The Best Events of the Fall Arts Season 

From activist art to international dance to stirring theater.

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Saturday, Sept. 29, 8 p.m., $30-45, Regents Theatre Valley Center of Performing Arts at Holy Names University, 3500 Mountain Blvd., Oakland, CenterforInternationalDance.org

Sasha Waltz's Körper

Last seen at Cal Performances in 2014, with her Schubert-scored Impromptus, Sasha Waltz returns with possibly her best known work, Körper, a piece she first directed in 2000 at the renowned Schaubühne Theater in Berlin. Körper, which translates simply as Bodies, deals intimately with the flesh and all its strengths and fragilities. Performed by 13 dancers in various stages of undress, whose urgent bodies frequently create their own soundscape, Körper analyzes the body as construct — zeroing in on functionality of form without neglecting the emotional resonances of how having a body affects us everyday. How are our possibilities shaped by the bodies we inhabit? How are our bodies shaped by our experiences? What does it mean to have, to be, a body in the world? Waltz and company explore the physical in order to reveal the transcendent. — N.G.

Oct. 20, 8 p.m., and Oct. 21, 3 p.m., $30-$78, Zellerbach Hall, 101 Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley, CalPerformances.org

Luna Mexicana

Now in its third year, the theatrical presentation of Luna Mexicana has become a must-see for those who enjoy events related to the sacred tradition of Día de los Muertos. Stunning colorful visuals, perfectly synchronized choreography, and eclectic sounds fused with electronic music make this show a must-see. Oakland Ballet Artistic Director Graham Lustig has captured the mystical aura of this Mexican tradition that honors the dead in the form of dance. It is no surprise that older generations of Latinx families look forward to attending this event every year — and the show keeps getting better every year with plenty of musical surprises. You may catch a mom and a grandma singing along to the mariachi. — A.R.

Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 3, 4 p.m., $22-$55, Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland, ParamountTheatre.com

MUSIC

Blood Orange

Dev Hynes, the British musician who makes music as Blood Orange, wears many hats. He's a composer, producer, songwriter, dancer, and, since his 2011 debut Coastal Grooves, has become somewhat of an aural alchemist. Hynes's discography is as much an assemblage of genres — the sleekness of pop, the rolling bass of funk, the exuberance of '80s dance, the tenderness of R&B — as it is of history, identity, and politics. In 2016's Freetown Sound, Hynes was sorting through his understanding of his parents' experiences as 20-somethings migrating from Sierra Leone to the United Kingdom. With his recent release, Negro Swan, Hynes offers, as he writes, "an honest look at the corners of black existence, and the ongoing anxieties of queer/people of color... a reach back into childhood and modern traumas, and the things we do to get through it all." Hynes' Oakland stop on his fall tour in support of Negro Swan promises a stylish, sublime, and moving show. — M.R.

Thursday, Sept. 20, 8 p.m., $35-45, Fox Theater, 1807 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, TheFoxOakland.com

Soweto Gospel Choir: Songs of the Free

Defy the gods by sitting like a stone during the South African choir's exuberant, one-night-only performance? No way. Instead, submit to the sway of powerhouse ensemble vocals and choreography and sing "Hallelujah" while high-kicking in the Paramount Theatre's wide aisles. Presented by Cal Performances, the show features freedom and struggle through gospel songs and folk music favored by Nelson Mandela and selected in tribute to his birth on July 18, 1918. The choir's shimmering, colorful robes and the theater's swirling architecture add spectacle to the centennial celebration. But it's the depth of talent, cultural authenticity, and uplifting expression of the music that has earned the choir two Grammys and a worldwide following. Pick up a copy of its new album of Mandela's favorite songs for long-lasting pleasure. — L.F.

Saturday, Oct. 13, 8 p.m., $34-$88, 2025 Broadway, Oakland, CalPerformances.org

click to enlarge Soweto Gospel Choir. - PHOTO COURTESY OF SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR
  • Photo Courtesy of Soweto Gospel Choir
  • Soweto Gospel Choir.

Aubrey and the Three Migos

Atlanta rappers Takeoff, Quavo, and Offset are basking in their mainstream success, which is in part thanks to Drake's remix of their 2013 song "Versace," off their mixtape Y.R.N. (Young Rich Niggas). It isn't surprising that an eventual joint tour between the Canadian rapper and Migos would take place. The Aubrey and the Three Migos tour has gotten off to a shaky start with the first of the three dates in Toronto postponed. There's also Offset's traffic, gun, and drug possession charges stemming from the rapper's arrest in Georgia. No court date has been set yet, and it is unknown as to how this will affect the tour moving forward. For now, Bay Area fans of the rappers and the Canadian crooner still have three chances to catch them on stage to see live renditions of their collaborations "Versace" and "Walk it Like I Talk It." — A.Z.

Oct. 25, Oct. 26, and Oct. 29, $97-$199+, Oracle Arena, 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland, OracleArena.com

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