DANCE: Setting the table with the most anticipated dance events of the fall 

click to enlarge The Modlin Center plays host to Urban Bush Women on Sept. 27.

Hayim Heron

The Modlin Center plays host to Urban Bush Women on Sept. 27.

Whether your thematic palate craves humor, philosophy, community, drama, romanticism or sheer psychedelic spectacle, the fall dance season boasts a wildly diverse menu capable of sating your appetite for invention and artistry.

The Latin Ballet of Virginia offers the first course, serving up its newest performing arts showpiece, "Victor, the True Spirit of Love," based on the life of Victor Torres. His childhood was a battle against addiction and gang culture, but his story is ultimately one of redemption and hope. Torres and his family call Richmond home, so expect to feel the healing power of community emanating from the Grace Street Theater on Sept. 7-9.
f your musical taste buds hunger for the mystical and celestial, head to Dogtown Dance Theatre for the newest multigenre collaborative venture from RVA Dance Collective artistic director Jess Burgess: "Dark Side of the Moon." Coinciding with the 45th anniversary of Pink Floyd's definitive rock offering, the performance is poised to be memorable and equally epic in scope. Using the classic album as inspiration, Burgess, known for her inventive perspective, unites local artists for a dynamic theater performance promising a grand moving set and a human-sized hamster wheel. Whet your appetite with this kaleidoscopic and consciousness-expanding experience on its first weekend of shows, Sept. 21-22, so you can save room for a dance feast that the following weekend holds elsewhere, or grab a second helping Sept. 28-29.

Reserve your seat at the Alice Jepson Theater on Thursday, Sept. 27, to be part of a visceral and expressive happening about hair. The Modlin Center plays host to Urban Bush Women, a New York-based collection of energetic and honest artists presenting "Hair and Other Stories." The striking and textured dance theater work uses the topic of hair to weave together personal narratives that explore issues of race, beauty and identity.

Once you're ready for your next course, see what Starr Foster Dance has cooking at the Grace Street Theater Sept. 27-30. Its 17th season opens with Anthology, a six-piece program featuring four revivals and two world premieres. Though all the choreography is Foster's, the music comes from various places, as distant as Los Angeles and as close as company member Ryan Davis. Savor the athleticism and vibrancy of Foster's group work and treasure a bittersweet moment as 14-year veteran Jordan Glunt takes her final bow.

Richmond Ballet will be popping bottles in celebration of its 35th season, opening with a gala show Sept. 28-29 at the Carpenter Theatre at Dominion Energy Center. Artistic director Stoner Winslett has packed the program with a suite of excerpts from the cupboard of Richmond Ballet favorites, spotlighting choreographers who have contributed to the artistic growth of the company. George Balanchine's "Who Cares?" is set to grand George Gershwin tunes and is the cherry on top of an evening worthy of some extra bubbly. Catch some of the company's most memorable moments and raise your glass to the future of this mainstay of the Richmond dance scene.

For a philosophical dance delicacy with an intoxicating spice, treat your senses to contemporary Indian dance at the Grace Street Theater Oct. 26-27. Virginia Commonwealth University plays host to Ananya Dance Theatre, a Minnesota-based company of multifaceted storytellers whose practice is rooted in social justice. The newest creation, "Shaatranga: at the Edge of New Worlds," will continue its mission to offer a global perspective on the lives and dreams of women, so carve out time to expand your palate and fuel your fire.

Once you've simmered down, waltz over to Richmond Ballet's Studio Theatre for Studio One, starring a newly acquired work by iconic ballet and Broadway choreographer Jerome Robbins. If you enjoy being swept off your feet, you'll swoon over Robbins' "In the Night," a masterpiece for three couples set to Frédéric Chopin's "Nocturnes," where subtle dance dramas unfold beneath a midnight sky. Complementing Robbins' work will be a world premiere by Nicole Haskins, who returns to create her second piece for the company from Nov. 6-11.

Before you fill your plate with sugarplums and marzipan this holiday season, tempt your taste buds with an eclectic movement at Yes Dance Festival from Nov. 30-Dec. 1 on the Firehouse Theatre stage. For the 20th edition of the festival, Kay Weinstein Gary is bringing eight companies from around the country, each presenting one signature work for an overall banquet of many flavors. With so many options to choose from, there's no doubt you'll find something to suit your taste.

Get out there and feed your soul!

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