The full circle of adoption

In 1996, Julia Gay was among thousands of children who were born in China and adopted by American parents, as part of the first wave of Chinese adoptions in the United States. In “motherlanded,” Gay uses theater, dance and poetry to share her journey of personal identity, including meeting her adoptive mother for the first time, returning to China nine years later, and finding the place where she was found as a baby. Three years ago, Gay created “motherlanded” through Dreamland Arts’ Theaterwalla program. Now she returns to the work, expanding it as well as adding new insights from new revelations she has made in her personal journey. (7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sat. & Sun., through Oct. 27, Dreamland Arts, 677 N. Hamline Av., St. Paul, $10-$20 sliding scale, 651-645-5506, dreamlandarts.com.)

Shuffle ball change

The Twin Cities Tap Festival returns for its fifth year, bigger and better than ever. Taking place over four days in three different venues, TCTF brings together tap lovers for classes, lectures, workshops, performances and a jam session. New this year, the festival partners with Northrop to bring 2015 MacArthur “genius grant” fellow Michelle Dorrance and her company, Dorrance Dance, on Saturday night at Northrop. With live music, Dorrance Dance presents the thrilling “Myelination,” set to a live music score, and “Jungle Blues,” where tap dancers perform next to barefoot dancers, illustrating the sharp aural contrast between the two. Also, part of the festival is a showcase of local tap ensembles from Minnesota on Thursday night at the Cowles, including Elite Tap Feet, a group of teen tappers put together by TCTF. On Friday at the Cowles, top local artists are joined by nationally known tappers, including members of Dorrance Dance. The festival concludes with an improvisational tap jam at Kieran’s Irish Pub called “The Cutting Board.” (7:30 p.m. Thu. & Fri., the Cowles Center, 528 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., $20-$34; 7:30 p.m. Sat., Northrop, 84 SE. Church St.; p.m. Sun., $21-$50, Kieran’s Irish Pub, 85 N. 6th St., Mpls., $10 suggested, twincitiestap.com.)

Sheila Regan