Every year for our annual Fall Preview issues, we try to track down for you the most important cultural events taking place in the Triangle over the last quarter of the year. This year, for part one of our two-part coverage, we’ve defined “important” more intriguingly, enjoining our writers to uncover artists, trends and events that are leading edge or avant-garde.

Our writers obliged. Among other things, in these pages you’ll read about a new trend that we believe will be breaking out on dance floors across the Triangle this fall; a fitness craze that’s beginning to catch on in our area; controversial, politically themed plays that promise to add heat to water-cooler conversations; readings by young fiction writers who haven’t seen a rule that didn’t need to be broken; and visual artists whose work will be eliciting gasps from Triangle gallerygoers.

Next week–for those who believe that a rich morsel of cutting-edge art is best when washed down with a glassful of more traditional culture–we’ll provide you with a comprehensive list of the season’s happenings. But for now, fasten your seat belt and get set for a visit to the leading edge. These events might be a little more difficult to find, but our writers are so convinced that they’re worth the effort, they’ve done most of the legwork for you.

Get ready.