The $42 million Cowles Center for Dance, which opened last September, has announced its second season of programming. The lineup largely mirrors its inaugural slate.

Several of the returning Twin Cities ensembles have expanded offerings, including Mathew Janczewski's Arena Dances (Sept. 21-22, 2012, and March 15-16, 2013); Zenon Dance (Nov. 16-25, 2012, Dec. 8-9, 2012 and May 3-12, 2013); the James Sewell Ballet (Oct. 26-Nov. 4, 2012 and April 5-14, 2013); and Minnesota Dance Theatre (Oct. 5-14, 2012 and May 16-19, 2013). MDT is offering an extended run of its popular "Loyce Houlton Nutcracker Fantasy" (Dec. 14-24, 2012).

The new out-of-town acts in the 2012-2013 Cowles line-up include Indian bharatanatyam veteran Alarmél Valli (Oct. 19-20, 2012); New York dance Illusionists Momix (April 20-21, 2013); and German a capella group vocaldente (Sept. 15-16, 2012).

"We continue to build audiences for dance and deepen our ties with Twin Cities companies while bringing in national and international stars," said executive director Lynn Von Eschen, who replaced Frank Sonntag as head of the theater in January. "It's an ideal balance of local and national, dance and music."

Troupes that performed this season at the Cowles but do not show up on the 2012-13 calendar include TU Dance and Breaking Boundaries.

The Cowles season also includes Ragamala Dance (March 22-24, 2013); Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre (March 8-10, 2013); Shapiro & Smith Dance (March 28-30, 2013); and hip-hop dancer B-Boy J-Sun (Jan. 18-19, 2013).

The musical offerings have been expanded a bit. In addition to choral group Cantus, which returns in October, December and next March, the Cowles season includes a new company, Minnesota Concert Opera, which presents "I Puritani" (Sept. 28-30, 2012), "Il Trovatore" (Jan. 25-27, 2013), and "Julius Caesar" (April 26-28, 2013).

Also coming: Mu Performing Arts taiko drumming (Nov. 8-11, 2012), Buckets & Tap Shoes (Feb. 22-24, 2013), Off-Leash Area (June 21-23, 2013) and Black Label Movement (June 28-30, 2013).

The Cowles also hosts the Brazilian outfit Contempo Physical Dance (Feb. 1-3, 2013); Saint Paul City Ballet (Feb. 8-10, 2013); Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater (Feb. 15-17, 2013); and Beyond Ballroom Dance (March 1-3, 2013).

"In our first year, we are doing much better than planned," said Von Eschen. "This new season builds on that momentum."