Best bets for summer 2012, from Seattle Times arts writer Michael Upchurch.

Michael Upchurch | Seattle Times arts writer

Seattle International Dance Festival: Beyond the Threshold (June 1-10): This annual dance fest inevitably presents major talents, both local and from abroad, in the intimate settings of Raisbeck Hall on Cornish College of the Arts’ Denny Triangle campus. Free outdoor shows on nearby Westlake Avenue are also a draw (206-552-0694 or

Northwest New Works (June 8-17): At On the Boards’ yearly showcase of experimental fare in dance, music and theater, you can sometimes catch brilliant talents on the rise. This year’s dance offerings look especially strong (206-217-9888 or

Seattle Chamber Music Society Summer Festival (July 2-29): Local classical-music lovers know just what a stellar event this is, as top-notch talents — often the principal players from North America’s finest orchestras — get together for four weeks and deliver dazzling performances of classic chamber works at Benaroya’s recital hall (206-283-8808 or

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“The Planets — An HD Odyssey” (July 2 and 14): The Seattle Symphony takes inspiration from “2001: A Space Odyssey” in these Benaroya Hall performances of works by R. Strauss, Ligeti and Holst as high-definition footage from NASA’s solar-system explorations is projected above the orchestra (206-215-4747 or

Michael Upchurch: