Choreographers, performers break down barriers, real and imagined

Ailey II performs in Bradley Shelver’s high-energy “Where There Are Tongues.” Contributed by Kyle Froman

Ailey II performs in Bradley Shelver’s high-energy “Where There Are Tongues.” Contributed by Kyle Froman

When choreographer Lauri Stallings convinced the High Museum of Art to cut a hole through a permanent gallery wall for her live art installation "Supple Means of Connection," on view through Sept. 8, it captured a zeitgeist and a recurring theme in dance this fall — the buildup and breakdown of barriers, whether physical, political or psychological.

Atlanta Ballet. The company's 90th anniversary fall program "Love Fear Loss," opens with a world premiere by Claudia Schreier, set to Estonian composer Eino Tamberg's Concerto Grosso, Op. 5, created in 1956 partly in response to Stalin's death. Schreier explores the sense of protest embedded in the music through the prism of her elegantly compelling neoclassical style. Also featured are Liam Scarlett's "Vespertine" and the program's namesake by Ricardo Amarante. Guest artists from Complexions Contemporary Ballet will perform a compilation of excerpts from Dwight Rhoden's "Woke." Sept. 20-22. $20-$130. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. 800-982-2787.

Charlotte Ballet. The regional powerhouse, formerly called North Carolina Dance Theatre, makes a rare appearance in the Atlanta area as part of Kennesaw State University's new professional arts presenting season. Swedish Choreographer Johan Inger's explosive and emotionally layered "Walking Mad" posts a movable eight-foot-high wall on stage, which nine dancers and their shadows bump up against, vault over and pass through, as Ravel's "Bolero" drives them. Atlanta-born Myles Thatcher's "Redbird" joins the bill. Sept. 27-28. $25. KSU Dance Theater, Joe Mack Wilson Student Center, 1100 S. Marietta Parkway, Marietta. 470-578-6650,

Staibdance. In "Fence," his first nationally funded work, choreographer George Staib draws from a childhood incident while attending an American school in Iran in 1976, when members of an anti-government terrorist group lured two students to the campus fence and fatally stabbed them. To Ben Coleman's electronic score, 10 dancers face off in pairs, band together and confront the audience head-on, by turns evoking power struggles, intimate moments and vision above the fray. Greg Catellier's lighting divides a dark, enveloping space with a vertical sheet of swirling fog and light. Oct. 3-6. $25. Dance Studio, Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, 1700 N. Decatur Road, Atlanta. 404-727-5050, 

Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre. Now in its third season, this group of former Atlanta Ballet artists reprises "Lore," an original work about a community's chosen storyteller and the passing of his gift through the family line. The story unfolds on an outdoor stage, warmed by a campfire and backed by a red curtain. Dancers' gesturing silhouettes take shape on the back-lit drape, like ancestors communicating from a separate realm. Heath Gill has choreographed with his usual astute theatrical timing and piquant musicality. Oct. 11-20. $35-60. Deer Hollow at Serenbe, 8455 Atlanta Newnan Road, Chattahoochee Hills. 470-733-8274,

Ailey II. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's second company will present world premieres alongside Bradley Shelver's "Where There Are Tongues," inspired partly by the challenges Shelver faced on his journey from his native South Africa to his current home in the U.S. Shelver's quirky, highly physical style merges with the gritty voices and complex rhythms of French a cappella group Lo Còr De La Plana, offering up a community of people who collectively succeed — or fail — and emphasizing our common humanity. Oct. 26. $39-$74. Georgia State University's Rialto Center for the Arts, 80 Forsyth St. NW, Atlanta. 404-413-9849,

Read more about the fall arts and entertainment offerings here:

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