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The Chronicle asked me to list ten dance performances to look out for, appearing in this Sunday’s Pink section. Here are a handful:

“San Francisco Ballet (Jan. 7-May 8, War Memorial Opera House) After last year’s forward-looking 75th anniversary, Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson tends to tradition with a new “Swan Lake.” Also tantalizing: the return of William Forsythe’s slam-bam “In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated”; a revival of Antony Tudor’s heartbreaking masterpiece of psychological insight, “Jardin aux Lilas”; and Balanchine’s magisterial three-part “Jewels” – particularly alluring with the ravishing Sarah Van Patten dancing “Diamonds.”

Compagnie Marie Chouinard (April 10-11, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ Novellus Theater) The sexually provocative, fearlessly primal company from Montreal made an indelible San Francisco debut in 2005. Now San Francisco Performances brings us Chouinard’s take on two erotically charged classics: “Rite of Spring” and “Afternoon of a Faun.”

Paul Taylor Dance Company (April 29-May 3, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ Novellus Theater) One year without modern master Paul Taylor is too long. Returning to San Francisco Performances after a hiatus, Taylor’s sunny company will dance his usual mix of the daffy and divinely bittersweet, bringing two new works along with the classic “Esplanade” and 1969’s disturbing, erotic “Private Domain.”

Anna Halprin (May 1-3, Stern Grove) Eighty-eight and dancing with unbridled beauty, the Bay Area’s postmodern pioneer creates a new, free site-specific work for Stern Grove, the leafy bower of an outdoor performance space designed by her husband, seminal landscape architect Lawrence Halprin.”

Click here for my full list.

One extra heads-up: the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is really on the ball for 2009, bringing intriguing visitors from Japan and New York. Be sure to check out their full line-up here.

On a personal note, I’m off to North Carolina for another graduate school residency for the next twelve days. But coming soon, a big preview package on the coming SF Ballet season in the Chronicle on January 11.

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