MAURICE HINES | From the age of five, when he and his little brother Gregory took their first lesson from Henry LeTang, Maurice Hines Jr. has been a showbiz hoofer. In the semi-autobiographical revue Tappin' Thru Life, Hines reminisces about his 40-plus years in entertainment, since the days when the Apollo Theatre served as the brothers' "virtual daycare center." Modeling his singing on the smooth deliveries of Nat King Cole and Lena Horne, Maurice spent a decade working in Hines, Hines and Dad, a nightclub act with Gregory and their drummer father. Maurice parlayed his charisma into memorable roles in Guys and Dolls (as Nathan Detroit), Eubie!, and Sophisticated Ladies, danced with his brother in Francis Ford Coppola's film Cotton Club, and earned Tony nominations for choreography and performance in his Broadway show Uptown . . . It's Hot!
While Maurice Hines carries an ardent flame for his great tap-dance mentors, he's also proud of discovering and promoting Washington teenagers John and Leo Manzari, another pair of gifted tap-dancing brothers who will be joining him onstage. Tappin' Thru Life will be backed by the Berklee College of Music Jazz Ensemble playing Nelson Riddle arrangements of great jazz standards. | May 14-19 | Cutler Majestic Theatre, 219 Tremont St, Boston | $25-$89 | 617.824.8400 or artsemerson.org
JOSÉ MATEO BALLET THEATRE | José Mateo's prolific work as a choreographer of many moods and musical varieties is rolled out in a José Mateo Ballet Theatre season that barely pauses for breath, with final performances of How Do I Love Thee this month (March 7-10); then, In the Mind's Eye (April 5-21); and Method and Madness closing the season (May 10-19). | Sanctuary Theatre, 400 Harvard St, Cambridge | $40; subscriptions available | 617.354.7467 or ballettheatre.org
NORA CHIPAUMIRE: MIRIAM | Statuesque Zimbabwean dancer Nora Chipaumire considers the influence of "Mother Africa," the late South African singer and activist Miriam Makeba, in Miriam, a fantastical reverie that draws on the writings of Joseph Conrad and Chenjerai Hove, Virgin Mary iconography, and mundane, material things such as tennis shoes and light bulbs to explore the tensions between female selflessness and ambition. Okwui Okpokwasili, an American dancer of Nigerian heritage, is the ambiguous spirit who could be angel or devil — or both. | March 15-16 | Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Avenue, Boston | $10-$20 | 617.478.3103 or icaboston.org
BOSTON BALLET | Boston Ballet's spring season can be read as a set of classically oriented nesting boxes with contemporary shock hidden at its center. In March, three ballerinas — Lia Cirio, Adiarys Almeida, and Ashley Ellis — alternate in local debuts as Sleeping Beauty's Aurora, who is awakened to her storybook marriage by four dancers alternating in the role of Prince Desire — Paulo Arrais, Lasha Khozashvili, Jeffrey Cirio, and John Lam. In late May, the doll with enamel eyes, Coppélia, inflames a foolish swain. The shock detonates mid-May, when two Balanchine repertory classics are staged alongside Chroma, the extreme, and extremely loud, work by Wayne McGregor, resident choreographer of Britain's Royal Ballet, to music by Jack White, formerly of the White Stripes. | Sleeping Beauty March 22–April 7 | Chroma May 2-12 | Coppélia May 16-26 | Boston Opera House, 539 Washington St, Boston | $29-$137 | 617.695.6955 or bostonballet.org