A classic pointe-shoe ballet; a weekend of work examining masculinity, queerness, race and gender; and an array of new choreography all over town — yes, it’s fall in Seattle and the dance is begun. Here are a few highlights of the season.
“Carmina Burana” & “Agon”
Pacific Northwest Ballet kicks off its 2019-20 season with a study in contrasts: Kent Stowell’s more-is-more spectacle “Carmina Burana,” complete with singers and wandering monks and a massive golden wheel, and George Balanchine’s minimalist classic “Agon.” Of the two, the latter is worth the ticket price all by itself: Another of Balanchine’s brilliant collaborations with composer Igor Stravinsky, “Agon” is alluringly spiky, with every move from its leotard-and-tights-clad dancers utterly unexpected. (In the breathtaking pas de deux, the woman goes into a supported arabesque — and the man drops to the floor, while still holding her hand.) The ballet premiered at Balanchine’s New York City Ballet in 1957, and still looks completely modern; it’s a work that’s forever young. Sept. 27-Oct. 6; Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle; tickets from $37; 206-441-2424, pnb.org — M.M.
“Property of Opaqueness”
Velocity Dance Center is known for an interdisciplinary, no-holds-barred approach to dance, and “Property of Opaqueness,” from choreographer Takahiro Yamamoto, promises to deliver a case study in this commitment to pushing the boundaries of what dance can do. Part of a larger multiyear project called Opacity of Performance, “Property of Opaqueness” joins a body of work — including art appearing simultaneously at the Henry Art Gallery — investigating the complex interaction between performer and viewer. 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6, Velocity Dance Center, 1621 12th Ave., Seattle; tickets from $7; 206-325-8773, velocitydancecenter.org — M.B.
Chamber Dance Company
One of the Seattle dance community’s treasures, Chamber Dance Company — in residence at the University of Washington — has as its mission to present, record and archive modern dance works of historical and artistic significance. The company’s fall concert has four such works: an early-career José Limón trio from 1945, “Concerto Grosso”; Talley Beatty’s 1947 solo “Mourner’s Bench,” set to the African American spiritual “There Is a Balm in Gilead”; Seattle dance legend Mark Morris’ 1982 work “Canonic 3/4 Studies,” set to ballet-studio music; and Brian Brooks’ 2012 duet “First Fall,” created for New York City Ballet ballerina Wendy Whelan. Oct. 10-13; Meany Hall, University of Washington campus, 4040 George Washington Lane N.E., Seattle; tickets from $10 students, $22 regular; 206-543-4880, dance.washington.edu/events/chamber-dance-company-concerts — M.M.
“BOYS IN TROUBLE”
You only have to read Velocity Dance Center’s promo copy to get excited about Sean Dorsey Dance’s “BOYS IN TROUBLE”: “True transsexual confessions. An unabashed love letter between black queer men. A sendup of all things macho. A queer spin on butchness. Real talk about whiteness. An invitation to look deeply at shame. Giving witness to hurt and heartbreak. A road map for another way.” Sold. Critically acclaimed transgender modern choreographer Dorsey will bring “BOYS IN TROUBLE” to Velocity for just one weekend packed with work examining masculinity, queerness, race and gender — issues that the dance world would do well to take on as its long-running sexism and racism crash into an emerging ethos of inclusion and necessary developments such as pointe shoes for dancers of color and public displays of support for boys who dance. Oct. 17-20; Velocity Dance Center, 1621 12th Ave., Seattle; tickets from $15; 206-325-8773, velocitydancecenter.org — M.B.
Here’s a welcome rarity at Pacific Northwest Ballet: an evening of all-new work, all from local choreographers. Presenting world-premiere ballets will be Eva Stone, founder/producer of CHOP SHOP: Bodies of Work; Donald Byrd, artistic director of Spectrum Dance Theater and a Tony Award-nominated choreographer (“The Color Purple”); and PNB corps member Miles Pertl, whose work has been seen at the company’s Next Step and PNB School performances. Stone’s work, “Foil,” will be set to music by female composers from centuries past (Nadia Boulanger, Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, Fanny Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann); Byrd’s, called “Love and Loss,” is set to music by Emmanuel Witzthum, and Pertl’s (as yet untitled) is scored by Jherek Bischoff. Nov. 8-17; Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle; tickets from $37; 206-441-2424, pnb.org — M.M.
Named for a light-loving fungus, the modern-dance troupe Pilobolus has been around since the early 1970s, intriguing and delighting audiences with their unique brand of body sculpture and collaborative movement. They’re in town to present “Come to Your Senses,” which was inspired by their collaborations with MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab and Radiolab. In the show, the company “unravels the mystery of the origin of life, explores the beauty and strength of human connection, and celebrates our orientation in the biosphere.” Sounds like a lot, but Pilobolus always delivers. Nov. 14-16; Meany Hall, University of Washington campus, 4040 George Washington Lane N.E., Seattle; tickets from $61; 206-543-4880, meanycenter.org — M.M.