Thursday, April 18, 2024

The words “experimental” and “improvisational” aren’t uncommon in the works put on at Central Square’s newly expanded Dance Complex, but that doesn’t mean they’re not on the calendar far ahead of time. Here are three attention-getting works to look for in the first half of the year:

Danielle Davidson and Shura Baryshnikov dance as the Doppelgänger Dance Collective. (Photo: Marc Pilaro)

Catalysts! is an artists-in-residence performance program that runs for three weekends in January, highlighting four or five performers per night. This second year has shows at 8 p.m. Jan. 14 and 7 p.m. Jan. 15; 8 p.m. Jan. 20-21 and 7 p.m. Jan. 22; and 8 p.m. Jan. 27-28, with tickets costing $24 general admission and $30 for cabaret tables.

Segments include excerpts from Ryan P. Casey’s “Unbound,” which follows a high school student too busy imagining living “Little House on the Prairie” to write an essay about it; Lorraine Chapman’s “Big In The Big Top,” which comes with the promise it is “by no means trying to make a political statement” (hmm); Junichi Fukuda’s “No More Mendacity,” which demands honesty from Boston Conservatory students; Yosi Karahashi’s piece about dreaming of being a flamenco dancer; and the Doppelgänger Dance Collective (Danielle Davidson and Shura Baryshnikov – daughter of Mikhail and actor Jessica Lange) performing a piece inspired by the collages of Dadaist photomontage artist Hannah Höch.

Tiny & Short: A Drop in the Bucket” runs Feb. 11-12 and Feb. 18-19, challenging participants to limit their entire performance to a four-foot-square space or their time on stage to less than 10 minutes.

“The Opulence of Integrity” runs March 31 to April 2, integrating dance, theater and multimedia as a cast of young male dancers personify aspects of Muhammad Ali’s boxing career and social activism.

The Dance Complex is at 536 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, and at