Promising to smash stereotypic expectations of kilts and bagpipes, the Scottish Ballet arrives to launch the 2011-2012 Music Center dance series. Over four decades, Scotland's national company has built a reputation for its equal attention to classical full-length story ballets and to adventurous contemporary choreography. That adventurous side is on view this visit in a double bill that pairs Kenneth MacMillan's Song of the Earth with Kings to End which Finnish choreographer Jorma Elo set on these dancers. Drawing on a Mahler song cycle with lyrics translated from Chinese poems, MacMillan's 1965 ballet considers humans' bittersweet struggle with their mortality while Elo's new work draws out competitive energies by intertwining Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 1 with the minimalism of Steve Reich's Double Sextet. Music Center Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Fri-Sat., Oct. 14-15, 7:30 p.m., Sun., Oct. 16, 2 p.m., $28-$110. http://musiccenter.org or (213) 972-0711.
Fri., Oct. 14, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 15, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 16, 2 p.m., 2011