Promising productions range from Crystal Pite at Pacific Northwest Ballet to the gender-queer inventions of Cherdonna Shinatra.

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George Balanchine’s “Jewels”

Pacific Northwest Ballet kicks off its 45th season with Mr. B’s 1967 full-length, plotless ballet, a glorious merging of French romance (“Emeralds”), American jazz (“Rubies”) and Russian classicism (“Diamonds”). A fresh twist this time around, for its 50th anniversary: new costumes, designed by Jerome Kaplan (the creative eye behind the costumes of PNB’s “Roméo et Juliette,” “Cendrillon” and “Giselle”). Sept. 22-Oct. 1, McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle; $30-187 (206-441-2424 or pnb.org). — Moira Macdonald

 

BANDALOOP

Some “serious” people dismiss BANDALOOP as mere stunt dancers and lump them in with cirque/aerial trends that involve obvious physical prowess and training — but don’t qualify as “serious” dance. However, consider this: Donald Byrd, artistic director of Spectrum Dance Theater (an award-winning choreographer who is notorious for not suffering fools), says BANDALOOP’s upcoming performance might be one of the most exciting offers of the season. Their outdoor aerial work, he said, “reminds me again of some humans’ willingness to take risks, and that the human body is extraordinary.” Oct. 5-7, Meany Center, 1313 N.E. 41st St., Seattle; $35-$52 (800-859-5342 or artsuw.org). — Brendan Kiley

 

“Kissing Like Babies: Part III of one great, bright, brittle alltogetherness”

Cherdonna Shinatra’s “Kissing Like Babies” runs Oct. 12-15 at On the Boards. (Jiji Lee)
Cherdonna Shinatra’s “Kissing Like Babies” runs Oct. 12-15 at On the Boards. (Jiji Lee)

If the Seattle dance scene is known for one thing, it’s our weirdness. Tonya Lockyer, director of Velocity Dance Center, says Seattle is nationally known for bringing a special kind of eccentricity to the table. Cherdonna Shinatra (“Cher,” plus “Madonna,” plus a slurred version of “Sinatra”) is one of our city’s beautifully queer creatures — exaggerated drag-queen makeup, exquisite dance training and a unique way of fusing absurdity with pathos. Jody Kuehner, who created the character, cut her teeth in contemporary dance but turned to cabaret, then theater and performance art. (She recently made a surreal deconstruction of Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House.”) And she is a spinal tap into U.S. gender culture, siphoning out what we don’t usually like to examine. The first sentence of her description of “Kissing Like Babies” reads: “Explore the infantilization of the feminine.” God only knows what she’ll bring to the stage, but you’ll want to see it. Oct. 12-15, On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., Seattle; $23-$30 (206-217-9886 or ontheboards.org). — BK

 

Joanna Kotze and Kim Lusk

The West Coast premiere of Joanna Kotze’s “It has happened/It will happen/It is happening” will be staged at Velocity Dance Center Nov. 3-5. (Ian Douglas)
The West Coast premiere of Joanna Kotze’s “It has happened/It will happen/It is happening” will be staged at Velocity Dance Center Nov. 3-5. (Ian Douglas)

Dance audiences might remember an indelible image from 2013 at On the Boards — dancer Raja Feather Kelly (tall, willowy, black) sitting on a stark stage next to choreographer Zoe Scofield (short, thin, white) while they barked at each other like angry dogs. Later in the piece, Kelly walked across the stage with the studied grace of royalty. Kelly’s combination of ferocity and elegance promises to make a reappearance in the West Coast premiere of Joanna Kotze’s “It has happened/It will happen/It is happening,” a three-dancer piece about the “the seductiveness of classifying, ordering and structuring” while trying to keep a sense of nuance about people and events. Guggenheim fellow Netta Yerushalmy and Kotze will star as well. Afterward, Kim Lusk — who has worked with Scofield — will give a first peek at her new project, “Trio in Silver.” Nov. 3-5, Velocity Dance Center, 1612 12th Ave., Seattle; $18-$25 (206-325-8773 or velocitydancecenter.org). — BK

 

“Her Story”

All you Crystal Pite junkies out there who flocked to her ant-swarm ballet “Emergence,” get ready to freak out: PNB is presenting the local premiere of her 2010 work “Plot Point,” set to Bernard Herrmann’s iconic “Psycho” score. SCREECH! Also on this rare all-female-choreographer bill is Twyla Tharp’s punk romance “Afternoon Ball” and Jessica Lang’s “Her Door to the Sky,” inspired by the work of Georgia O’Keeffe. Nov. 3-12, McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle; $30-187 (206-441-2424 or pnb.org). — MM

 

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