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Kilts, kung fu and a U.S. treasurer: It isn't the same old dance season in Richmond.

click to enlarge Nov. 8:Shaolin Warriors
  • Nov. 8:Shaolin Warriors

Look, you need to see some dance this fall. It will invigorate you. It will inspire you. And above all else, it will keep you away from the TV during election season. Luckily, your town has plenty of local talent, complemented by some choice visiting artists. So get out your calendar.

Richmond Ballet's two fall studio shows will please ballet experts and novices alike. In the first, dancers trade tutus for kilts in Colin Connor's sexy Scottish ode "Streets and Legends," paired with a world premiere by Richmond dancer-turned-choreographer Philip Neal (Sept. 27-Oct. 7). The second presents "Duo Concertant," a collaboration of choreographer George Balanchine and composer Igor Stravinsky, with "A Rose for Miss Emily," an engrossing work in which Agnes DeMille brings to life a Southern gothic story by William Faulkner (Nov. 1-11).

Cut to the Grace Street Theater. A modern dance fixture, the Starr Foster Dance Project, brings back Foster's sharp-edged "Alice," an audience favorite (Oct. 4-7). The next weekend, Oct. 12-13, Virginia Commonwealth University Dance presents the New York-based Kate Weare Company — a group on a sharp upward rise, known for works of intense intimacy and ferocity. Its star dancer, Leslie Kraus, is a university alumna.

The Firehouse Theater plays host to the Yes Dance Invitational, formerly Yes, Virginia Dance, Oct. 19-20, presented by and featuring K Dance. In addition to several companies from around the country, guest artist Courtney Jones, named one of Dance Magazine's 25 to watch for 2012, performs with her Texas-based company, Hope Stone Dance.

At the end of the month, head out to Glen Allen for the Latin Ballet of Virginia's new work, "Volver," which investigates Chicano identity and was inspired by the life of former U.S. Treasurer Anna Cabral (Oct. 26-28).

It may be more physical theater than dance, but the Shaolin Warriors' Nov. 8 performance is not to be missed. They'll shake CenterStage with an explosion of theatrical kung fu excellence. What does that even mean? Go find out.

And at the University of Richmond's Modlin Center on Nov. 28, you'll be riveted by the glorious dancers of Philadanco. Since its founding in 1970 as a predominantly African-American company, it's become one of the country's great dance institutions.

With such a diverse dance season to anticipate, Richmonders won't need to look far to distract themselves from the political danse macabre.


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