Promising productions range from Crystal Pite at Pacific Northwest Ballet to the gender-queer inventions of Cherdonna Shinatra.
George Balanchine’s “Jewels”
Pacific Northwest Ballet kicks off its 45th season with Mr. B’s 1967 full-length, plotless ballet, a glorious merging of French romance (“Emeralds”), American jazz (“Rubies”) and Russian classicism (“Diamonds”). A fresh twist this time around, for its 50th anniversary: new costumes, designed by Jerome Kaplan (the creative eye behind the costumes of PNB’s “Roméo et Juliette,” “Cendrillon” and “Giselle”). Sept. 22-Oct. 1, McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle; $30-187 (206-441-2424 or pnb.org). — Moira Macdonald
Some “serious” people dismiss BANDALOOP as mere stunt dancers and lump them in with cirque/aerial trends that involve obvious physical prowess and training — but don’t qualify as “serious” dance. However, consider this: Donald Byrd, artistic director of Spectrum Dance Theater (an award-winning choreographer who is notorious for not suffering fools), says BANDALOOP’s upcoming performance might be one of the most exciting offers of the season. Their outdoor aerial work, he said, “reminds me again of some humans’ willingness to take risks, and that the human body is extraordinary.” Oct. 5-7, Meany Center, 1313 N.E. 41st St., Seattle; $35-$52 (800-859-5342 or artsuw.org). — Brendan Kiley
“Kissing Like Babies: Part III of one great, bright, brittle alltogetherness”
If the Seattle dance scene is known for one thing, it’s our weirdness. Tonya Lockyer, director of Velocity Dance Center, says Seattle is nationally known for bringing a special kind of eccentricity to the table. Cherdonna Shinatra (“Cher,” plus “Madonna,” plus a slurred version of “Sinatra”) is one of our city’s beautifully queer creatures — exaggerated drag-queen makeup, exquisite dance training and a unique way of fusing absurdity with pathos. Jody Kuehner, who created the character, cut her teeth in contemporary dance but turned to cabaret, then theater and performance art. (She recently made a surreal deconstruction of Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House.”) And she is a spinal tap into U.S. gender culture, siphoning out what we don’t usually like to examine. The first sentence of her description of…