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APRIL 26 & 27

Quiescence dance company has been engaged in the task of bending, breaking, suspending, and arresting audiences’ expectations for the past five years. Most people attending a dance performance expect to sit in their seats, watch the proceedings, and applaud at the appropriate moments. They don’t expect questions from the performers, directions for an audience dance-along, chattering wind-up teeth wiggling across the stage, men in dresses, an impromtu dance set to a randomly chosen song, or tennis shoes and boots—which is precisely what Quiescence delivers. Co-directors Daniel Burkholder and Sharon Mansur aim to draw back the mental curtain that separates the audience from the action onstage. And more often than not they succeed magnificently. Improvisation is always risky, but years of experience have imbued their work with a comfortable spontaneity. This latest performance of five pieces from their repertoire will include a collaboration with a sculptor and a musician and structured improvisations including text and other media. Quiescence’s practice of lifting the scrim may reveal more lively mysteries than suspension of disbelief ever did. At 8 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday at Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. $12. (202) 269-1600. (Holly Bass)