We've grown a little spoiled by the repeated visits of the Alvin Ailey troupe in recent years, so it's truly thrilling to see the return of the Martha Graham Dance Company to Charlotte after an absence of more than 30 years. The troupe performs at Knight Theater, one of the best dance venues in town (also the landing spot of Ailey invasions). The program is no less special than the occasion, capped off with Graham's most celebrated masterwork, "Appalachian Spring" (1944). It features the original Isamu Noguchi set design and Aaron Copland's ethereal score played live by an orchestra of local musicians under the baton of Graham music director Aaron Sherber.
There's also a premiere/revival of Graham's lost 1935 work, "Imperial Gesture," reanimated by UNC Charlotte assistant dance professor Kim Jones, a former Martha Graham Company dancer. New music was written for the reconstruction by Pat Daugherty, so you can brag to folks that you saw it here before the company's New York City performance later this winter.
$35-$45. Jan. 18, 8 p.m. Knight Theater, 430 S. Tryon St. 704-372-1000. www.blumenthalarts.org.