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fall arts preview

Crtic’s picks: Dance

Step Afrika!, presented by Arts Emerson: The World on Stage, performs at the Cutler Majestic Theatre Nov. 7-9.

The Napolean Complex Project

Step Afrika!, presented by Arts Emerson: The World on Stage, performs at the Cutler Majestic Theatre Nov. 7-9.

SECRETS & MOTION Luminarium Dance Company aims to transform the Somerville Armory in this new multimedia collaboration with photographer Larry Pratt, poet Caryn Oppenheim, and installation artist Hannah Verlin. The evening-length work combines dance, light, and text to explore secrets – the ones we keep as well as those we divulge. Sept. 13-15, $18-$20. The Center for Arts at the Armory, Somerville. 617-477-4494, www.luminariumdance.org

GREEN STREET STUDIOS PERFORMANCE FUND-RAISER For the 20-year-old dance organization, this benefit will help raise funds to transition next June from its current, increasingly expensive space in Cambridge to a more affordable venue. For audiences, it offers what promises to be a dynamite weekend of concerts involving a host of the most esteemed dancers in town. Sept. 14-15, $15-$35. Green Street Studios, Cambridge. 617-864-3191, www.greenstreetstudios.org

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MADHAVI MUDGAL One of the world’s foremost Odissi dancers, the riveting Mudgal can hammer out the Indian dance form’s complex rhythms with her feet while conveying an eloquent story through an expressive glance and a flourish of fingers. American India Foundation and Meru Education Foundation present Mudgal and her troupe as a benefit for victims of the recent Himalayan tsunami. Sept. 14, 6 p.m., $15-$251. National Heritage Museum, Lexington. 781-862-9648, www.imeru.net

NIGHT OF STARS Boston Ballet’s season opener, always one of the year’s highlights, kicks off its 50th anniversary celebration with a free concert on Boston Common. The diverse program with live orchestra includes excerpts of “La Bayadère,” two gorgeous Balanchine works, Jorma Elo’s striking “Plan to B,” and Christopher Bruce’s “Rooster.” Sept. 21, 7 p.m., free. Boston Common (at Beacon and Charles streets). 617-695-6955, www.bostonballet.org

DANCE SHOWCASE 2013 The Dance Program at Boston University packs this annual showcase with an impressive lineup of faculty and special guests spanning five decades and a variety of genres, including an aerial piece by Marin Orlosky Randow. Other participants include Judith Chaffee, Paula Josa-Jones, Lynn Modell, Margot Parsons, DeAnna Pellecchia, and Ingrid Schatz, as well as New York’s Amalgamate Dance Company. Sept. 27-28, $10-$15. Boston University Dance Theater. 617-358-2500, www.bu.edu/fitrec/dance

JOSÉ MATEO BALLET THEATRE The veteran choreographer plumbs his dark side in the opening program of his company’s 28th season. In addition to a world premiere, “Shadows Fleeting” includes the witch hunt-inspired “Covens,” set to James MacMillan’s Symphony No. 3, and “Dark Profiles,” set to Beethoven’s tempestuous Grosse Fuge. Oct. 4-27, $40. Sanctuary Theatre, Cambridge. 617-354-7467, www.ballettheatre.org

RHYTHM OF RAJASTHAN Fusing traditional rhythms and melodies from two distinct communities, one dancer and five musicians offer a colorful take on culture from the Indian state of Rajasthan that ranges from hypnotic to rousing. Presented by World Music/CRASHarts. Oct. 4, 7:30. $25. Johnny D’s, Somerville. 617-876-4275, www.worldmusic.org

IPSWICH MOVING COMPANY Janet Taisey Craft’s skilled aerial troupe toys with gravity in the choreographer’s evening-length “Ground.” Using slings and ropes as well as pedestrian motion, the work contrasts moments of hovering stillness with bursts of soaring flight. Oct. 4-5, $20-$25. Boston University Dance Theater. 617-358-2500, www.brownpapertickets.com

ARMITAGE GONE! DANCE The acclaimed company of boundary-pushing “punk ballerina” Karole Armitage makes its Boston debut with the elegant “Ligeti Essays” and the neon-colored “Rave,” with its 26 dancers painted head to toe. World Music/CRASHarts and the Institute of Contemporary Art co-present. Oct. 18-20, $50. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-876-4275, www.worldmusic.org

LA BAYADÈRE The doomed love of temple dancer Nikiya and the warrior Solar plays out amid the splendor of ancient India in Petipa’s beloved ballet classic. Florence Clerc’s adaptation for Boston Ballet is one of the company’s most vivid productions. Oct. 24-Nov.3, $29-$137. Boston Opera House. 617-695-6955, www.bostonballet.org

PAUL TAYLOR DANCE COMPANY Celebrating its 60th anniversary, one of America’s most esteemed modern dance troupes brings a program that spans 44 years in the creative life of the master choreographer. Last season’s “Perpetual Dawn,” a bucolic ode to the awakening of young love, is a Boston premiere, while “Private Domain” harkens back to 1969. “Black Tuesday” (2001) evokes the resilient spirit of the Great Depression. Nov. 1-3, $40-$75. Citi Shubert Theatre. 617-482-6661, www.celebrityseries.org

RASHAUN MITCHELL & SILAS RIENER Newhouse Center for the Humanities brings the two innovative creators back to Wellesley College for another site-specific work that plays off the glass surround and soaring ceilings of Tishman Commons. Titled “Way In,” the piece is an excerpt from a new work commissioned by NYC’s Danspace Project. Nov. 2, 3:30 p.m., free. Wellesley College’s Tishman Commons, Wellesley. 781-283-3623, www.newhouse-center.org

STEP AFRIKA! Slaps, claps, stomps, and kicks — rhythm is king in stepping, a tradition that grew from African-based communities to America’s urban streets. Arts Emerson presents this spirited Washington, D.C., troupe, which for almost two decades has preserved, spread, and kept vigorous this dynamic dance form. This one’s for the whole family. Nov. 7-9, $25-$65. Cutler Majestic Theatre. 617-824-8400, www.artsemerson.org

ADELE MYERS AND DANCERS New England-based choreographer Adele Myers decided to address her fear of heights by learning to soar on a trapeze. The experience inspired her latest multidisciplinary work, “Einstein’s Happiest Thought,” which also explores the ideas of risk and anticipation. Music is by composer Josh Quillen of Brooklyn-based quartet So Percussion. Nov. 8-9, 7:30 p.m., $10-$20. Institute of Contemporary Art, 617-478-3103, www.icaboston.org

STEPHEN PETRONIO COMPANY With compelling visuals, intriguing costumes and movement that is both poetic and rigorously athletic, the company’s most recent work, “Like Lazarus Did,” explores the mythologies of resurrection and rebirth. World Music/CRASHarts presents this Boston premiere. Nov. 15-17, $50. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-876-4275, www.worldmusic.org

Karen Campbell can be reached at karencampbell4@rcn.com.
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