Critic's picks

The Mark Morris Dance Group comes to the Cutler Majestic Theatre on Oct. 14-17. The Mark Morris Dance Group comes to the Cutler Majestic Theatre on Oct. 14-17. (Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times)
By Karen Campbell
Globe Correspondent / September 12, 2010

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FRAULEIN MARIA In choreographer Doug Elkins’s wacky, gender-bending take on “The Sound of Music,’’ the hills are alive with cross-dressing nuns and hip-hopping von Trapp children. In the Boston debut of this playful, family-friendly re-imagining, Elkins combines popular and modern dance forms with the original soundtrack for a cabaret romp. Sept. 23-Oct. 3. $25-$69. Paramount Theatre. 617-824-8000,

JOSÉ MATEO BALLET THEATRE This intrepid troupe celebrates 25 years this season with two fall programs. “Elements of Passion’’ (Sept. 24-Oct. 10) features three of Mateo’s more emotionally intense works — the early “Schubert Adagio’’ (1991), “Bach Concerto’’ (2003), and “Time Beyond Time’’ (2005), set to Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time.’’ The “Realm of Suspense’’ program (Oct. 29-Nov. 14) showcases Mateo’s mysterious side, with “Covens’’ (2006), “Streams’’ (2009), and a world premiere. $38. Sanctuary Theatre, Cambridge. 617-354-7467,

NAVARASA DANCE THEATER The world premiere of “Encounter,’’ a collaboration between Aparna Sindhoor and Anil Natyaveda, mines Indian dance, martial arts, world music, poetry, and theater in an exploration of encounters that range from the militaristic to the divine. Sept. 24-Oct. 2. $15-$20. Dance Complex, Cambridge. 617-776-7939,

ALISON CHASE Pilobolus’s former co-artistic director brings her acclaimed talent for multimedia storytelling to Gabriel García Márquez’s short story “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World.’’ A work-in-progress, the piece aims to capture the magic realism of Márquez’s story with an interweaving of live video feed, projected film and photos, dance, and live music. Sept. 25. $10. Hunter Center, North Adams. 413-662-2111,

CORBETT, DONOVAN, MCCUSKER World Music/CRASHarts showcases world premieres by the companies of three Boston contemporary choreographers. Caitlin Corbett relishes the juxtaposition of the pedestrian and the artistically edgy. Daniel McCusker’s dances play off rich, emotional connections. Kelley Donovan unfurls movement that is both viscerally breathtaking and contextually meaningful. Oct. 1-2. $30. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-876-4275,

DANCE IN THE FELLS For this Columbus Day weekend festival, Two Roads Performance Projects will send five dance companies-artists into the wooded landscape of the Middlesex Fells to frolic amidst the nature preserve’s fall foliage. New site-specific works will be performed by Egoart, Inc. (South Reservoir site), Joan Green (Molly’s Spring site), John Kramer (Sheepfold site), Monkeyhouse (Wright’s Tower site), and Sara Smith (Panther Cave site). Oct. 9, 1-6 p.m. Free. Middlesex Fells Reservation, Medford. 617-383-4831,

MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP The popular company returns to Boston with a world premiere in honor of Celebrity Series of Boston executive director Marty Jones’s 25th anniversary with the organization. Titled “Petrichor,’’ it is set to Villa-Lobos’s String Quartet No. 2. The program with live music also features two Boston premieres, “Excursions,’’ set to Barber’s brilliant piano gems, and “Empire Garden,’’ set to Charles Ives’s Trio for Violin, Violoncello, and Piano. Oct. 14-17. $53-$350. Cutler Majestic Theatre. 617-482-6661,

RUBBERBANDANCE GROUP A Los Angeles B-boy before signing on with Twyla Tharp and later Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Victor Quijada takes his company into the worlds of ballet, modern dance, and hip-hop in choreography that is often as humorous and poignant as it is thrilling. The company presents the Boston premiere of “Loan Sharking.’’ Oct. 22-24. $40. Presented by World Music/CRASHarts. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-876-4275,

LA BAYADERE The classic ballet’s story of love and betrayal between a temple dancer and a young warrior is fueled by enchantment and intrigue as it unfolds through Petipa’s brilliant choreography. Set in India and featuring lavish costumes and decor, this new production should be a major addition to Boston Ballet’s wide-ranging repertoire. Nov. 4-14. $25-$132. Opera House. 617-695-6955,

TRAJAL HARRELL The adventurous Summer Stages Dance/Institute of Contemporary Art series “Co Lab: Process + Performance’’ continues with “Twenty Looks or Paris Is Burning at the Judson Church (S).’’ In this collaboration between choreographer-dancer Harrell and sculptor Sarah Sze, Harrell hits the runway seeking to answer the question: “What would have happened in 1963 if someone from the voguing ball scene in Harlem had come downtown to perform at Judson Church with the early postmodern choreographers?’’ Nov. 5-6. $18-$20. ICA. 617-478-3100,

BOSTON CONSERVATORY DANCE THEATRE The talented student troupe presents “Alwin Nikolais, Merlin of Multimedia.’’ In this tribute, Alberto Del Saz stages some of the legendary Nikolais’s works, including the visually stunning “Tensile Involvement’’ and “Noumenon Mobilus.’’ Nov. 11-14. $10-$25. Boston Conservatory Theater. 617-912-9222,

FALL FLAMENCO FESTIVAL: GITANO ROOTS OF FLAMENCO World Music/CRASHarts brings two programs of live music and dance from Spain that showcase the fiery traditions of Gypsy flamenco. On Nov. 19, the veteran Angelita Vargas (“Flamenco Puro’’) and young firebrand Jairo Barrull perform the Boston premiere of “Gitanerias,’’ which honors the passing of flamenco traditions from generation to generation. On Nov. 21, rhythmic powerhouse Pepe Torres and his company present “Homenaje,’’ a tribute to his famed grandfather and his family’s impact on the history of flamenco. $30-$50. Berklee Performance Center. 617-876-4275,

URBANITY DANCE Company founder and choreographer Betsi Graves Akerstein has timed her dance theater version of Annie Leonard’s documentary “The Story of Stuff’’ to open on Black Friday, traditionally a heavy shopping day. The contemporary collaborative’s new show features 18 dancers, with original sets and costumes. Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts (Nov. 26-27), Strand Theatre (Dec. 4). $18-$22. 617-416-9726,

THE NUTCRACKER Boston Ballet’s beloved annual production of “The Nutcracker’’ rings in the holiday season with a lively, imaginative production that combines first-rate dancing with live music and sumptuous design. Let the snowflakes dance. Nov. 26-Dec. 31. $35-$162. Opera House. 617-695-6955,

PILOBOLUS Happy birthday, Pilobolus! For 40 years, this innovative company has been combining acrobatic movement with sculptural invention. For this Celebrity Series engagement, the troupe features the Boston premieres of “Rushes’’ as well as “The Transformation,’’ a new shadow play collaboration with “SpongeBob SquarePants’’ writer Steven Banks. Dec. 3-5. $39-$68. Cutler Majestic Theatre. 617-482-6661,


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