Dance catches its breath in the fall. Then in the spring, all of this happens. Chronological profiles on the events we know of follow; inevitably, others will join the dance later.

Jan. 20
Ailey II
Carolina Theater, Durham

Not many second-string companies get rave reviews from The New York Times. But this feeder team for the Alvin Ailey Dance Company has been producing remarkable dancers–and choreography–in recent years. Highly recommended.

Festival de Tangophilia Gala Performance
various artists
Durham Armory

Tangophilia, local favorites Choreo Collective and a host of artists including world champions Fernanda Ghi and Guillermo Merlo of Buenos Aires perform to live music by Kansas City’s Tango Lorca quintet. For further information, go to

Jan. 21
Facing Mekka
Rennie Harris Puremovement
Reynolds Theater, Duke

According to the Village Voice, this choreographer’s evening-length 2003 multi-media work “achieved an emotional range and spiritual depth that seemed unprecedented,” when hip hop embraced butoh and capoeira in a piece about uniting peoples and cultures. Jan. 26 Children’s Dance Festival, various artists, Jones Auditorium, Meredith College

This yearly warmup to the N.C. Dance Festival demonstrates just how big a tent dance can be, featuring advanced young artists performing African, Scottish, ballet, tap and modern dance. Jan. 27 and 28 N.C. Dance Festival, Meredith College

The original moveable feast of N.C. choreography returns in a two-night star-studded stand. Friday night’s showcase features Karola Luttringhaus’ alban elved company, Nickwalk Dance Project, Martha Connerton and B.J. Sullivan. Saturday, see founder Jan Van Dyke, Niki Juralewicz, Gerri Houlihan, Robin Harris and others.

Feb. 10-12
Independent Dancemakers
Durham School of the Arts

After a one-year sabbatical, producer/choreographer Laura Thomasson returns with a cadre of local choreographers and New York-based cross-pollinators from the ADF. Intriguing choices and new names await local dancegoers. Feb. 11 Even Exchange Dance Theater, N.C. Museum of Art

“Sustenance” is the theme in a series of stage performances and “interactions” on this Family Day at the Museum of Art.

Feb. 17
José Limón Dance Company
Page Auditorium, Duke

Duke choreographer and dancer Clay Taliaferro returns again to his artistic roots–he studied with Limón himself and danced with this company–when he joins the group on stage in a performance of Limón’s retelling of Othello, The Moor’s Pavane.

Feb. 24
Mark Morris Dance Group
Memorial Hall, UNC

A diverse program of classic jokes and more contemporary meditations. 1990’s Going Away Party (to music by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys) contrasts with Morris’ 2001 pensive, modern-day classic, V, set to Schubert. An undisclosed work follows his reading of Bartok’s Fourth String Quartet, All Fours. March 18 and 19 Choreo Collective’s Current Collection, Hanes Auditorium, Chapel Hill High School

The company’s first annual concert after a shift in leadership, and some notable new arrivals. The jury’s still out, but hopes are high.

March 23
Anytown-Stories of America
Shapiro and Smith
Reynolds Theater, Duke

This quirky but razor-sharp duo were witty, inventive and simply marvelous the last time they were here. The company has grown, and on this outing, they’ve adapted the music of Bruce Springsteen into a lyrical, amusing–and haunting–dance theater suite.

April 7-9
Triangle Dance Festival for AIDS
Even Exchange Dance Theater is among the companies slated for this three-day festival encompassing modern, hip-hop and international dance styles to benefit AIDS relief efforts.

April academic program concerts: Violinist, professor and Ciompi Quartet member Hsiao-Mei Ku leads a live ensemble in recombinant tangos by Astor Piazzolla when Duke Choreolab takes the Reynolds Theater stage, April 1 and 2.

DanceVisions, N.C. State’s student-led urban dance company, steps out April 5 at Stewart Theatre. In Meredith College’s annual Dance Works concert, Carol Kyles Finley presents the latest work from student, faculty and guest choreographers, April 20-22 at Jones Auditorium. Closing the month, Beth Fath hosts Peace College Dance Company at Leggett Theater, April 27-29, before award-winning choreographer Robin Harris presents new work in the NCSU Dance Company Spring Concert, April 28 and 29 in Stewart Theatre.

May 18-21
One by One by Once Upon a Time
Killian Manning, Manbites Dog Theater

In the 1990s, Manning staged a series of evening-length dance/theater works at Duke, UNC and other venues. One Ph.D. later, she’s back, and her first full-length work is a reunion with former colleague Derrick Ivey, in which they “croon, carouse, waltz and whine their way” through a group of famous and quotidian relationships. Can’t wait.

June 3
Choreo Third Show
Common Ground Theatre, Durham

Chapel Hill’s Carolina Theatre closed before the 2006 edition of Choreo Shorts, so the group’s yearly multi-media roux of dance, live music, film, theater, poetry and visual art skips a season and a city, landing at Common Ground.

June 8-July 22
American Dance Festival
Duke University

The second-largest modern dance festival in the world pursues the theme Pioneers and Frontiers: Tradition and Beyond this summer. No word yet on the mainstage slate–try back in March.