DANCE SEASON preview Ahh, those Rockettes. Broadway in Indianapolis is bringing thunderous precision to the Murat Theatre Nov. 14-Dec. 8. My childhood aspiration to become immortalized in anonymity never reached fruition. I never reached 5-foot-5, the minimum height to enter into the world of high kicks and timeless tap. So here I am, instead, on the other side of the footlights.

On Oct. 15 The Shanghai Ballet will perform "The White Haired Girl" at Pike Performing Arts Center.

And, for the current generation, whose dance aesthetic soars to a different beat, Broadway in Indianapolis is presenting STOMP at Clowes Memorial Hall Nov. 19-24. It takes guts to upstage yourself. But the marketing folks at BiI feel Indianapolis is primed to fill Murat and Clowes if the fare is fetching. That"s exactly what Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre is counting on. In the boldest move yet of his ever-daring career, Hancock is spooking Clowes with a one-night outing of Dracula on Oct. 31. Audacious advertising is setting "Indiana"s World-Class Ballet Company" apart from the pack. Their new flyer crows: "What does Ballet Internationale have that Boston Ballet and the Kirov Ballet Don"t? Several of their dancers." "A new day is dawning," pronounces Beth Morris, the genius behind the campaign to double BI"s subscriber base. The Tulsa, Okla. native is challenging Hoosiers to "find out why Indiana"s only professional ballet company is rated one of the top 10 in the country." For starters, it"s an impending plan to tour the company throughout China during January. So it"s heads-up for early-bird season subscribers and other recipients of the full-color brochure. Carmen is being moved to the 2003-"04 season and Peter Pan will fly April 18-27, instead of during Febuary. The Nutcracker, however, still runs Dec. 19-22 and Giselle, "complete with new, lavish sets and costumes from Russia," graces the Murat Sept. 27 and 28. Leave it to Pike Performing Arts Center to balance things out in its typical serendipity. Witness a work created during the Chinese Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Oct. 15 The Shanghai Ballet is performing The White Haired Girl, based on the true story of a beautiful peasant girl who runs into the mountains to escape the evil clutches of a local landlord. Get local lore by visiting Conner Prairie on Oct. 5. The program Dance! Lenape Indian Traditions invites us to participate in intertribal and social dances with members of the Bartlesville, Okla. Delaware Tribe of Indians, whose ancestors resided along the White River-West Fork. Their villages grew into present-day Muncie, Anderson, Strawtown, Noblesville, etc. Dance Kaleidoscope, freshly returned from its summer-long residency at Oregon"s Shakespeare Festival, is reprising its program set on traditional and contemporary renditions of songs by legendary Hoosier composer Cole Porter. Experience COLE! Oct. 4-6 on the Indianapolis Civic Theatre stage. Then come to Pike Performing Arts Center Dec. 20-22 for DK"s "Tis the Season premiering Cynthia Pratt"s work set on "the exuberant music of Mannheim Steamroller." Exuberance is equally the byword for blast II, SHOCKWAVE . Feel the future Oct. 18 and 19 at Indiana University Auditorium in Bloomington. Blast, which took the 2001 Emmy Award for Best Choreography, is cutting-edge theater, fusing color, light, movement and music in unexpected, exciting combinations. Blast II goes beyond expectations, according to critics. Don"t want to travel to see blast II? Then go to Pike March 26. This surround-sight-sound experience is followed by the ever-fresh-two-decade-old masters of ensemble dance, whose bodies create sculptures in constant motion. Philobolus brings its continuing unique take on modern dance to IU on Nov. 13. Clowes Memorial Hall brings us more great dancing with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago on Oct. 18 and Ballet Hispanico on Nov. 8. And then there"s the ever-excellent Indiana University Ballet Theater and Butler Ballet. Travel to the Musical Arts Center in Bloomington for A Tribute to the American Spirit Oct. 11 and 12. Return Dec. 6-8 for The Nutcracker and/or go to Clowes Memorial Hall for Butler"s Nutcracker. What seems like sameness is in truth venturesome. Featuring different dancers, each subsequent Nutcracker takes on a different patina. It"s worth the return to perhaps be present at the dawning of an audacious talent. And so we conclude our roundup with a bit of verve: Mariano Parra, world-renowned master of the Arabic style of Spanish dance, is choreographing the dance concert to be presented Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. at the India Community Center, 4420 W. 56th St.

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