Joanna Kotze

This New York-based choreographer made a splash in the Twin Cities in February for James Sewell Ballet’s annual “Ballet Works Project” showcasing works in process. With an imaginative deconstruction of lines and shape, Kotze’s “The Rest of Everything” offered a thrilling architectural rethinking of what ballet can look like. This fall, Kotze returns for two engagements at Cowles Center, first for the main stage debut of “The Rest of Everything” with James Sewell Ballet in October, followed by brand-new work for the Zenon Dance Company dancers in November. (JSB: 8 p.m. Oct. 23 & 24, 2 p.m. Oct. 25; Zenon: 8 p.m. Fri & Sat. Nov. 13-21 plus 2 p.m. Sun. Nov. 22. $34. Cowles Center, 528 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. 612-206-3636,

Ananya Dance Theatre

Choreographer Ananya Chatterjea has made a life’s work out of taking social and political issues and creating beautiful dances that search for hope and meaning through the strife. In “Roktim: Nurture Incarnadine,” she sets her sights on the Seed Sovereignty Movement and farming practices of local communities of color, teaming up with visual artist Seitu Jones and behavioral artist Marcus Young for an evening of dance that includes audience participation and a conclusion outside on the O’Shaughnessy plaza. Translated as “blood red,” “Roktim” also includes original poems by Heid Erdrich and Diane Wilson, and a score by Greg Schutte. (7 p.m. Sept. 18-19, the O’Shaughnessy, 2004 Randolph Av., St. Paul. $17-$27. 651-690-6700,


Rather than a rendition of the historical legacy of John Brown, the 19th-century white abolitionist, Dean Moss takes a more poetic approach, mixing dance, visual design, theater and community participation in a piece that layers personal narrative with sociopolitical critique. Told in seven episodic segments, named for articles in Brown’s “Provisional Constitution” for a state of runaway slaves he hoped to establish, this is dense material with an unconventional treatment. (8 p.m. Oct. 15-17, Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., $20-$25, 612-375-7600,

Nic Lincoln

It’s Lincoln’s turn to soar after 10 years with James Sewell Ballet. This summer, he was a featured choreographer in the Momentum Series and this fall he will dance solos by five different choreographers plus his own work in “Yes, Sir.” With live music by Venus de Mars (who killed it at Lincoln’s Momentum piece) and Jocelyn Hagen, it’s a chance to see where the dancer/choreographer will go from here. (8 p.m. Oct. 16, the O’Shaughnessy, 2004 Randolph Av., St. Paul. $20-$30. 651-690-6700,

Tu Dance

These dancers are so enthralling, so athletic, so charismatic, they could simply sit on stage and eat sandwiches and still be vastly entertaining. This fall the company, led by Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands, will working with Italian-Canadian choreographer Gioconda Barbuda on a new piece in addition to selections from their repertory. Whatever they have in store, it’s sure to be captivating. (8 p.m. Nov. 20 & 21, 2 p.m. Nov. 22, the O’Shaughnessy, 2004 Randolph Av., St. Paul. $18-$31. 651-690-6700,


“Tournamento”: Acclaimed performance maker Sarah Michelson returns to Walker Art Center to premiere her latest commission and launch the Walker’s 2015-16 season. (Sept. 24-27,

Lula Washington: This L.A.-based ensemble is known for contemporary dance rooted in African rhythms, with social and political issues driving the work. It’s the company’s third stop at the Ordway, showcasing work by Washington and other African-American choreographers. (Oct. 30, Ordway,

“The Blues Project”: Bessie Award-winning choreographer Michelle Dorrence teams up with composer Toshi Reagan and the band BIGLovely for a pairing of tap dancing and blues music that sets out to reinvent two of America’s great art forms. (Nov. 19, Northrop,

Nenkin Butoh Dan: One of the Twin Cities’ more fascinating performers, Masanari Kawahari teams up with Butoh artist Gadu for an experiment in which the audience takes part in the experience, creating sounds and shaping the point of view. (Sept. 30-Oct. 2. Southern Theater,

“B Madonna”: With text by David Henry Hwang and music by Philip Glass, Maureen Fleming dives into the myth of Persephone. The piece includes 3-D video projections designed by Christopher Odo. (Nov. 7, the O’Shaughnessy,