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TEN TINY DANCES The Dance Complex hosts this provocative evening of movement specifically designed to explore the creative process confined by limited time and space. Fourteen local choreographers will accept the challenge to create new work atop a 4-foot-by-4-foot platform just inches from the audience in a cabaret setting. A different lineup each night. Sept. 13-15, $10-$100. Dance Complex, Cambridge. 617-547-9363, www.dancecomplex.org

GISELLE A beloved touchstone 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 when he deceives her, and takes up with a band of spirits. It’s a moving, enduring classic, and company ballet master Larissa Ponomarenko puts her distinctive stamp on the staging for Boston Ballet’s production. Sept. 19-29, $37-$169. Citizens Bank Opera House. 617-695-6955, www.bostonballet.org

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ANNE TERESA DE KEERSMAEKER The internationally renowned choreographer and her company return to Boston for the first time in more than three decades. They bring one of the great postmodern classics, “Rosas: Fase, Four Movements to the Music of Steve Reich.” The ground-breaking dance draws from the musical structure of phase shifting to create a continuous play of evolving shapes and patterns. Sept. 19–21, $25-$35. Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston. 617-478-3103, www.icaboston.org

WE TRY TO LIVE TOGETHER In this Next Steps for Boston Dance presentation, choreographers Callie Chapman, Michael Figueroa, Meghan McLyman and Kristen Duffy Young, Marsha Parrilla, Catherine Siller, and J. Michael Winward offer personal and political works that explore the issues that drive us apart, from gender and identity to migration. Sept. 26-28, $20-$30. Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.bcaonline.org

MATERIAL DEVIANCE IN CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN CULTURE The Dance Complex in association with New Movement Collaborative presents this performance by Italian-born choreographer/hybrid performance artist Alice Gosti. As the title might suggest, the work explores our penchant for “stuff” and our often conflicted relationship to the objects that clutter the landscape of our lives. Sept. 27-29, $10-$100. Dance Complex, Cambridge. 617-547-9363, www.dancecomplex.org

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I AM TANGO This award-winning multimedia touring production from Argentina and Uruguay, featuring 24 professional dancers and musicians, traces the artistic evolution over time of this most sensual of dance genres. A central character named “Tango” journeys through time and different cultures to illuminate how tango has changed over the years yet kept its passionate essence. Oct. 9, $49-$95. Regent Theatre, Arlington. 781-646-4747, www.regenttheatre.com

FERNANDA GHI DANCE COMPANY The internationally renowned tango artist brings her eight dancers for the Boston premiere of “Black + White,” set to the irresistible music of Astor Piazzolla. Blending Argentine tango with other dance styles, the theatrical dance work in four acts examines concepts of opposition: love vs. hate, dream vs. reality, man vs. woman, naked vs. clothed. Presented by Global Arts Live. Oct. 11-13, $58. Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. 617-876-4275, www.globalartslive.org

nora chipaumire Born in Zimbabwe and based in New York, the provocative dance-maker has made it her mission to challenge our preconceptions. With “#PUNK 100% POP *N!&GA,” she and her company of dancers and musicians mine punk, pop, and rumba to explore questions of power and status and how they are manifest in the body. Oct. 18-19, $15-$25. Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston. 617-478-3103, www.icaboston.org

TWIST & SHOUT! This time around, OrigiNation Cultural Art Center’s annual evening of dance, spoken word, and music celebrates the youth-serving organization’s landmark 25th anniversary. The Professional Dance Division will perform new works as well as a retrospective drawing from repertoire over the past quarter century. Oct. 18, $40-$90. Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. 617-522-3900, www.originationinc.org

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RACINES BLACK DANCE FESTIVAL This annual festival, coming up on its third year, explores how African dance has evolved in the Americas. In addition to workshops and lecture/demonstrations, the festival presents an evening show for the public featuring dancers working in forms ranging from traditional West African dance to house and break dance. Oct. 18, $10-$25. Roxbury Community College Mainstage. 876-615-8725, www.racinesfestival.org

BLACK GRACE For nearly 25 years, this spirited company has celebrated the Samoan and New Zealand roots of founder Neil Ieremia though innovative, boundary-busting dance works. The company’s repertoire is known for its powerful physicality and conceptual integrity, often drawing from the rich storytelling traditions of the South Pacific. Presented by the Celebrity Series of Boston. Oct. 26-27, $60-$75. Boch Center Shubert Theatre. 617-482-6661, www.celebrityseries.org

NEW DANCES FOR GOETHE-INSTITUT BOSTON This commission, to celebrate the opening of the institute’s newly restored building, pairs Boston Dance Theater and Sound Icon for a new dance theater work set to musical selections by iconic German composers. The site-specific choreography is by BDT co-director Jessie Jeanne Stinnett with live music led by Sound Icon artistic director Jeffrey Means. Nov. 1-2, Free (reservation suggested). Goethe-Institut Boston. 617-610-9398, www.goethe.de/boston

KAIROS DANCE THEATER After a four-year development process, the company unveils its new “Object,” which examines the feminine experience. Featuring music by Ani DiFranco, Annie Lennox, and Fiona Apple, among others, the choreography draws inspiration from iconic Hollywood and fashion imagery, feminist poetry, and personal stories to help explore and explode stereotypes and gender clichés. Nov. 15-17, $25-30, Plaza Theater at the BCA. 617-933-8600, www.kairosdancetheater.org

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BODYTRAFFIC This internationally recognized repertory troupe, based in Los Angeles, has made its mark over the past decade plus with top-notch commissions from some of today’s most intriguing choreographers, in styles embracing contemporary, jazz, and ballet. This Global Arts Live program features the Boston premieres of choreography by dance collective Wewolf, Ohad Naharin, Micaela Taylor, and BalletX cofounder Matthew Neenan. Nov. 15-17, $58. Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston. 617-876-4275, www.globalartslive.org

DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM The ground-breaking company, founded by dance pioneer Arthur Mitchell an astonishing 50 years ago, is taking Mitchell’s message of empowerment through the arts around the world this season. They make a one-night-only stop locally through Music Worcester, with choreography including Claudia Schreier’s new “Passage,” commemorating the spirit and resilience of the first Africans in English North America 400 years ago. Nov. 15, $25-$65. The Hanover Theatre, Worcester. 877-571-7469, www.thehanovertheatre.org


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