Ballet Bellevue—Artistic director of this Eastside company, Ronn Tice, a former PNB soloist, offers a balanced mix of original contemporary works and pretty story ballets. Feathertop, after the Nathaniel Hawthorne story, is on the fall repertory program (10/2-4). For more traditional fare, see The Sleeping Beauty (12/4-6), and The Fairy Queen (3/5-14). This season Tice premieres the First Annual Bellevue International Dance Festival (5/14-22) with American choreographer Robert North's Death and the Maiden, among other works by visiting dance companies. The Theater at Meydenbauer Center, 11100 NE Sixth, Bellevue, 425-455-1345.
Carmona Flamenco—Starting the season with a sizzle by offering two sets of flamenco music, song, and dance (9/12), this passionate local ensemble performs every second Saturday of the month. Julia's Park Place, 5410 Ballard NW, 783-2033.
Chamber Dance Company—This season, the University of Washington's resident professional modern dance company's annual performance of modern classics (1/28-30) features Lar Lubovitch's quintessentially beautiful Northstar (1978); Ruth St. Denis' lovely scarf number, Soaring (1920); Traditions (1935), Charles Weidman's trio for three men; and one more historical gold mine, as yet unannounced. UW campus, Meany Theater, 543-4880.
Cornish College of the Arts—Cornish Dance Theater's biannual performances (11/20-21, 4/16-17) showcase cream-of-the-crop student performers in works created for them by faculty members Wade Madsen, Deborah Wolfe, Llory Wilson, and Pat Hon. For the fall program, local guest choreographer and funny man Christian Swenson will create a collaboration with the theater department. New York's David Dorfman, local sensualist KT Niehoff, and ballet master Bruce Wells will set works in the spring. Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway E, 726-5066.
Cranky Destroyers—This group continues to sponsor the one-of-a-kind Seattle Festival of Alternative Dance and Improvisation (8/99). 782-5707.
Crispin Spaeth Dance Group—Spaeth's work has crept up on me in recent years. She quietly goes her way, and without fanfare will suddenly show a handful of priceless and very unusual gems—modern, spare, and sometimes devastating in their honesty. Center on Contemporary Art has commissioned the company to create an interactive closing-party performance (9/12) for the installation Stick Bladder. COCA, 65 Cedar, 728-1980. Chicken Little (10/1-4), billed as "an evening of new dance works that takes a darkly comic look at menacing forces and squeaky alarmists," features guest dancer Michele Miller, composer Wayne Horvitz, and director Mark Jenkins. Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway E, 324-8109.
Co-Motion Dance—Continuing with their popular Etudes series, coartistic directors Gail Heilbron and Jesse Jaramillo present new choreography and acting scenes developed around characters in search of comedic answers to midlife crises (2/7). The Creative Dance Center, 12577 Densmore N; 3/7 at Freehold Theater Lab Studio, 1525 10th; and, two more dates TBA. 382-0626.
Dance on Capitol Hill—Variety is this performance center's middle name. Artist Open Forum (10/10, 11/22) features works-in-progress from the latest up-and-coming talents in a variety of idioms. Learn to jig and reel at the Ceili and Celtic Halloween Party (10/31). The adjudicated Choreofest Concert Series (11/8-15) showcases the best of young choreographers. DOCH benefit: Latin Dance Night at the Nippon Kan Theater (12/5) includes flamenco, tango, and salsa performances. Underground Theater (unless otherwise specified), 340 15th E, 325-6697.
Evergreen City Ballet—I've yet to see it in action, but I hear that this regional company, under the direction of former PNB principal Wade Walthall, has crackerjack dancers. Walthall's three-act Journey (10/16-17), set to music by Rachmaninoff, Gorecki, and Nyland, explores various aspects of humanity. The Nutcracker (12/10-13), which Walthall says "is more traditional than PNB's", features a live orchestra directed by A. Brian Davenport of the Federal Way Philharmonic. In April, the company will perform Giselle. Auburn Performing Arts Center, 700 E Main, Auburn, 253-931-3043, 253-833-9039.
