Chicago’s Fall 2015 dance card is full, and some of the activity is happening beyond such traditional venues as the Auditorium Theatre and Harris Theater for Music and Dance.
For shape-shifting movement courtesy of Pilobolus head to Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of “The Tempest.” For a grand Viennese waltz nab a ticket to Lyric Opera’s “The Merry Widow,” helmed by Broadway’s Susan Stroman. Visit Aurora’s Paramount Theatre and see how choreographer Katie Spelman ropes in Agnes de Mille’s groundbreaking dances for “Oklahoma.” And check out the exceptional Ensemble Espanol Dance Theatre (on various stages), Ballet Folklorico de Mexico (a the Auditorium), and much more.

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Here is a starter kit for the coming months:
— THE JOFFREY BALLET at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress: As it closes in on its 60th anniversary, the Joffrey, has slated three major engagements. Its “Millennials” program (Sept. 16-20), will feature two world premieres – “Mammatus” (“Mammary Cloud”) by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and “The Passenger,” by Myles Thatcher (a young dancer-choreographer from the San Francisco Ballet), plus the Joffrey premiere of  “Fool’s Paradise,” by Christopher Wheeldon (the acclaimed director-choreographer of Broadway’s “An American in Paris”). Next will be “Sylvia” (Oct. 14-25), the Joffrey premiere of the full-length, female-powered classic by John Neumeier, artistic director of Germany’s Hamburg Ballet. The come the final performances of the Joffrey’s long-beloved Victorian American take on “The Nutcracker” (Dec. 4-27), before Wheeldon’s new version debuts in 2016. (www.AuditoriumTheatre.org)
The Joffrey Ballet will perform John Neumeier's full-length work, "Sylvia," seen here in a performance by the Hamburg Ballet. (Photo: ....)

The Joffrey Ballet will perform John Neumeier’s full-length work, “Sylvia,” seen here in a performance by the Hamburg Ballet. (Photo: Photo by Holger Badekow courtesy of Hambur gBallet)

— HUBBARD STREET DANCE CHICAGO
at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Chicago: First up is a program devoted entirely to the challenging  works of William Forsythe (Oct. 15-18), the intense and cerebral American choreographer who has spent most of his career in Europe. On the bill will be the stunning  “One Flat Thing, reproduced,” “N.N.N.N.,” and a revival of “Quintett.” Its winter program (Dec. 10-13), will feature the U.S. company premiere of “Solo Echo,” a work by Crystal Pite, plus premieres by two former Hubbard Street dancers – by Robyn Mineko Williams Penny Saunders. (www.HarrisTheaterChicago.org)

Hubbard street Dance Chicago’s Jacqueline Burnett in William Forsythe’s “Quintett.” (Photo: Cheryl Mann)

— JESSICA LANG DANCE (Nov. 6, 2015 at the Harris Theater): A world premiere work, commissioned by the Harris Theater in conjunction with  the Chicago Architecture Biennial, will be a collaboration between Lang and 2014 International Architecture Award recipient Steven Holl. Set to music by Morton Feldman, David Lang and Iannis Xenakis (rather than the originally announced Arvo Part), the work explores the four types of architecture: Under, In, On and Over. (www.HarrisTheaterChicago.org)

— “DAY OF THE GYPSY” (Nov. 21-22 at the Harris Theater): RPM Productions presents the world premiere of this full-length dance-theater work choreographed by Gordon Peirce Schmidt. Featuring live accompaniment by Grammy Award-winning musician John Jorgenson and the John Jorgenson Quintet, the work is an immersive theatrical experience inspired by the allure of gypsy jazz music and its pioneer, Django Reinhardt.  (www.HarrisTheaterChicago.org)
Dancer Jennifer Goodman performs in "Day of the Gypsy," with musicians Simon Planting (left) and John Jorgenson. (Photo: Matt Glavin)

Dancer Jennifer Goodman performs in “Day of the Gypsy,” with musicians Simon Planting (left) and John Jorgenson. (Photo: Matt Glavin)

— TWYLA THARP – 50th ANNIVERSARY TOUR (Nov. 5-8 at the Auditorium Theatre): To celebrate the career of the genre-and-decade-spanning choreographer, the Auditorium, Ravinia Festival and four other dance presenters nationwide commissioned Tharp to create two new works. “Preludes and Fugues” is set to excerpts from J. S. Bach’s “The Well-Tempered Clavier” Volumes 1 & 2, and “Yowzie” is set to music from “Viper’s Drag,” a compilation of jazz arranged by Henry Butler and Steven Bernstein. Each dance is introduced by a fanfare composed by John Zorn.  (www.AuditoriumTheatre.org)
... and ... in Twyla Tharp's ..... (Photo: ....)

Matthew Dibble and Rita Okamoto will perform in the Twyla Tharp 50th Anniversary Tour at the Auditorium Theatre. (Photo: Ruven Afanador)

— RIVER NORTH DANCE CHICAGO (Oct. 3 at the Auditorium Theatre): Following this performance, this hugely admired company will take a year-long hiatus as it transitions from the 23-year tenure of artistic director/choreographer Frank Chaves and searches for new leadership and funding. The farewell program will feature Chaves’ “Love Will Follow,” “Temporal Trance” and the Cuban-themed “Habaneras,” plus favorites by others, including Randy Duncan, Ashley Roland, Robert Battle and Ginger Farley, Kevin Iega Jeff and Sherry Zunker. (www.AuditoriumTheatre.org)
— NATYA (Oct. 23 at The Dance Center of Columbia College, 1306 S. Michigan): This ensemble, which blends classical Indian and contemporary dance, will perform the world premiere of “Varna – Colors of White,” artistic director Hema Rajagopalan’s work that fuses the secular and the divine, the manifest and the unmanifest.  Musicians from India will accompany principal dancer Krithika Rajagopalan and the Natya dancers. Based on ancient texts and poems, and set to an original score, “Varna” considers feelings of love, desire, compassion, sorrow, greed and jealousy, with an injection of humor, too. (www.colum.edu/dance-center)
— GIORDANO DANCE CHICAGO (Oct. 23-24 at the Harris Theatre):  This company of dramatic, intensely athletic dancers will perform a world premiere work by Israeli-born, Philadelphia-based choreographer Roni Koresh, plus Ron De Jesus’ stark and seductive “Prey” (2003), and other favorites from GDC rep. (www.HarrisTheaterChicago.org)
— VISCERAL DANCE CHICAGO (Oct. 10 at Harris Theater): This excellent contemporary dance ensemble, returning to the Harris for its third season, will present a world premiere, “She Three, by artistic director Nick Pupillo, and the company premiere of Fernando Melo’s “Bate” (“Heartbeat”). Also on the bill: “Duet Mabul” by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin, plus reprises of  Brian Enos’ “Hadal Zone” and Pupillo’s “Sum Noir” by Nick Pupillo. (www.HarrisTheaterChicago.org)
— STEPHEN PETRONIO COMPANY (Oct. 1-3 at The Dance Center of Columbia College, 1306 S. Michigan): This New York-based troupe will perform the first full incarnation of its Bloodlines project, designed to honor American postmodern dance masters. On the bill: Trisha Brown’s “Glacial Decoy,” with visual design by Robert Rauschenberg; Merce Cunningham’s “RainForest,” with visual design by Andy Warhol; and Petronio’s “Non Locomotor,” with an original musical score by hip-hop artists Clams Casino. (www.colum.edu/dance-center)