Smuin Contemporary Ballet continues its 26th season with Dance Series 1, a stunning program featuring three extraordinary works by established and rising choreographers. The music of country icon Johnny Cash comes alive in The Man in Black, an acclaimed work for three men and a woman, danced in cowboy boots. Choreographed by James Kudelka, the former artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada, this powerful piece is an ode to American working-class grit featuring complex choreography influenced by popular country-western dance styles—including line, square, swing, and step dancing. Arresting and inventive, The Man in Black was called "beguiling" by the San Francisco Chronicle and "deeply touching and poignant" by Canada's National Post. It is set to six songs covered by Cash, including Trent Reznor's "Hurt" and Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind." Also on the bill: former Smuin artist Rex Wheeler's Take Five, a delightfully witty work set to the jazzy beat of Dave Brubeck. Michael Smuin's "dazzling" and "unforgettable" (San Francisco Chronicle) Carmina Burana, set to the sensual Carl Orff score, rounds out this spectacular program.