In July, the pioneering choreographer Merce Cunningham died. Today in Houston, his primary philosophy - that it is worthwhile to dance for the sake of dancing, as opposed to telling a story or expressing human emotion - lives on in the form of London's Richard Alston Dance Company, visiting Houston for the first time. Alston, who once told the UK's Guardianthat "putting a new piece on stage is like spilling out something from the inside," has an elation- and exhilaration-themed program. There's his own Blow Over, set to music by Philip Glass, in which dancers leap along with the music's exuberance, and Martin Lawrence's To Dance and Skylark, a vivacious, high-stepping work set to Bach's Brandenburg Concertos. 8 p.m. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-227-4772 or visit www.spahouston.org. $20 to $50.
Fri., Oct. 16, 8 p.m., 2009