Aerial Dance Theater, an affiliate of the department of dance at Hope College and the oldest established dance company in the greater Holland community, will celebrate its 15th year of bringing high-quality contemporary dance to the Holland area with performances on Friday and Saturday, May 10-11.

Aerial will perform at the Knickerbocker Theatre in downtown Holland on Friday and Saturday, May 10-11, at 8 p.m., and will present a special "Family Affair" matinee on Saturday, May 11, at 2 p.m.

To honor Aerial's 15th year, the company's co- artistic directors, Linda Graham and Steven Iannacone, will offer Holland audiences a taste of old favorites and new perspectives.

"Mercy Street," an award-winning work originally created in 1986 by co-founders Graham and Kate McGory, will come to life through the performance of company members Matt Stehle and Hanna Bira. Another repertory work by Iannacone, "In the Middle of Nothing Happening" (1994), will be performed to the sounds of Massive Attack. "Piano Pieces," which saw its premiere last fall, will also be performed, and the concert will conclude with Iannacone's popular "Side Show" (1995).

The concerts will feature two premieres. "Gehenna (Human Abyss)" by Aerial member Matt Stehle is a compelling, obsessive work set to the music of Limp Biskit and Danny Elfman. The second premiere, "Iris Mae Precious," incorporates text, Appalachian folk music and props. Graham will return to the stage to present the new solo work, choreographed by her and created in collaboration with Jean Bahle and the artistry of the late Brad Williams. Lighting designer Erik Alberg and costume designer John Dayger continue to bring their integral contribution to Aerial's performance.

Aerial Dance Theater regularly presents a diverse repertory of contemporary, theatrical and multi-media works to the West Michigan community, the Midwest and beyond-- including Belgium, Mexico and Croatia. "Dance Magazine" has called Aerial's work "compelling... fascinating." The "Grand Rapids Press" has praised Aerial for "riveting work, ... beautiful." "Het Volk" has complimented Aerial for presenting "dance spectacle full of visual effects, humor, and energy." The "Holland Sentinel" has noted Aerial's "stunning choreography performed with both technical prowess and emphatic artistic interpretation by its gifted members."

The special "Family Affair" matinee is intended to introduce young audiences to the arts of dance. During the 50-minute presentation, Aerial engages the audience directly, exploring the art of dance through audience participation.

Tickets will be available at the door, and for the evening performances will cost $6 for regular adult admission and $4 for senior citizens and students. Tickets for the matinee will be $3 for all adults. Admission for children under 12 is free to all performances. Additional information about tickets may be obtained by calling the Knickerbocker Information Line at (616) 395-7403.

Aerial is supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Hope College Patrons for the Arts and the Aerial Angels.