SEPTEMBER 29 & 30

When Martha Graham was starting out with the Denishawn company, she darkened her face with makeup and portrayed an Asian boy. It was common for the pioneers of modern dance to use costumes and movements based on their limited knowledge of the exotic Orient. But now the American heirs to Asian culture are creating works that attempt to integrate elements of both cultures, while often exploring the politics of cross-cultural identity. Led by Dana Tai Soon Burgess, the Moving Forward Dance Company will perform works based on elements of nature, three of which—Terrain, Ember, and Ether—are D.C. premieres. The troupe’s mission necessarily gives much of the choreography a self-conscious bent. Still, the program offers an opportunity to see the work of some artists who are sure to become influential in the dance world. At 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, at Mount Vernon College’s Hand Chapel, 2100 Foxhall Rd. NW. $13. (202) 625-4655. (Holly Bass)

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