On the eve of its Canadian tour, Helios Dance Theater is throwing a bon-voyage party previewing its tour repertoire, followed by a post-performance discussion. Anyone who remembers Helios dancer Melissa Sandvig, the "naughty ballerina" finalist from So You Think You Can Dance, should have a good idea of the type of dancers who populate Helios: strong, fit, elegant, sensuous and versatile. All these traits are required by artistic director/choreographer Laura Gorenstein Miller's dramatic and evocative contemporary choreography and equally challenging subject matter. The Diary of Anne Frankwas the starting point for About Anne: A Diary in Dance, which considers themes of a young girl's awakening to womanhood and the struggle to survive. The second work has a more traditionally masculine focus: The Lotus Eaters takes on issues of war, duty and honor that remain as timely as The Odyssey, which here was choreographer Miller's inspiration. Rob Cairns composed the score for both works; Lotus Eaters boasts additional music by Grant Lee Phillips and costumes by Project Runway finalist Rami Kashou. Broad Stage, the Edye at Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Fri., Feb. 15, 8 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 17, 2 p.m.; $20, $15 students. heliosdancetheater.org/tickets.html.
Fri., Feb. 15, 8 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 17, 2 p.m., 2013