Dance melds athleticism, technology and intimacy in Atlanta this fall

Dance sets the city in motion this fall, as New York-based Complexions Contemporary Ballet brings its brand of explosive athleticism and technical wizardry to Atlanta, with plans to open a studio here within the next year or so. The High Museum of Art will present CORE, T. Lang Dance and Atlanta Ballet’s Wabi Sabi troupe. And thanks to inspired curating, the city’s prime dance presenters offer thought-provoking works that reveal connections between humanity, technology and the spirit that moves us.

Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company. It’s been 30 years since Ronald K. Brown started his company at age 19 and began to shape a contemporary dance language with the heartbeat, sweep and vibrancy of the African diaspora. Brown celebrates this milestone with signature works including “March,” with text by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; “Grace,” a tribute to Alvin Ailey; “The Subtle One,” to music by Jason Moran; and “Why You Follow,” commissioned last year for the Cuban Malpaso Dance Company, which performs at the Ferst Center the following weekend. Sept. 13, Ferst Center for the Arts.

“Search Engine.” Following an epic, six-week run in New York City’s Central Park, Lauri Stallings’ performance group Glo presents a new work at the Contemporary. Via the body in motion, Stallings aims to create an “aesthetic rhythm, a hushed reverberation, for a stir of existence” while fostering exchange between artists, viewers and artwork. Free admission. Sept. 14-27, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.

Huang Yi and KUKA. Choreographer, dancer and inventor Huang Yi examines the complex and tenuous relationship between humans and their technology-driven machines in this award-winning work inspired by a childhood desire to be as perfect as a robot. KUKA, a 2000-pound industrial robot, dips and dives as Huang Yi pivots around its rotating joints, glides under its roving laser beam and weaves his body around its mechanized gyrations, ultimately learning that a robot is only as flawless as its programming. Oct. 1-2, Ferst Center for the Arts.

STREB Extreme Action Company. “Live or die, it’s time to fly,” choreographer Elizabeth Streb tells her dancers as they go on stage to perform “Forces,” a daredevil work that pits performers against industrial-scale movable sets. Whether dancers dodge a spinning I-beam, climb a revolving ladder or turn somersaults inside a giant steel wheel, Streb’s “action-hero” choreography is likely to grab the attention of audiences ranging from sports fans to engineers to adrenalin junkies. Oct. 8-9, Ferst Center for the Arts.

Complexions Contemporary Ballet. For 20 years, co-founders Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson have joined ballet with modern dance and commercial flash to create a style as eye-catching on the concert stage as it is on television’s “So You Think You Can Dance.” With multicultural influences, Complexions blends rippling fluidity with maxed-out classical lines to music that spans from the baroque to spirituals to heavy metal rock. Oct. 8-10, Gwinnett Performing Arts Center.

“Time for Us.” Fabien Prioville and Azusa Seyama, a former member and current member, respectively, of Tanztheater Wuppertal, focus on the moment when two people meet, and what that instant suggests about human intimacy, place and community. The two artists come to terms with the profound influence of the late choreographer Pina Bausch in order to forge their own creative identities. Oct. 29-31, Goodson Yard Factory Space, Goat Farm Arts Center.


17 must-see events this fall

Theater:  Memory, race and classic remakes take center stage

Classical music: Mahler, Schubert and virtuoso pairings on tap

Dance: Athleticism, technology and intimacy meld

Visual arts: High fashion, samurais and Andy Warhol fill galleries this fall

Pop music: Festivals, Dave Grhol, Janet Jackson rule the fall music scene

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