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10 standout dance performances to catch this season

Fall’s rich offerings include outdoor festivals, plus hip-hop, ballet, flamenco, folkloric and contemporary dance

Boston Ballet's My'Kal Stromile and Soo-bin Lee in Helen Pickett's "Tsukiyo."Liza Voll

DANCE HAPPENS HERE: 2022 To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the Dance Complex is throwing a free day-long street party in front of its Massachusetts Avenue studios. Other streets around the Central Square arts hub also will be closed to traffic, becoming venues for flash performances, walk-up classes, music, storytelling, and food. The day also marks the launch of a collaboration with Central Square Theater called Community/RITUALS focused on Caribbean culture. Sept. 18, Free. Dance Complex, Cambridge.

DANCE FOR WORLD COMMUNITY FESTIVAL José Mateo Ballet Theatre presents the 13th iteration of this annual lively outdoor festival, which presents more than 50 performances and a wide range of free introductory dance classes by companies representing nearly two dozen styles of movement. The day-long event, which is titled “New Movements for Peace” this year, also features exhibits and activities by local nonprofits as well as food and crafts vendors. Sept. 24, Free. Massachusetts Avenue between Putnam and Bow streets.


JEAN APPOLON EXPRESSIONS The Cambridge-based choreographer taps his own experiences growing up in Haiti in “Traka,” his company’s latest work combining contemporary and folkloric dance with original text and music by Haitian Afrofuturist composer and Berklee professor Val Jeanty. The powerful full-evening work explores dance, culture, and community as pathways to healing from trauma and injustice. (A recording of the work will be available for streaming starting Oct. 13.) Oct. 2, Free (but seating is first come). Multicultural Arts Center, Cambridge.

Boston Ballet in George Balanchine's "Apollo."Brooke Trisolini; courtesy of Boston Ballet

BOSTON BALLET The company’s fall season features two different and dynamic programs. For many, the highlight of “My Obsession” (Oct. 6-16) will be the reprise of Stephen Galloway’s rocking “DEVIL’S/eye,” set to iconic music by the Rolling Stones. The program also includes two masterful classics by Balanchine, and Helen Pickett’s “Tsukiyo.” The program “As Anticipated” (Nov. 3-13) is dedicated to the work of choreographer William Forsythe and includes a world premiere specially crafted for the company. Not to be missed. Tickets $39 and up. Citizens Bank Opera House.


KAIROS DANCE THEATER/PAULA JOSA-JONES Veteran dance fans in the area will remember the provocative work of contemporary dancer/choreographer Paula Josa-Jones. Once a lynchpin of the Boston dance scene, she has not presented a major work for her own company in Boston for more than two decades. But she and longtime associate DeAnna Pellecchia, Kairos Dance Theater’s artistic director, are joining forces for a new evening-length collaboration called “Husk/Vessel,” which examines clothing as both covering and habitat. Oct. 14-15, $20-$25. Boston University Dance Theater.

FOUAD BOUSSOUF Though he trained in hip-hop, the native Moroccan dancer/choreographer also pulls other dance forms into his provocative work, including contemporary, circus arts, and traditional North African styles. Global Arts Live presents the US premiere of the celebratory “Näss,” a work for seven men exploring the power of community. Oct. 14-15, $36-$40. Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston.

LIZ GERRING DANCE COMPANY The New York-based company gives the world premiere of “Harbor,” a dramatic, multi-layered ensemble work combining Gerring’s muscular, athletic movement with poetic illumination (lighting by the illustrious Jennifer Tipton) and live music, performed by the JACK Quartet. Presented by ICA/Boston and Summer Stages Dance, the work unfolds to a newly commissioned score by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams. Oct. 21-22, $20-$30. ICA/Boston.

FARRUQUITO FLAMENCO ÍNTIMO In his new production, the heir to Spain’s legendary Farruco dynasty showcases the history and evolution of flamenco. Farruquito, a preeminent representative of authentic “flamenco puro,” brings a cast of eight dancers and musicians for a show that promises to be powerful and passionate. Nov. 2, $40-$79. Berklee Performance Center.


Olivia Coombs of Boston Dance Theater performs in "The Carol Kaye Project."SARAH TAKASH

BOSTON DANCE THEATER Co-directed by Jessie Jeanne Stinnett and Itzik Galili, the company presents the first full performance of “The Carol Kaye Project,” a collection of light-hearted pieces honoring the seminal bass guitarist. The under-recognized Kaye not only was a founding member of the Wrecking Crew, but recorded with an impressive range of artists, from Marvin Gaye to the Beach Boys. Boston Dance Theater chose works by a diverse group of choreographers, including Karole Armitage and Rena Butler, to celebrate Kaye’s artistry. Nov. 11-12, $36-$40. Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston.

A.I.M. by Kyle Abraham will perform "Requiem."Peter Hönnemann

REQUIEM: FIRE IN THE AIR OF THE EARTH This Celebrity Series co-commission, which pairs the choreography of MacArthur Fellow Kyle Abraham with electronic music composer/producer Jlin, reimagines Mozart’s titanic “Requiem in D minor.” Ten dancers from the choreographer’s company A.I.M. by Kyle Abraham bring to life a work exploring ritual, the afterlife, and rebirth. Nov. 18-19, $49 and up. Boch Center Shubert Theatre.

Karen Campbell can be reached at