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Winter Arts Guide

10 dance programs to add pep to your calendar

From Boston Ballet’s “Cinderella” to percussive extravaganzas, these shows deliver distinctive energy.

Two Boston Ballet dancers performing "Cinderella."Erin Baiano

KEN PIERCE HISTORICAL DANCE PROJECT, RENAISSANCE DANCE Renaissance and Baroque dance expert Ken Pierce, dancer Lynn Menegon, musicians John Tyson and Miyuki Tsurutani on recorders, and Douglas Freundlich on the lute lead a workshop and perform. The 45-minute session concentrates on group dances, called branles (pronunciation: brawls), that resemble rhythmic, patterned folk dances. All ages welcome. The performance features Italian couple dances in unison and alternation from 1581 to 1614, a compendium of stamps, walking patterns, foot brushes and quick jumps. Jan. 27, 6-8 p.m. Free. Northeast Arts, Jamaica Plain. northeastartspace.org

SHAMEL PITTS/TRIBE, BLACK HOLE — TRILOGY AND TRIATHLON The final offering in Pitts’s notable “BLACK Series” triptych considers Afrofuturism as a springboard for this multidisciplinary, science-fiction-like journey from darkness to light. The trio, painted in bronze, illuminated by swirling video projection and bathed in an ambient soundscape, are agile, fluid creatures. Pitts creates an absorbing, evolved universe uniquely its own and an optimistic tale with visions of an ascending Black future. Feb. 9-10. $20-$30 admission. Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. icaboston.org


Three dancers pose for Shamel Pitts's "Black Hole."Itai Zwecker

COMPAGNIE HERVÉ KOUBI, WHAT THE DAY OWES TO THE NIGHT French-Algerian Hervé Koubi’s high-flying tour-de-force returns to the Boston area, and is not-to-be-missed. The primarily North African, all-male company explores brotherhood and masculinity while tracing Koubi’s family history through exuberant and Dervish-like movement. Moments of meditative beauty contrast with a dynamic blend of Capoeira, martial arts, gymnastics, and contemporary dance. Jan. 30-31, 7:30 p.m. $41-$57 admission. Holy Cross Prior Performing Arts Center, Worcester. priorperformingartscenter.holycross.edu

DRUM TAO The explosive Japanese Drum Tao, founded in 1993, performs an array of drums including the thundering o-daiko drum, towering 10-feet on its stand. Musicians who train as athletes engage the entire body to strike the drum with baseball bat size sticks. In contrast, small drums create a Zenlike atmosphere. Traditional Japanese instruments complement twirling dancing, martial arts, and acrobatics. The music-making itself becomes dance. Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m. $20-$55 admission. UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center, Amherst. umassfineartscenter.org. Feb. 2, 8 p.m. $40-$69 admission. Berklee Performance Center, Boston. globalartslive.org


THE 7 FINGERS, DUEL REALITY A reimagined story of “Romeo and Juliet,” whose supporters belong either to the red or blue team, is enacted by this extraordinary Montreal-based circus company. Upon entering the Majestic, audience members receive either a red or blue wrist band and become a cheering fan, thus part of the production. A referee presides over the inventive choreographed acrobatic contest accompanied by live music, with moments of danced tenderness between the lovers. Feb. 7-18, performance times vary. $25-$92.50 admission. Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston. artsemerson.org

BOSTON BALLET Two world premieres are on the Winter Experience program opening in February. Artistic director Mikko Nissinen reconsiders Marius Petipa’s 1898 iconic story ballet “Raymonda,” now in one radiant act with original choreography and costumes. Helen Pickett’s yet-to-be-titled world premiere touches on themes of courage, tenacity, individuality, and community. In March, Boston Ballet performs the celebrated classic by Sir Frederick Ashton, the playful “Cinderella,” with intricate footwork and show-stopping artistry. “Winter Experience,” Feb. 22-March 3, and “Cinderella,” March 14-24. $25-$205 admission. bostonballet.org

Boston Ballet will present "Winter Experience" in March.Liza Voll

SAMSARA NRITYA: EMBRACING DUALITIES THROUGH INDIAN CLASSICAL DANCE Exploring duality and gender in several forms of Indian classical dance, Bharatanatyam, Odissi, and Kathak, dancers Anugraha Raman and Kohal Das present offerings that examine the restoration of harmony, the eternal dance of separation and reunion, and the dual nature of the journey toward spiritual fulfillment. A song of ragas connects nature, music, and spirituality. March 2, 7 p.m. Tickets available soon. Dance Complex, Cambridge. dancecomplex.org


FLAMENCO FESTIVAL Three programs of dance and music include José Fernández Torres, known as Tomatito, who presents his impassioned, and musically intuitive approach to flamenco guitar, with his son, Jose del Tomate, and flamenco dancer, Karime Amaya. Alfonso Losa, internationally acclaimed dancer and choreographer, recognized as bridging classical and leading-edge flamenco, performs with guest dancer Concha Jareño. Gala Flamenca brings Manuel Liñán and Alfonso de Losa with rising-star, El Yiyo. March 2, and 9-10, performance times vary. $44-$89 admission. Berklee Performance Center, Boston. globalartslive.org

MICHAEL FLATLEY’S ‘LORD OF THE DANCE: 25TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR’ The extravaganza that transformed Irish dance returns with Flatley’s new choreography, music, sets, and costumes. There are two opportunities to see this refreshed work, March 12-13, at the Hanover Theater in Worcester, and March 14, at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium. Who can resist armies of dazzling, long-legged dancers performing percussive Mach-speed foot movements in unison beneath stilled torsos? March 12-13, 7 p.m. $53-$99 admission. The Hanover Theatre, Worcester. thehanovertheatre.org. March 14, 8 p.m. $49-$99. Lowell Memorial Auditorium, Lowell. lowellauditorium.com

JESSI STEGALL, ‘THE THEREMIN VIGNETTES’ Jessi Stegall discovered the predecessor of the synthesizer, the theremin, invented in 1920, while listening to violinist Clara Rockmore’s theremin album on a subway ride from Harlem to Bushwick, N.Y. Rockmore’s interpretation of Chopin’s Nocturne, familiar yet eerie, is played by hands that direct sound frequencies between two metal antennas. Rockmore became the instrument’s primary proponent and a subject of Stegall’s compelling new dance. March 15, 8 p.m. $33-$37 admission. Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. globalartslive.org


This story has been updated to correct an error in one of the performance dates of Global Arts Live’s Flamenco Festival.