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SATURDAY

Much of contemporary modern dance has lost its sense of play. Spheres, directed by dancer Emily Crews and juggler Roderick Kimball, brings that and the whimsy of an old-fashioned circus to the loose free-spirited expression of modern dance. A great show for families, Spheres never becomes too abstract or takes itself too seriously. The fun really starts in the lobby gallery with the artwork of Aaron Sheppard. His back-lit, three-dimensional sculptures beckon with painted and plastered bottles, balls, and other items that catch the eye. The performance kicks off with a charming duet between Crews and Kimball, which debuted last year at Dance Place. In “Off Beat,” Crews’ tap shoes and Kimball’s bouncing balls converse in a funny, rhythmic back-and-forth. Later, Kimball’s crew of jugglers demonstrates how to spin a diabolo, a tricky medieval yo-yo, as well as juggling balls, balloons, and bowling pins—sometimes all three at the same time. Then the dancers join in, adding another kind of flight to this up-in-the-air performance. At 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, & 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26, at Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. $12. (202) 269-1600. (Holly Bass)