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It’s already December, and I’m still waiting to hear Prince’s “1999” blaring from the radios of passing cars. But our society’s premillennial tension has spawned plenty of other artistic statements, including Susan Marshall’s The Descent Beckons. A postmodern choreographer who mixes rather pedestrian movements with physically demanding modern dance steps, and happily juxtaposes pop references with esoteric Ideas (with a capital “I,” of course), Marshall has been compared to Tanztheather pioneer Pina Bausch. Like the works of her European counterpart, Marshall’s brand of dance theater is highly visual as well as narrative-driven. In Descent, the dancers, dressed in sequined sports coats, black leather pants, and revealing silver lame gowns, seem to revel in hedonism. These Beautiful People indulge their desires, manipulating each other and a corps de ballet of naked, life-sized blow-up dolls. You’ll recognize the jazz standards and show tunes interspersed throughout the piece, but most of the edgy, percussive soundtrack was composed by David Lang from New York avant ensemble Bang on a Can. There is beauty in the piece—as performance-artist MC Lisa Kron informs the audience at the show’s opening—but Marshall puts a wicked twist on even the most benign song-and-dance numbers. In her vision, the end of the millennium signals the end of hope, and the piece’s Hollywood-style decadence and glitz soon give way to disaffection, despair, and chaos—but it’s the kind of chaos you can’t take your eyes off. At 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at the George Mason University Center for the Arts, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. $25-$35. (703) 993-8888. (Holly Bass)