Vertical Road, presented by Akram Khan Company, at the Granada Theatre: This October, UCSB’s Arts & Lectures brings London’s Akram Khan Company to Santa Barbara for the first time since their 2010 performance. Artistic Director Akram Khan is a golden boy of British contemporary dance and recently choreographed a segment of the opening ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympics. Khan grew up in London in a Bangladeshi family and studied first traditional Kathak, then ballet and contemporary dance. In his work, he fuses these forms to create a distinctive dance idiom. Vertical Road is Khan’s meditation on the ever-increasing pace of modern life and what it might mean to resist it. The work is inspired in part by Sufi mysticism and poetry and is set to an evocative score by Khan’s longtime collaborator, composer Nitin Sawhney. Sunday, October 14, 7 p.m. Call 893-3535 or visit artsandlectures.sa.ucsb.edu.
Evening of Sacred Music and Dances from Japan, presented by Kagura Ensemble of Chichibu Shrine, at UCSB’s MultiCultural Center Theater: No lover of dance should miss this one. On Saturday, November 3, a group of performers from the mountain shrine of Chichibu near Tokyo, Japan, will make their first U.S. appearance right here at UCSB. This is a rare opportunity to experience the Kagura, or sacred music and ritual dances, from this important Shinto shrine. The dances, which are based on ancient Japanese mythology, are thought to date to the 17th century and are considered a significant part of traditional Japanese culture. In addition to dance and music, the troupe will bring elaborate costumes and masks. Seating at the MultiCultural Center Theater is limited — it’s worth reserving a seat well in advance. Saturday, November 3, 8 p.m. Call 893-2064 or visit mcc.sa.ucsb.edu.
Rites of Spring and Folding, presented by Shen Wei Dance Arts, at the Granada Theatre: Also visiting Santa Barbara for the first time this fall is New York’s critically acclaimed Shen Wei Dance Arts. Artistic Director Shen Wei is not only a choreographer — he’s a visual artist who uses light, costume, and sets to achieve startling and dramatic effects. His dances draw on Chinese opera and painting, as well as on the traditions of Western contemporary dance. In these two works, chosen from among his repertory, Shen Wei’s eye for design is evident. His starkly modern Rite of Spring is set to the original Stravinsky score and coincides this year with the centennial of Vaslav Nijinsky’s masterpiece, while Folding is set to Tibetan Buddhist chants of ethereal, almost inhuman beauty. Wednesday, November 28, 8 p.m. Call 893-3535 or visit artsandlectures.sa.ucsb.edu.
Re: Vision, presented by Nebula Dance Lab. At Center Stage Theater, Friday-Sunday, September 28-30.
Cádiz de la Frontera, presented by the Flamenco Arts Festival. At the Lobero Theatre, Saturday, September 29.
Dance workshops, presented by the Flamenco Arts Festival. At the Eastside Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara, Sunday, September 30.
Tango on the Riviera, presented by State Street Ballet. At the Four Seasons Biltmore, Sunday, September 30.
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. At the Granada Theatre, Tuesday, October 2.
Dance Day, presented by Santa Barbara Dance Alliance. Various locations, Saturday, October 6.
Affinity III, presented by ArtBark. Various locations, Wednesday-Sunday, October 17-21.
Thriller, presented by World Dance. At the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Gardens, Saturday, October 27.
An American Tango, presented by State Street Ballet. At the Lobero Theatre, Saturday-Sunday, October 27-28.
On the Verge, presented by Santa Barbara Dance Alliance. At the Marjorie Luke Theatre, Sunday, October 28.
Fall Dances, presented by the UCSB Dance Department. At Hatlen Theater, Thursday-Saturday, December 6-8.
Entrée des Artistes, presented by La Petite Chouette Aerial Dance Company. At LPC Studio, Friday, December 7.
Motion/Emotion, presented by the Westmont Dance Department. At Porter Theatre, Friday-Saturday, December 7-8.
The Night Before Christmas and Les Patineurs, presented by the Montecito School of Ballet. At the Lobero Theatre, Friday-Sunday, December 7-9.
The Nutcracker, presented by State Street Ballet. At the Granada Theatre, Saturday-Sunday, December 22-23.