DANCE: A Perfect Blend 

For ballet lovers, Richmond Ballet offers Studio Series 1, Sept. 20-25, in its home theater on Canal Street, including a world premiere by Colin Connor (we last saw the ballet perform his jazzy, bad-ass Scottish tribute "Streets and Legends" in March) and the return of Michael Lowe's wacky 1960s-era "Surfside." If you're in the mood for a classic, Concert Ballet of Virginia performs "Sleeping Beauty" Sept. 23-25 at the Woman's Club of Virginia.

A chock-full October lineup begins Oct. 4 at the Grace Street Theater with a "Work-in-Progress" (featuring Virginia Commonwealth University dance majors) and "Dialogue" by choreographer Robert Battle, whose works have been commissioned by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Hubbard Street Dance and the like. As artist-in-residence at VCU's dance department this fall, Battle will also bring his vibrant young company, Battleworks, to perform Oct. 14-15.

Speaking of Alvin Ailey, the Modlin Center for the Arts presents Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's "Ailey II," at the Landmark Theater Oct. 11. It's the athletic and exuberant junior company of the American dance icon. As if this weren't enough, Modlin Center presents renowned tap dancer Savion Glover Oct. 24-25 at Camp Concert Hall. Backed by a 10-piece chamber orchestra, Glover performs a program of ingenious tap dancing to classical music ranging from Vivaldi to Bartok, titled "Classical Savion."

Local favorite Starr Foster Dance Project brings a fall program to the Grace Street Theater Oct. 7-8, that includes the world premiere of "Heroin(e)," a piece for which Foster is recruiting up to 20 dancers. Also on the local modern dance front, Ground Zero Dance Company has something up its sleeve for Nov. 12, involving new work by company members Rob Petres, Pam England, Tommy Parlon and Damion Bond. (The location remains TBA.) Other local treats in November include Richmond Ballet's Studio Series 2, Nov. 1-6, and VCU Dance's Fall Senior Projects, showcasing the choreographic skills of the department's newest crop of graduates. Whether you're a dance aficionado or an absolute newcomer, this season's perfect blend of innovation and classicism should give you plenty to savor. — Lea Marshall

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