5th Avenue Theater—Eight bodies making loud rhythms with unconventional musical objects—I hear toddlers love this show. Stomp! returns (1/15-24). 5th Avenue Theater, 1308 Fifth, 625-1900. 292-ARTS.
Fusion Dance Company—Anthony T. Manuel's eclectic troupe presents a blend of modern, salsa, and hip-hop work in a concert shared with Seattle newcomer Deborah Birrane (3/26-27). Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway E, 325-3113.
Kaleidoscope Dance Company—These talented kids represent choreography's hopeful future. "Gift of Dance" concert (12/13) features company members, ages 8-16, performing their own highly crafted modern dance pieces under the direction of maverick dance educator Anne Green Gilbert. Roosevelt High School auditorium, 1410 NE 66th, 363-7281.
King County Performance Network—There's no excuse to miss this series. Five different performing groups, with 21 opportunities to see them at 11 King County venues (9/11-11/28). The opener, TriDANCE, features the multimedia Residue by KT/Dance, Dixie FunLee Shulman's body image solo Twirl, and the Crispin Spaeth Dance Group's extremely successful Hand Over Fist. Additional performers on the series roster include: Amii LeGendre with Sandy Cioffi, Umo Ensemble, Spectrum Dance Theater, Peggy Piacenza, D-9 Dance Collective, Junkinsmith, and Magai & Kozawa. Call 800-677-ARTS for locations.
Lela Performance Group—This duo keeps a low profile but produces some of the most inspired dance/music collaborations in the city, thanks to musical sculptor Ela Lamblin's wondrous creations. The Benefit/Showing (9/23) includes: a performance of Sirenica, a new aerial dance and poetry piece on hanging nets accompanied by a steel harp called a "lookfar"; new developments on the Kinesis pieces with butter-knife piano; door prizes; and eats. Lela Studio, 701 34th, 329-3724.
Middle East Arts International—"Splendors of Egypt (Treasures of Music and Dance)" (11/6) features Egyptian composer Hossam Ramzy, as well as Middle Eastern dancers Serena Ramzy and five US dancers, including Seattleite Anita Ross (a.k.a. Sabura). The performance is part of a five-day series of events co-sponsored by the Seattle Art Museum's "Gift of the Nile" Egyptian exhibit. Seattle Art Museum Theater, 100 University, 781-4244 or 784-1532. SAM ticket office, 654-3121.
Molly Scott/Jarrad Powell—Eight artists pair up in "Composer/Choreographer IV" (2/18-21, 2/25-28), an ongoing forum for new dialogue between dance, music, and media. Participants: choreographers Crispin Spaeth, Amii LeGendre, Juliet Waller, Mary Sheldon Scott, Peggy Piacenza, John Dixon, and Ronly Blau, composers Jarrad Powell, Christian Asplund, and others. Freehold Theater, 1525 10th, 323-7499, 545-8848.
On the Boards—The place to be this season. For starters, there's the freshly remodeled digs on lower Queen Anne. The new New Performance Series is also a knockout: Clara Andermatt's Historia da Duvida (10/8-11) features a six-member ensemble from Cape Verde and a kinetic set by architect Carlos Gomes; Brussels-based choreographer Meg Stuart collaborated with award-winning installation artist Ann Hamilton for Appetite (11/12-15); Seattle's own rocketing-to-fame 33 Fainting Spells premieres Maria the Storm Cloud (12/3-6), a quirky look at hearts, health, hypochondria, and weather; 20 Seattle performers join the David Rousseve/Reality company for Love Songs (2/18-21); and Rennie Harris Pure Movement (5/6-9) presents Rome and Jewels, a hip-hop Romeo and Juliet for the '90s. All this, not to mention Northwest New Works in April, and the every-other-month 12 Minutes Max. On the Boards, 100 W Roy, 217-9888.
