100 Northern Ave, Boston | $45 | 617.478.3100 or icaboston.org
DOUG VARONE AND DANCERS | Institute of Contemporary Art | February 18-20 | The linked vignettes that make up Doug Varone's magisterial new Chapters from Broken Novels grew out of snippets of overheard conversation, underlined quotes, and Varone's random notebook musings. This evening-long dance distills movement with intensity and unexpected revelation — set to a vibrant and surprising score by David Van Tieghem. Varone and his gorgeous dancers are at the top of their game: Chapters from Broken Novels is an event not to be missed.
100 Northern Ave, Boston | $40 | 617.876.4275 or worldmusic.org
BALLET IN HD | Coolidge Corner Theatre | February 20 + March 20 | Two matinees of Russian ballet come to Brookline from Saint Petersburg via HD broadcast. The Mariinsky Ballet — known better by its post-revolutionary moniker, the Kirov — puts on a Ballets Russes and Stravinsky festival featuring Firebird, The Wedding (elsewhere called Les Noces), and the controversial Millicent Hodson/Kenneth Archer reconstruction of Nijinsky's The Rite of Spring, all under esteemed conductor Valery Gergiev. The dancers headlining this performance are Alexandra Iosifidi and Yekaterina Kondaurova. A month later the Bolshoi presents Alexei Ratmansky's contemporary reworking of Vasily Vaynonen's French Revolution–themed The Flames of Paris, starring Natalia Osipova, Denis Savin, and Ivan Vasiliev.
290 Harvard St, Brookline | $20 | 617.734.2500 or coolidge.org/ballet
JOSÉ MATEO BALLET THEATRE | Sanctuary Theatre | February 25–March 13 | Beauty Strange brings together more than 15 years of dark repertory chamber ballets by company director José Mateo set to music by Schnittke, Beethoven, and Ginastera, and presented café style in the company's intimate Sanctuary Theatre.
400 Harvard St, Cambridge | $38 | 617.354.7467 or ballettheatre.org.
ASPEN SANTA FE BALLET | Tsai Performance Center | March 4-5 | The charming Aspen Santa Fe Ballet comes east with a multicultural repertory that, among other things, will show local audiences what Boston Ballet choreographer Jorma Elo's work looks like when performed by another company. Elo's Red Sweet, created expressly for Aspen Santa Fe's dancers, will be juxtaposed with Jiri Kylian's Stamping Ground and a piece titled Uneven, by Spaniard Cayetano Soto, an up-and-coming Munich-based choreographer.
685 Comm Ave, Boston | $47-$57 | 617.482.6661 or celebrityseries.org
FALLING FLIGHT PROJECT, EGOART, INC., AND WEBER DANCE | Springstep | March 20 | Karen Murphy-Fitch, Nicole Pierce, and Jody Weber, joined by guest vocalist Jessica Newman and Maine choreographer Carol Dilley, bring their distinctive companies to Springstep in Medford, where selections from their repertory can be seen in a friendly salon setting. This is a good way to be introduced to local dancemakers who sometimes fly under the radar.
98 George P. Hassett Drive, Medford | $20 | 781.395.0402 or firstname.lastname@example.org
BOSTON BALLET ELO EXPERIENCE | Boston Opera House | March 24–April 3 | Boston Ballet gets its busy spring repertory season underway with a close look at the oeuvre of resident choreographer Jorma Elo. Sleek, modernist, and virtuosic, Elo's Brake the Eyes (to Mozart) and Plan to B (to Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber) are reprised alongside a world premiere. Casting hasn't been announced yet, but expect star billing for Russian-born ballerina Larissa Ponomarenko, whom Elo has called his muse. A good date night for the balletically-inclined.
539 Washington St, Boston | $25-$132 | 617.695.6955 or bostonballet.org