When the Tijuana dance company Lux Boreal made Dance Magazine’s 25 to Watch in 2008, I wrote that they were raising the bar for dance in Tijuana. And, whether or not it’s Lux Boreal’s influence (I suspect it is), the six mostly-from-Baja works in “4×4 TJ Night,” curated by the company, were super, the best of them showing complexity and wit, as well as serious technical chops.

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Tiny youTurn Arts, which puts on just one show a year, can hardly fill the gap left when Sushi went bust in 2011. Still, youTurn producers Erica Buechner and Anne Gehman have made terrifically savvy curatorial choices—like this year’s guest artist, Jesse Zaritt, whose solo, “send off,” felt wickedly ironic … and also holy.

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Colony collapse disorder as part of a dance? In “Bee Conscious,” Lara Segura deftly weaves in lessons about bees and presents witty dance that’s a pleasure to watch. There’s a striking Alvin Ailey moment, and utter hilarity when John Paul Lawson vamps as a queen bee.

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Eloquently moving bodies and impeccable imagery—”Echoes of Gallows Hill” by Astraeus Aerial Dance is such a complete, satisfying work of art that I had to create a new category for it, “Five-Star Fringe.” And Hip Hop Cabhooray is so fast-moving and fun, you probably won’t think about how ridiculously difficult it is to move twenty—20!—dancers around a small stage in a way that feels natural and easy; but Melissa Adao nails it.

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Fringe artists take the risk of getting political … and it doesn’t always work. In “Specific Gravity,” brilliant circus skills have to compete with a preachy message. In “Herstory,” the message is softer, and nothing can take away from the flat-out awesome dance.

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