Aerial Dance Theater, an affiliate of the department of dance at Hope College, enters its 16th year with fall concerts on Friday-Saturday, Oct. 18-19.

The performances will be presented on Friday- Saturday, Oct. 18-19, at 8 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre. Aerial will also present a special "Family Affair" matinee performance on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 2 p.m.

The evening of contemporary dance theatre will include two premieres: "Chandra," by guest choreographer Ray Tadio, and "Hiccough" by guest Bethany White. "Chandra," created to the vocals of Sheila Chandra, is comprised of duets and trios that culminate in a group section featuring the entire company. According to White, "Hiccough," a solo performed by Mandy Olson, "humorously portrays the slightly insane and frantic moment one feels before a hiccough."

Other works to be performed include Steven Iannacone's "In the Middle of Nothing Happening" (1994), to the sounds of Massive Attack, and the award-winning "Mercy Street" (1988). "Gehenna" (2002), by former Aerial member Matt Stehle, is set to the music of Limp Bizkit and Danny Elfman. The re-choreographed solo "Iris Mae Precious" (2002) incorporates text, Appalachian folk music and props, and was created in collaboration with Jean Bahle and the artistry of the late Brad Williams. Lighting design is by Erik Alberg.

Aerial Dance Theater regularly presents a diverse repertoire of contemporary, theatrical and multi-media works to the West Michigan community, the Midwest and beyond (Belgium, Mexico, Croatia). "Dance Magazine" has called Aerial "compelling" and "fascinating," and "Het Volk" has praised the company for presenting "dance spectacle full of visual effects, humor, and energy."

The special "Family Affair" matinee, intended to introduce young audiences to the arts of dance, will be presented on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 2 p.m. During the 50- minute presentation, Aerial will engage the audience directly, exploring the art of dance through audience participation.

Tickets for the 8 p.m. performances are $7 for regular admission and $5 for senior citizens and students. Tickets for the 2 p.m. matinee are $4 for all adults. For all performances, admission for children under 12 is free. Tickets will be available at the door.

Additional information about the concerts may be obtained by calling (616) 395-7690.

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