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Fall Arts Preview - Dance 

by Suzanne Schriener & r & Beasley Coliseum & r & Beginning in October, Beasley Coliseum offers a dance event every month throughout the fall, starting with Step Afrika! on Oct. 19 (see story). On Nov. 10-11, it's the Royal Circus of Moscow on Ice. Think dance -- traditional and modern -- add aerial acrobatics, and throw in gymnastics for good measure, and you've got a really big Russian show. And it's on ice! The Soviet Union may have collapsed, but the Russian flair for spectacle remains intact.

The Met & r & At the Met, October is dance month. Cheremosh Revolutions showcases traditional Ukrainian folk dance, performed by 50 Ukrainian-Canadians who hail largely from Alberta, where the company got its start back in 1969. You can expect spinning, leaping, eye-popping costumes and music to make your blood race on Oct. 8. Savage Jazz Dance Company wants you to understand: "Savage Jazz doesn't do jazz dance; we do dances to jazz music!" That would be authentic American jazz, of course -- music from the likes of Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck and Charles Mingus supply the energy, improvisation and syncopation that drive the choreography on Oct. 22. At the end of October, the time when the Great Pumpkin comes to reward all the good little children, Theatre Ballet of Spokane promises a trick-or-treat Halloween extravaganza, into which the moons of Jupiter and "space, the final frontier" will somehow make their way, according to the show's director. You'll just have to see it on Oct. 29.

How to Move & r & Perhaps all this talk of dancing makes you want to get up and move yourself; maybe it's time to tango. Nobody's going to mistake Spokane for Buenos Aires, but you can learn the dance of seduction -- tango, that is -- right here in the Lilac City. CenterStage is hosting classes every Thursday at 7:30 pm. Take one class or several. No partner necessary.

Holiday Happenings & r & Yes, the holiday season can be magical, but it can also feel like an unrelieved marathon of shopping and stress. So take a little time out for some dance magic, and remind yourself what the season is all about. You can choose from several Nutcrackers -- or have a Nutcracker feast and sample them all. For an appetizer, nibble on Ballet Idaho's Nutcracker on Nov. 29 at the Panida. Tuck into the main course with Eugene Ballet's version of Clara and the Cavalier, Waltzing Flowers and the Sugarplum Fairy at Beasley Coliseum on Dec. 4. For a rich, sugar-plummy dessert, save room for the Alberta Ballet at the Spokane Opera House, with four performances during the week before Christmas, Dec. 21-23. It's later than usual for the Spokane Symphony's annual rendition of Tchaikovsky's classic (because of the long stay of The Lion King), but moving it closer to Christmas only makes it all the more festive.

But maybe you're just sugar-plummed out. Craicmore and the Festival Irish Dancers deliver jigs, reels and line dances to give you Christmas done up the Celtic way at the Hartung Theater at the University of Idaho on Dec. 11. You can ride the wave of percussion straight out to the mall for one last shopping surge.

If you've digested all that and survived the family festivities, by New Year's Eve you're probably thirsty for champagne -- several flutes of it, perhaps. (Unless you're the designated driver, of course.) Not to worry, Theater Ballet of Spokane is back with Ballet and Bubbly at the Met. Out with the old year, in with the new.

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