Sankai Juku introduced Los Angeles audiences to the mesmerizing landscape of Japanese butoh dance as part of the 1984 Olympic Arts Festival with a breathtaking debut that sent suspended, white-powdered figures into a dangling descent down the front of the Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. In the intervening two decades, the company, led by Ushio Amagatsu, has gained international acclaim for its absorbing performances. This return visit offers Kagemi: Beyond the Metaphors of Mirrors. Inspired by the art of ikebana, Japanese flower arranging, seven male dancers explore what has been described as the borderlands between light and shadow amid giant lotus flowers, sandscapes and water. Words alone don’t suffice to capture the power and nuance of this ensemble, which deserves to be experienced firsthand. UCLA, Royce Hall, Wstwd.; Fri.-Sat., Nov. 17-18, 8 p.m.; $26-$48. (310) 825-2101.

—Ann Haskins

LA Weekly