Kyle Abraham took us in his arms and invited us in with three intimate pieces danced by his superb A.I.M (Abraham.In.Motion) company at the Balboa Theatre on Thursday. Then, before anyone could get too comfortable, he ignited the stage with the propulsive, hip hop-flavored “Drive.” The program also offered a rare treat: Abraham himself, filling in—in “The Quiet Dance”—for a company member who couldn’t perform that night.

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Fresh. Vital. These are not words I expected to use for the Martha Graham Dance Company’s performance at the Civic Theatre on Wednesday. … What a happy surprise, then, to see the exciting show the Graham company did here, performed by dancers who seemed enraptured by this work.

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Spinning on his heels, arms slashing, Aakash Odedra electrified the stage at the David and Dorothea Garfield Theatre on Tuesday. For the other solos on the program, titled “Rising,” he turned to three contemporary choreographers: Khan, Russell Maliphant, and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. And it happened that the order of the pieces here marked a progression from breathtaking to meh.

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The performance by the Mark Morris Dance Group at Summerfest last week was like a loaf of artisan rye bread—dense, complex, chewy. The evening at the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center was so packed with dance, music, and ideas, I would have like multiple viewings: once to focus on Morris’s choreography and brilliant movers, once for the world-renowned Summerfest musicians, and a third time to lose myself in the thrilling voice of countertenor John Holiday.

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In last weekend’s “Balanchine Masterpieces” program, the music proved as thrilling as the dance—especially Mark Polesky at the piano. Polesky brought brightness and verve to the Stravinsky and richness to Hindemith’s changing moods. And that was on an electric keyboard! The dance was equally stunning, from the moment the Spreckels Theatre curtain rose on a chorus line of dancers in sparkly lipstick-red.

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Some dances have such wildly inventive movement, and it flashes by so quickly, that the minute the piece ends, I want to see it again. That’s how I felt when I caught the premiere of “Odeon” by Ephrat Asherie Dance at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival last summer. I felt that way again when ArtPower presented “Odeon” at the Balboa Theatre last week.

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