With Opposing Forces, Seattle choreographer Amy O'Neal, who is equally well-versed in hip-hop and contemporary dance, has coordinated a clever study of gender roles, by intimately exploring "femininity" through the eyes of five male breakdancers who she teaches to move within the contemporary dance realm....

Devastation Melody opens with a striking sequence. Dressed fairly androgynously in dark-colored linens, Lucy Yim recalls a Chinese railroad worker — an image made all the stronger as she slowly uses rope to pull nine cinderblocks towards her. After assembling them into a massive Pangea, she mounts their seemingly solid...