Pacific Northwest Ballet—Recovering from the hype of last year's all-premieres season, PNB gets back to basics with Balanchine's Serenade (9/24-26, 30; 10/1-3), The Four Temperaments (11/5-7, 12-14), and Theme and Variations (3/18-20, 25-27), but throws in a few wild cards too. Val Caniparoli's The Bridge (11/5-7, 12-14) explores a love relationship in war-torn Bosnia. William Forsythe's Artifact II (3/18-20, 25-27), which premiered last season, prompted an unprecedented number of people to call my house, asking what I thought of the unusual piece. Tickets for PNB's unique Nutcracker, with magnificent sets by children's book author/artist Maurice Sendak, go on sale 10/4. Seattle Center, Opera House, 301 Mercer, 441-2424 or 292-ARTS.
Pat Graney Dance Company—She's always up to her earlobes in projects. The technique and repertory workshop performance (9/18) is advanced students dancing sections of Graney's Sleep (making peace with the angels). The annual Ballroom Bonanza (9/26) benefits the company's educational and performance programs and is one helluva bash, with master of comic timing Mark Murphy (OTB's artistic director) as master of ceremonies, an auction, great chow, and plenty of dancing to watch and do. Graney's original incarnation of Sleep needed editing and, although it's an oxymoron, more visual kick. I'm curious about Graney's revision scheduled at OTB (1/28-31). 329-3705.
Rock Hopper Dance—This young collective goes The Full Fredmonkey (11/5-7, 12-14) with an evening of humorous modern dance choreographed by company members Jana Hill, Matt Mulkerin, Pam Gregory, and others with guests. Freehold Theater, 1525 10th, 323-7499. For info: 860-5620. If this sounds good to you, "Money for the Birds" (9/20) offers the usual fun benefit activities plus a chance to put your money where your mouth is. Velocity, 915 E Pine, 860-1371.
Sonidos Gitanos—The real McCoy, direct from Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, Gypsy Sounds (9/10-11) is the combustible company of 10 dancers, singers, and musicians making their Northwest debut under the direction of spitfire Maria Bermudez. King Cat Theater, 2130 Sixth, 292-ARTS.
Spectrum Dance Theater—This local jazz company performs its eclectic repertory in Bremerton (9/12), then dashes off to tour Germany in October. We see it again at the Kirkland Performance Center (11/12-15) and at Meany Theater (1/15-16), performing the world premiere of Margo Sappington's latest, Danny Buraczeski's hot Latino Fuerza Viva and the much requested Nilsson Schmilsson, by Bob Fosse prot駩e Ann Reinking. 325-4161.
UW Dance—This year's faculty concert (3/4-7) showcases new pieces by Hannah C. Wiley and Rip Parker, and new faculty members Maria Simpson and Rob Kitsos. The graduate student showings (12/3-6) feature collaborations between department composers and the current graduate students: veteran choreographers Shannon Hobbs and Paul Mosley, Juilliard alum Victoria Anderson, and former Lim�nd Taylor dancer Yoav Kaddar with the continuing gang of Kara O'Toole, Leslie Partridge, and Ursula Miller-Wulff. UW campus, Meany Studio Theater, 543-4880.
UW World Dance Series—Seattle's Mark Morris brings his dance group home to roost (10/22-24) with a new world premiere and other selected repertoire, including Medium, a chamber piece set to John Harbison's November 19, 1828. The piece is a eulogy to Schubert's early death, and on the actual date Ballet Philippines (11/19-21) combines classical ballet with Filipino folk dance. Ever-popular Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (2/10-13) appears at the Paramount this year. Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (3/4-6), Joe Chvala & the Flying Foot Forum (4/8-10), and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (4/29-5/1) round out the season with exciting state-of-the-art performances. UW campus, Meany Theater, NE 41st and 15th NE, 543-4880 or 292-ARTS.
Washington Academy of Performing Arts—Avoiding the crush at PNB isn't the only reason to catch this Eastside school's traditional Nutcracker (12/5-6, 13). Under the direction of former PNB principal Deborah Hadley, these superlative st dents can battement like pros. Eastlake High School theater, 400 228th NE, Redmond, 425-883-2214.