Autumn is the high season for the fine arts, the time of year when the folks who make and show classic and contemporary music and dance put on their biggest events. This year, there are plenty of performances to choose from, and these eight are at the top of the list.

Martha Graham Dance Company, 100th Anniversary Tour

Newman Center, Sept. 22-23

No company embodies the history of contemporary dance in the U.S. quite like the troupe Martha Graham first assembled in 1926. The legendary choreographer stretched the limits of modernity and inspired scores of dance makers that followed. To celebrate its upcoming 100th anniversary, the company has embarked on a three-year, international tour that stops for two nights at Newman. The program celebrates the past with one of Graham’s jewels, the 1948 work titled “Diversion of Angels,” but also mirrors the company’s desire to keep moving forward with new works, in this case, 2022’s “CAVE,” created by Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter. Info: 303-871-7720 or

Audra McDonald

Boettcher Concert Hall, Sept. 23

Audra McDonald’s scorecard says it all: six Tony Awards, two Grammys and one Emmy. She’s the most respected Broadway star of our era, with long credits in both television and movies. Oh, and she was trained as an opera singer. McDonald brings that versatility to Denver for a one-night-only performance with the Colorado Symphony. The program of American jazz-era standards might be a little predictable but this voice is at the height of her powers and now is a good time to catch her act. Info: 303-623-7876 or

“Swan Lake,” Colorado Ballet

Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Oct. 6–15

“Swan Lake” is everyone’s favorite ballet, with a thrilling score by Tchaikovsky, spectacular moves by choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, and a story that — while based on a fairy tale — is sophisticated and surprisingly adult. Plus, it has 27 dancing swans on stage — all at once. Colorado Ballet has its way with the classic this October, adding in its own custom moves created by in-house ballet master Sandra Brown, along with Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner. The company plans to stage eight performances of this work, and they could all easily sell out. Info: 303-339-1637 or

Renée Fleming

Boettcher Concert Hall, Oct. 7

Renée Fleming is America’s most revered soprano, even at the age of 64 when most opera singers have stepped away from centerstage. But she continues to bring audiences to their feet with concerts that understand her lasting abilities to sell a worthy art song. This program is a mix of opera favorites and Broadway moments, with a pop tune or two likely thrown in. Christopher Dragon conducts. Info: 303-623-7876 or

Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5

Colorado Symphony, Boettcher Concert Hall, Oct. 13-15

This is a major season for the Colorado Symphony, which is celebrating its centennial in 2023, and the lineup has a lot to recommend, including Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 (Oct. 13-15) and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 (Nov. 3-5). Info: 303-623-7876 or

Samara Joy

Newman Center, Oct. 15

Samara Joy is the hottest performer in jazz right now. The 23-year-old Bronx native came out of nowhere to win the 2023 Grammy awards for both Best New Artist and Best Jazz Vocal Album. She is an of-the-moment sensation who carries a torch for the past and present of the art form. And she definitely knows where that music came from; her last album “Linger Awhile” sounded fresh while paying tribute to well-worn classics, such as “Someone to Watch Over Me” and “Misty.” Info: 303-871-7720 or

“Wicked Bayou,” Wonderbound Dance Company

Wonderbound Theater, Oct. 19-29

Wonderbound enters its 10th season in fine form this year, energized by its new permanent home, at 3824 Dahlia St. in Denver’s Northeast Park Hill neighborhood. The space is designed to fill the company’s needs for show and rehearsal space, but also the needs of audiences with great views from all 260 seats. The opening number is “Wicked Bayou,” a piece curated by Artistic Director Garrett Ammon and Clay Rose, which the company describes as a “deliciously dark adventure” about a puppet master, an alligator and two desperate, young lovers. The popular music ensemble, The Widow’s Bane, supplies the soundtrack in what is expected to be its final performance before disbanding. Info: 303-292-4700 or

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, In The Know, to get entertainment news sent straight to your inbox.

Source: Read Full Article