History, spirituality and science take flight

The trend of al fresco dance continues this fall with an increasing number of performances taking place in informal outdoor venues. Meanwhile, the city's brick-and-mortar theaters will feature rarefied and thought-provoking concert works that delve into issues related to society, history and spirituality.

"Doxology Ring Shout: A Praise Dance for the Doxy." A stick beats rhythms on the praise house floor as feet shuffle and bodies sway to soulful songs that pre-date the American blues. The Ring Shout tradition, created by African-Americans along the Southeast coast, inspired this multimedia dance opera, a National Black Arts Festival world premiere. Playwright Paul Carter Harrison has teamed with choreographer Dianne McIntyre, composer Dwight Andrews, video artist Phillip Mallory Jones and T. Lang Dance to uncover the Ring Shout's veiled history. Sept. 13-14, Baldwin Burroughs Theater, Spelman College. www.nbaf.org.

Wabi Sabi. As the sky fades from blue to pink at twilight, audiences can roam the Atlanta Botanical Garden and see performances in various locations by members of this contemporary offshoot of Atlanta Ballet. Featuring performances created by an impressive roster of local and national choreographers, including Robert Dekkers, Heather Myers, Ivan Pulinkala and John Heginbotham, who received the 2014 Jacob's Pillow Dance Award. Sept. 18, Atlanta Botanical Garden. www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org.

"Corpus Mysteriis." Art springs from science, as Greg Catellier and his modern dance troupe present the fourth in a series of evening-length works that have focused, in turn, on dance elements of time, space, energy, and now, the body. Based on illustrations from 16th-century anatomy books, Catellier's movement invention joins with music including sublime harmonies of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw. Sept. 18-20, Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts, Emory University. www.arts.emory.edu.

"Je Suis/I Am." Identity is the focus of this collaboration between Atlanta-based CORE Performance Company and Association Manifeste of Toulouse, France. In front of the High Museum, and in a city park, dancers emerge in street clothes. Initially indistinguishable from passersby, dancers will perform and interact with pedestrians in unexpecte ways. Oct. 18, Woodruff Arts Center Sifley Piazza. www.high.org.Oct. 19, Historic Fourth Ward Park. www.art.beltline.org. Association Manifeste also performs "Point of View on the Corner: The American Corner" Oct. 19 on the corner of Luckie and Forsyth streets. www.france-atlanta.org.

"Reshimo." Vertigo Dance Company from Israel brings its spiritually infused "Reshimo" to the Rialto for its U.S. premiere. Inspired by Kabbalistic concepts, choreographer Noa Wertheim leads 10 dancers through an intensely physical, emotional and spiritual journey. Oct. 18, Rialto Center for the Arts. www.rialto.gsu.edu.

"Pavement." Kyle Abraham, a 2013 MacArthur Genius Grant recipient, brings influences ranging from hip-hop to postmodern dance to his experience growing up in Pittsburgh's Hill District neighborhood to "Pavement," inspired by the film "Boyz N the Hood" and W.E.B. DuBois' collection of essays, "The Souls of Black Folk." Set to music by Mississippi Fred McDowell, Vivaldi, Donny Hathaway and others. Nov. 14, Ferst Center for the Arts. www.ferstcenter.gatech.edu.