Critic's picks - dance

By Karen Campbell
Globe Staff / February 7, 2010

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CELEBRATING ANNA Modern dance pioneer Anna Sokolow would have turned 100 this year. Jim May is staging selections from her “Rooms’’ and “From the Diaries of Franz Kafka’’ for the Boston Conservatory Dance Theater. The concert also features the premiere of a work by former Boston Ballet principal Viktor Plotnikov. Feb. 18-21. $7-$22. Midway Studios. 617-912-9222,

AURORA BOREALIS 8: A FESTIVAL OF LIGHT Boston University’s movement and light extravaganza honors the 90th birthday of professor emeritus Joseph Gifford. The program includes works by Micki Taylor-Pinney, Judith Chaffee, Margo Parsons, and Michael Jahoda, plus Gifford’s 1947 duet inspired by Picasso’s “Guernica.’’ Feb. 25-28. $10-$12. Roberts Studio Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600,

JOSE MATEO BALLET THEATRE “Out of the Dark’’ pairs Mateo’s eloquent “Mozart Concerto’’ (1991) with a world premiere by the choreographer set to the rigorous String Quartet No. 2 of Alberto Ginastera. March 11-28. $35. Sanctuary Theatre, Cambridge. 617-354-7467, DANIEL MCCUSKER DANCE PROJECTS The choreographer’s “regrets only + some other things’’ promises to be a slate of carefully crafted, emotionally nuanced work. March 12-13. $15-$20. Green Street Studios, Cambridge. 617-864-3191,

MAVI DANCE “The Seventh’’ draws from the company’s history of mining traditional dance forms of Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, India, and West Africa to create contemporary pieces. The show includes aerial dancer Gina DeFreitas and live vocal music. March 13-14. $20-$25. Boston University Dance Theater. 617-358-2500,

ST. PETERSBURG STATE BALLET THEATRE The Russian troupe presents artistic director Yuri Petukhov’s “Passions a la Carmen’’ (March 16) and a program of modern and neoclassical ballet, “Masterworks En Pointe: An Evening of Dance Gems’’ (March 17). $35-$65. John Hancock Hall. 617-787-1088,

STEPHEN PETRONIO COMPANY Petronio brings the Boston premiere of his “I Drink the Air Before Me.’’ Inspired by Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,’’ the work sports costumes by Cindy Sherman and a turbulent score by Nico Muhly. March 19-21. $36-$40. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-876-4275,

COLLAGE DANCE ENSEMBLE The company premieres “Moments,’’ evoking the drama and sensuality of dances from South America. The concert also features BoSoma and live music by the Hasan Isakkut Ensemble. March 26-28. $25-$30. Wimberly Theatre, BCA. 617-795-2468,

XAVIER LEROY The French choreographer, whose work draws on science and performance art, offers “Self-Unfinished’’ (April 2), suggesting a morphing between human and machine, and “Le Sacre du Printemps’’ (April 3), seemingly casting himself as conductor and the audience in the role of orchestra. $16-$20. ICA. 617-478-3103,

COPPELIA With this company premiere, Boston Ballet becomes one of only three troupes in the world to present Balanchine’s version of the classic ballet about a life-size dancing doll who inspires love and trouble in a village. April 8-18. $25-$132. Opera House. 617-695-6955, KAREN CAMPBELL