovers from all over New England and beyond. Nov. 27-Dec. 27. $35-$132. Opera House. 617-695-6955. www.bostonballet.org

KAREN CAMPBELL

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